Coach Drivers in France now have to take a mandatory drink drive test before being able to drive a passenger vehicle.
Their blood alcohol levels will be tested prior to starting the engine, as all coaches throughout France will have to be fitted with an engine immobiliser that will prevent the engine from starting if the blood alcohol of the driver is over 0.2g.
Up until this point breathalyser system has only been mandatory in new coaches which are specifically for transporting children. School buses and coaches for daily school runs and school trips, however it is now to be on all coaches.
This will not apply to foreign coaches driving in France so UK travel firms won’t be affected by this rule change.
In France the coach industry is currently booming due to the French governments easing of the rules which protected the state-run (SNCF) rail company from competition for years. According to the best estimates the deregulation of the coach market could see a 50% drop in coach ticket prices in the coming months and the market is expected to boom.
The move is expected to bring in over 5 million new coach passengers within the next year, resulting in thousands of jobs being created in the coach sector.
The new breathalysers are called éthylotest antidémarrage, (EAD) which means “alcohol-activated immobilisers”.
If the driver has alcohol in excess of 0.2g per litre of blood then the engine simply will not start. This new road measure along with a raft of others aimed at car drivers is due to the fact that deaths on the road in France have been on the rise.
Although this sounds like a good idea to me, I’m not sure what happens if the driver is drunk and gets someone else to blow into the EAD?
To see the current rules on Breathalysers in France for car and van drivers in France read our definitive article on the French Breathalyser rules.
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