UK drivers trip up over foreign motoring laws

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Car Rental News - 09/09/2010


Hundreds of UK drivers are being penalized by obscure French driving law.

Hundreds of drivers from the UK are falling afoul of French rules requiring all drivers to carry high-visibility jackets in their cars. The British cars are being stopped on their way off ferries at Calais by French police and fined for not packing the safety clothing that is de rigeur under French law.

Though some see the action by France’s Gendarmerie as picking on easy prey, French authorities insist that they built up to the admitted summer crackdown by giving offenders warnings last year. This year, French police are handing out on-the-spot fines of 90 euros to all drivers caught in breach of this particular law.

French police say they took it easy on drivers last year but the new rule has now been in place since October of 2008 and drivers should by now be aware of the law. A spokesman for the Calais police force said it had no choice but to ensure that drivers comply with a law introduced for everybody’s safety.

Many British drivers have complained that they were fined, despite the fact that they were carrying high-visibility jackets in the boots of their cars. The law requires the jackets be carried inside the car’s cabin.

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