French holiday law could catch Britons out and result in huge fine – what is it?

France is the go-to for everyone from culture vultures, high-end fashion lovers, campers and those looking to tick off a mini-break in a weekend. Yet no matter how long the stay or what the reason, British tourists could end up getting caught out by one simple thing. While ordinarily they may listen to music to accompany their car journeys abroad, in France, this is not permitted. Those driving a vehicle cannot be found to have earphones in while on the road.

The AA website offered advice and guidance to Britons to make sure they do not caught out.

It states: “Drivers and riders mustn’t use headphones and headsets, or any device attached to your ear.

“This covers devices used for phone calls as well as for listening to music, but you’re allowed to use a Bluetooth or integrated systems in a motorcycle helmet.”

Further advice adds: “As of March 2017, it is illegal to drive a car in France using headphones or earphones.

“The offence is liable to a €90 on-the-spot fine. Be sure to take off the headphones once you cross the channel.”

Another legal quirk in France Britons may not be aware of related to the need to carry a breathalyser in their vehicle.

These have to be present in every car – and, if drivers are pulled over by the police, they will be expected to show the alcohol-measuring device.

The AA website details the exact criteria these breathalysers must meet, and things Britons should check when buying one.

They said: “The breathalyser must be unused and show the French certification mark NF.

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“It has to be in date too. Single-use breathalysers normally only last 12 months so check yours if you bought it for a trip last year and didn’t use it.” recently reported a host of travel warnings from the FCO, centred on popular holiday destinations including Spain, France and Turkey.

Additionally, those travelling to the latter are being urged to take note of any vaccinations they may need.

Website FitForTravel has advised Britons on the action they should take, so they can plan ahead before travel.

It stated UK visitors should make sure their regular vaccinations and posters are up to date, such as flu vaccinations.

Meanwhile, it flagged: “Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Tetanus.”

It stated: “Many of the health problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other measures need to be taken.

“These include food and water safety, accident prevention, care with sun exposure, avoiding insect bites and animal bites, and practicing good respiratory hygiene.

“This country has either areas with high altitude (2400m or more) or/and areas with very high altitude (3658m or more).

“Travellers who may go into areas of high altitude should take care to avoid ill effects of being at altitude including Acute Mountain Sickness, a potentially life-threatening condition.”

One medication they may not need is that which caters to malaria, as this is not present in the region.


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