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France can fine people who use smartphones in cars, even if the vehicle has pulled over

By midian182 ยท 31 replies
Feb 6, 2018
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  1. Following its recent decision to ban students from using smartphones and tablets in the country’s schools, France is now focusing on a potentially lethal practice involving mobile devices: drivers who call and text while behind the wheel.

    The (CDC) says 1,161 people are injured and more than eight are killed in the US each day as a result of distracted driving. Over in France, road deaths are going up after being in decline for a number of years. It seems authorities believe this is partly linked to using handsets while in a car.

    While most countries advise drivers to pull over if they want to take a phone call or send a text message, France has adjusted a law to make using a phone inside a car illegal, even when it is parked at the side of a road with the engine off.

    The high court has changed the previous law that prohibited the use of mobile phones while a vehicle is “circulating in traffic,” which referred to its movement. Now, even if a driver uses a phone when they are not in motion—as in when they’ve pulled over—they risk a 135 euro fine and points on their license.

    The rule doesn’t apply if the car is parked in a designated spot, and you’re still allowed to call or text on public roads if you’ve broken down or had an accident, writes Engadget, quoting Le Figaro.

    The law change will no doubt infuriate French drivers, who are still angry about the speed limit on two-lane roads dropping from 55 mph to 50 mph. It remains to be seen if the new phone rules result in a decrease in road deaths.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,888   +683

    People just need to understand using a phone while driving is dangerous and should not be done, pulling over and blocking traffic shouldn't automatically allow you to use your phone either, which isn't to say that's a terrible thing because it means that person is smart enough not to use their phone while driving in the first place. A small fine as a warning would be adequate, losing demerit points is a little much however, I'd seriously hope they at least start off by giving people warnings for such an offense.
  3. RaXoR

    RaXoR TS Addict Posts: 113   +77

    Pulling over and using it shouldn't warrant a punishment at all. When you pull over you don't stop in middle of the road. You pull off to the side of the road where traffic is not being blocked. That's an unnecessary punishment. Also, they would have to really outline whether or not placing a call hands free is against the law. I feel like they will ban any phone interaction, even if it's placing a phone call through your car's Bluetooth connectivity.
  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,667   +1,029

    I guess next version will give you a ticket if you are walking or even sitting, unless you are in a designated safe sitting spot...think of the hundreds of "falling down stairs while on cell" accidents that will be avoided.
    MirekFe, Reehahs and wiyosaya like this.
  5. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,521   +411

    We laugh, but I've seen more people than I wish to admit tripping themselves or missing a step going up or down stairs during phone use, because moving is hard~
  6. JimmyJammy

    JimmyJammy TS Rookie

    How about doing make up while driving / intersection / stop light / stop sigh ? yet none talk about this. This is as danger as using mobile devices. I got stuck in traffic / almost hit by those do decide to do make up on road ..
    MirekFe, dogofwars and wiyosaya like this.
  7. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 710   +351

    I guess it's to stop the driver from getting a call and cutting through 3 lanes of traffic at high speed to pull over and answer before the phone stops ringing. Compared to that it's probably safer to drive while holding the phone to your head with one hand, which most people do regardless of the law.
    For me, I just let it ring and I check the voicemail or text when I finish the journey. I don't have a life where people ring me for life and death emergencies where I need to risk my life and that of other road users just to respond to a call or message.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,177   +1,621

    Sounds onerous to me. I can certainly understand distracted driving, but distracted sitting in your car while it is stopped? I have to wonder why this is even a crime. Are they saying that if you are sitting in your car while it is stopped and talking on your phone is intent to drive distractedly? This reminds me of that movie a few years back where they sent people back in time to prevent someone from committing a crime that they had not yet committed.

    Perhaps the law will become that you cannot sit in your car while it is stopped. I can see lots of room for abuse with this, and perhaps that is what they are trying to do is generate more revenue from tickets. I could see someone getting a ticket if they are stopped by the side of the road and have a cellphone that is currently turned on with them even if they are not using it.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    thelatestmodel likes this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,177   +1,621

    The blocking traffic part is not legal. If anyone blocks traffic, then yes, they should be ticketed and should receive a ticket for blocking traffic; however, in this case, it seems even if someone pulls over in a lawful fashion, they are subject to a ticket which, to me, seems excessive.
    Capaill and thelatestmodel like this.
  10. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,667   +1,029

    New kind of service employment...ride shotgun and answer phone. Surely worth minimum wage.
  11. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    So does this apply if you in parked in a parking lot, parked in front of store, on small side street, dead in street, lane way, country road where 3 cars pass every hour?

    Only on highway, big street like 3 lane traffic both ways? And roads with lots of car traffic?
  12. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Addict Posts: 142   +60

    France is taking this too far. There has got to be a better way.
  13. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,667   +1,029

    Autonomous cars.
  14. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Booster Posts: 125   +44

    Does not work, people don't change habit unless it cost them their right to drive. We tried it and big fine does not seem to bother people that much they still continue. Unfortunately warning does not work neither salty fine, taking away their license does.
  15. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Booster Posts: 125   +44

    It's coming to that in Ontario, Canada
  16. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Booster Posts: 125   +44

    They are afraid too many peoples would pull over on the highway and be rear ended by another line agnostic ID10T which would make matter worse.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  17. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    So what do we do put people in jail.

    There are DUI laws and people go to jail yet people still drink and drive.

    And drinking and driving is still problem so is street racing.
  18. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    The page does not say high way or busy street.
  19. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Booster Posts: 125   +44

    You just suspend their permit after they have too many point and tow their car. Simple.
  20. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Booster Posts: 125   +44

    It says where you can park, usually street have parking space if there is not it is because it is not safe to have any so you pick a place with a parking place when you find one. People will find that annoying yes but we used to have no cell phone and we were just fine. If you can't go without a cell phone when you are in your car maybe you should reevaluate your need.
  21. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    Don't even need cell phone law as you can get ticket in my city by the police if you block traffic.

    If you stop on the highway or main road you get a ticket.

    Not sure why France never had that law.

    You cannot stop on road in my city other than places where cars park on street and get out and walk into building. Like store, office or house where cars do park on the street or parking lots.
  22. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    The OP was talking about if they going ticket you on street like this.


  23. centrino207

    centrino207 TS Booster Posts: 160   +10

    Or ticket you in lane way


    Or in front drive way or back lane.

  24. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Booster Posts: 125   +44

    Well there is no parking there so yes you would get a ticket but I doubt the police would enforce it.
  25. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,888   +683

    I see people who do this all the time, they stop on the side of the road but not pull over far enough on to the shoulder to allow traffic to circulate properly, in rural areas it's usually not a big deal but in urban areas it can be a problem, those knobs deserve tickets regardless really. And in theory the shoulder is there for emergencies anyways so an argument can be made there over legality to use it for a phone call, back when the law first passed if you could prove the call was in fact an emergency the ticket would be cancelled but I don't think that still applies.

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