When it comes to deaths on the road, France is not messing around with their texting while driving bans. The country’s highest court has made a new ruling and it is taking the texting and driving ban to the extreme. The country is sick of the number of road deaths going up each year, so measures are being taken to stop the increases.
Texting While Driving Ban
With this new ban, the nation’s highest court ruled that drivers cannot use their phones even after pulling over! Drivers need to park in a designated parking spot and shut off their engine before using their cellphones. Exceptions are allowed in the event of an emergency. According to Le Figaro, the fine for violating the texting while driving ban is about $166 (135 euros).
Why The New Ban?
This new ban stems from a recent lawsuit. According to The Local, a driver recently appealed his fine after parking in a roundabout with the hazard lights on in order to use his phone. This new ban does not apply to hands-free devices, but it does restrict the use of wireless headsets.
Bans Across Europe
This texting while driving ban is nothing new to Europe. It is very common, as nearly every country prohibits the practice. There are exceptions for hands-free use. This new ban in France takes those previous bans to a whole new level. This ban prohibits headphones and earphones, but then also requires the driver to park the car in a parking spot and shut the engine completely off.
Changes Were Needed
Despite having its fewest traffic-related deaths in 2013, that number has since increased in France. The number of road deaths totaled almost 3,500 in 2016 for France. That is comparable to the United States, as distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives in 2015. With the steady increase in France, it has prompted the government to enact a number of stricter driving regulations. These proposed regulations include:
- Cut speed limits
- Enforce harsher punishments for violating phone bans
- Force repeat drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock system in vehicle
- Force drivers whose licenses were suspended for speeding to install speed limiting devices
- Prevent users from informing others about police checks through driving apps