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Transportation Law France

Road Transportation Law in France

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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France has one of the most developed transportation systems in the world. The French road transportation system is built as a net around the country’s capital. France also plays a key role in the continent’s trading activities which makes the road transportation system very important. However, French companies also use railways, waterways and airways for transporting goods.

General driving rules in France

Any person who has turned 18 years old has the right to apply for a driver’s license in France. Persons wanting to drive a motorcycle are allowed to apply for a license starting with the age of 16, while people driving common transportation means or cargo vehicles must be at least 21.

The driving in France is done on the right side of the road and all passengers are required to wear a seatbelt. The driver must carry his/her driver’s license, car registration documents and car insurance. The speed limits in France are:

  • -          50 km/h in cities,
  • -          90 km/h on main roads,
  • -          110 km/h on roads with two lanes,
  • -          130 km/h on freeways.

It is important to know that newly arrived persons are limited to 90 km/h for two years on the categories of roads that exceed that limit. Also, the speed limit decreases in bad weather conditions and drivers are requested to use the headlights during the day also.

The driver’s license in France

Any person driving a vehicle in France must carry with him/her a valid driver’s license. The French driver’s license can be obtained after passing a two-stages examination (a theoretical and practical one). Drivers’ licenses issued by EU member states are valid in France and they can be replaced with French drivers’ permits upon expiry, while drivers’ licenses issued by non-EU member states can be used in France for maximum one year and then must be replaced with French drivers’ licenses.

However, France has signed treaties with countries like Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa etc. that enables citizens to benefit from special treatment when exchanging their foreign drivers’ licenses for French ones.

New driving rules and laws in France

Starting 2013, the French authorities have adjusted the French route code (Code de la route) and new provisions have been added and new laws enabled. Among these, drivers should take into consideration the following:

  • -          speed cameras can be hidden on the roads and freeways,
  • -          the new French Breathalyzer Law states that drivers must carry breathalyzers on them when driving,
  • -          using the telephone while driving is forbidden, unless a free-hands device is used,
  • -          roads in France will be equipped with eco-tax cameras,
  • -          radar detectors are forbidden.

If you want details about the new provisions regarding transportation, you can contact our law firm in France.

 

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