French breathalyser rule extended to bikers

10.03 | 5 March 2012 | | 2 comments

According to the IAM, the latest advice from the European motoring body the FIA says that drivers of all motor vehicles, including motorcyclists, will have to carry a breathalyser kit in their vehicles when travelling in France.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, described the move as “a genuine attempt to reduce the number of alcohol related accidents”.

It was previously reported that from 1 July 2012 all drivers would need to carry a breathalyser kit, but it now appears that the €11 fine (for not having one) is also applicable to motorcyclists, but not moped riders.

The legal drink drive limit in France is 50mg per 100ml of blood, lower than in the UK (80mg per 100ml of blood).

Single-use breathalyser kits will satisfy the requirement. The kits cost between £1 and £2 and will be available at ferry and tunnel terminals for crossings to France. 

Anyone driving in France is already required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest and motorcyclists should carry extra bulbs. UK motorists and motorcyclists must display a GB plate, and cars should have their headlights adjusted to the right.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “The new French rule is a genuine attempt to reduce the number of alcohol related accidents. France’s lower limit means it is very easy to be over the limit the morning after as well. As always, the best advice for road users is not to drink and drive at all.”

For more information contact the IAM Press Office on 020 8996 9777.


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    If carrying a breathalyser reduces drink driving, then the French appear to be encouraging underage drinking as you can ride a moped at 14 years old.

    Steve Jarrett, Norfolk
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Has anyone done a cost/benefit analysis on this?

    Population of France 64m with 469 cars per 1,000 people at £1 per car. That’s £30m to equip 30m cars and, if the devices have a use by life of 10 years, works out to £3m per year every year.

    But the cost will be substantially more after motorbikes, HGVs, tourists etc are added and also the replacement of used devices (assuming people actually use them).

    Would a fair estimate be a cost of £5 million per year taken out of the economy?

    And would they save a single life?

    If a Police car costs 50k over 5 years and officers cost £50k pa then France could have 83 more officers in 83 more Police cars for the same cost.

    I’ll bet the Police could stop at least 100 times more drink drivers than the kit ever would!

    Did anyone think this through?

    Dave Finney – Slough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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