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France

Regulation on the French roads

Driving licence

For more informations, please consult The official website of France

Speed limits

Driving speeds are limited throughout the French road network. These regulations apply to all drivers and all vehicles. EU driving licence holders exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h may have their licenses confiscated on the spot.

Maximum speed limits by weather condition
Dry weather Wet weather Visibility less than 50 m
Highway 130 km/h - 80 mph 110 km/h - 68 mph 50 km/h - 31 mph
Dual carriageway 110 km/h - 68 mph 100 km/h - 62 mph 50 km/h - 31 mph
Other road 90 km/h - 56 mph 80 km/h - 50 mph 50 km/h - 31 mph
Built-up area 50 km/h - 31 mph 50 km/h - 31 mph 50 km/h - 31 mph

Drink driving limit

France has very strict drink driving laws. The French drink-driving limit is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

Sanctions and Penalties :

Drivers found with between 50mg and 80mg of alcohol in your blood can be fined € 135 (£ 112). The driver will not be permitted to continue with his journey until the alcohol level in his bloodstream falls below the legal limit.

If the breath-test reveals that a driver has more than 80mg of alcohol, it is considered as a major offense. The driver could be fined to € 4,500 (£ 3,744) with his driving licence confiscated immediately for three years and a possibility up to two years emprisonment.

Safety equipement on board

Warnings

It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, even if you have hands-free. Drivers caught using a mobile phone while on the road are liable to an on-the-spot fine of € 130.

Obligations

Focus

Priority to the right : “Priorité à droite”

This feature of historic French driving law causes much confusion for foreign drivers across France. When applied the problem is this : when driving along a road, anyone joining from your right hand side has priority over the main carriageway on which you are driving. They do not have to stop, instead you have to slow and give way to the joining vehicle, no matter the size of the adjoining road.

Ministère de l’écologie