Use of hands free phone when driving?

Travel Forums Europe Use of hands free phone when driving?

Last Post This thread is marked as being about France
1. Posted by Robsal (Budding Member 6 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi. I’ve visited a number of sites to glean as much info about driving in France and rules of the road. One point in particular is confusing me? I’ve read on several sites that you can use a mobile whilst driving providing it’s completely hands free? Yet other sites say you cannot use a mobile in any circumstances? Could some kind person more knowledgeable advise?

As you can probably tell it’s my first experience of driving in France !
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Rob

2. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1346 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi Robsal. Welcome to TravellersPoint. We do a lot of driving in France and they take cell phones seriously. As everywhere, people tend to ignore laws, but the actual law is that you may not use a cell phone (mobile) in your car if it is hand-held. That means not at traffic lights or even pulled over on the side of the road. However, if you have a hands-free setup, you may use your phone without penalty.

We have a rule in our family to put the phone away while in the car. It is just safer, hands-free or not. It takes your attention from the task at hand which is driving safely. I think you are from the UK so you will be driving on the "wrong" side of the road and will need to concentrate. We go through this when we visit the UK and we like to start in heavy traffic (just follow everyone else) or on a dual carriageway where you have a bit of room to maneuver. We use our phone for driving directions often but the driver isn't doing the phone work. The non-driver sets the GPS and keeps the phone in hand.

The short answer to your questions is, Yes, you may use a hands-free mobile phone while driving. My recommendation is to let someone else handle the phone or just put it away until you arrive at your destination.

Enjoy France. It's a beautiful country.

3. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1346 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Oh, one last point. If your car breaks down, you may use the mobile phone to call for help. They did decide to make an exception for that. Wise decision . . . :)

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1906 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Beausoleil

Oh, one last point. If your car breaks down, you may use the mobile phone to call for help. They did decide to make an exception for that. Wise decision . . . :)

I find it interesting that they set the bar so high. I think here in the UK it is (or was) that you need to have the handbrake on. Which seems pretty reasonable.

5. Posted by mpprh (Full Member 116 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

That is my understanding of the law re phones.

The other thing I would say is "read up on ‘Priorité à droite’ !".

https://www.drive-france.com/faqs/get-your-priorities-right/