No, you can’t use a phone while driving, and the fine is €135. Not even hands free. Only passengers can speak on a mobile phone while driving in France.
The number of French motorists using their mobile phones while driving, speeding and tailgating is on the rise so it just plays into the stereotype that most French drivers are terrible.
The company that operates the French motorways have had a report conducted and the results probably will not surprise anyone too much. A lot of people who get in touch via my Facebook and Twitter accounts complain heavily about lane hogging, and aggressive tailgating.
Can you use your phone as a sat nav in France?
Yes you can use your phone for the Sat Nav, but there are some issues regarding speed cameras which you can read about here. There are some really hefty fines/penalties if you have speed camera detection equipment.
Recent research on phone use
"It's an explosive cocktail!" Fabrice Hamelin, a researcher in transport safety at the University of Créteil said.
"The phone is clearly an important distraction factor, which doubles the risk of an accident. Add this to the rise in tailgating, which shortens your reaction time, and there is a much higher risk," he said.
Over 40% of drivers on French roads regularly drive over above the speed limit, according to the latest research which is the highest it’s been since 2012.
"For the past few months, police were perhaps otherwise occupied, which could have created a sense of impunity," Pascal Contremoulins, head of road safety at Sanef said of the results.
Pascal went on to say "However when a driver is going too fast, they do not have the means to react if a problem occurs in front of him, because the incident is masked by the car in front. One accident in five on the motorway is a multi-vehicle collision, that is to say it involves more than two cars."
More worrying than the speeding increase is the sharp rise in people using a mobile phone whilst driving. When it comes to phone use truckers have seen the biggest rise in offences recorded. With as many as one in six truckers driving with a phone in their hand.
Virtually all accidents are caused because someone isn’t paying attention and phone use is the biggest single culprit.
According to a study in the USA sending a text message while driving increases the chances of an accident by almost a quarter.
Now that most people have a smartphone of some sort and can check emails and look who has liked their Facebook posts while driving it is becoming a huge problem.
The French police have reported that 800 offenses involving a mobile phone had been recorded every single day during June this year.
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