Millions of Brits will be heading to the Continent this summer, but many won’t know the rules governing the use of mobile phones while driving.
With thousands of us driving in France alone, how many realise French authorities recently banned the use of headphones and earphones for drivers taking calls – or simply listening to music?
The French ban is designed to prevent motorists becoming distracted from their environment due to the use of headphones or earphones. Ignoring this could result in an on-the-spot fine of €135 (around £113). This includes Bluetooth headsets, meaning all calls must be through a system with an external speaker and microphones.
The use of hand-held smartphones and wearing of headphones is also illegal in Spain when driving and can be punished by a fine of several hundred euros. ‘Hands-free’ sets are allowed, although they must be without earphones. It’s also illegal to use your phone on its internal speaker – in walkie-talkie fashion.
French and Spanish motorists will also receive a 3-point penalty, however this would not apply to UK licences under the the new EU Cross-Border Enforcement Directive that’s just come into force for UK-registered drivers on the Continent.