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Ban on earphones while driving in France

Ban on earphones while driving in France

From the 1st of July 2015 France has banned the use of earphones while driving for a better guarantee of safety. In fact, it was found that earphones prevent the driver to hear all the outside noise, greatly reducing the safety on the road, just think of a car horn not heard, an oncoming vehicle, or other.

This ban is applied to drivers of cars and heavy vehicles like buses and trucks, motorcyclists who often use headsets inside the helmet, and even cyclists.

In the past it was banned to use mobile phones and other devices while driving, as well as each maneuver of the phone such as sending or reading sms and internet usage and social network on smartphones, maneuvers that led to too many dead on the roads caused precisely by these distractions.

How to use mobile phone in the car or bus

To use a mobile phone inside the vehicle, the new rules allow the use of Bluetooth device exclusively with voice commands to not use hands that should remain on the steering wheel, then goodbye to privacy and conversations permitted only with hands-free systems!

The alternative of course is to not use the phone while you are driving, and opt for a stopover where possible to speak with confidence and without risking unnecessary distractions that so often lead to serious accidents, in fact, the new rules prohibit the driver also applying makeup while driving (habit of many women), or eat a sandwich or rummage in the glove compartment, as well as listen to music at high volume, etc.

For all evaders there is a fine of 135 EUR and the deduction of three licence points.

The problem seen by professional drivers

The use of hands-free systems as provided in France, causes many problems for professional drivers of touring coaches, public bus, tram and similar.

In fact, imagine a driver of a coach with 50 people on board that, in performing his service, frequently responds to many business and personal calls, and naturally he finds himself sharing any sensitive information and not with passengers, always assuming he can hear the content of conversation, since the groups on board usually are engaged in songs, liturgies, or anything else along the way.

We don't discuss about safety, but in a developed country like France, these rules seem overly restrictive for those who work in tourism.

Among other things, the new rules have thought about the conversation by phone, but no mention of any ban on smoking while driving, a subject of which French Parliament is still deciding; the only certainty for now is the ban on smoking in the presence of children! What is certain is that cigarettes are due to driver distraction and can cause loss of concentration.

For now, France is the only European country that adopts measures so restrictive about how to behave while you are driving, but it is expected that other European countries will follow their example, so it is important to stay up to date in order to avoid sanctions that can be avoided.

Italian rules

In Italy it is in force the Article 173 paragraph 2 of the Highway Code which reads that it is forbidden to the driver while driving the use of CB radios or headphones, except for drivers of armed forces vehicles and other corps referred to in Article 138 , paragraph 11, and police. It is allowed to use devices with hands-free system or earphones, as long as the driver has adequate hearing capacity in both ears (which do not require the use of hands for their operation).

Paragraph 3-bis says that anyone who violates the provisions of 2nd paragraph shall be subject to a fine for a sum from EUR 161 to EUR 646. It applies the sanction of suspension of driving license for one to three months if the same person will carry out a further violation during a two-year period.

This means that you must use earphone or hands-free systems.

Ultimately if you go to France, you must be careful when answering the phone while driving, both if you are a private or professional driver who goes abroad for tourism or business.