French Ban the Use of Speed Camera Detectors including Sat Navs and Mobile Phones

Switch off you Sat Navs speed camera location facility in French Ban

When a friend explained this to me in France, I thought that he was telling me some kind of joke and although I am a little out of date, I think it is important to keep reminding fellow

French Ban

A typical French speed camera

Britain’s who happen to be going to France, Spain or Italy for their holidays by car.

I must admit that I did not know about the fact that the French Highway Code prohibits the use of speed camera detectors, with penalties of up to 1500 Euros up to the confiscation of your vehicle, a bit draconian you would have thought, but that’s the French for you?

Prohibition of your Sat navs and speed camera alerts

This law came into force on 3rd January 2012. French police law states that it is forbidden to carry any device that can detect the use of speed cameras. This also includes devices such as Sat Navs that you can set them to inform you of any speed cameras that you are approaching; this is usually set on your POI (points of interest).

I have noticed in recent years that the French police authorities have installed many new speed cameras, even on the AutoRoute’s (Motorways). They are also taking down the signs that warn motorists that a speed camera is imminent.

When I researched this I stumbled upon a very good web site that gives you mounds of facts about motoring in France and we are recommended to disable the speed camera detection

French Ban

French speed camera warning sign

part of the Sat Navs, or the app on your mobile phone. Many cars are now coming out with Sat Navs built into the car, and if this is so you are advised to contact the vehicle manufacturer for help and clarification of what to do.

The penalties for breaking the law regarding speed camera detecting equipment can be harsh and severe and are applied according to the letter of the law. If you break the French driving laws you can also have your UK driving license confiscated by French Police (a little known fact). This could lead to your vehicle being temporarily confiscated if you turn out to be the only driver and no alternative driver with a valid license is available to take over from you.

Here in the UK we can legally use Sat Navs and other devices, but did you know that they are also illegal in other European countries?

Spain form instance were the same as the UK but have now made it illegal to use the devices as recently as May 2014. You can still use your Sat Navs but must have the speed camera detection option switched off. In fact the Spanish are less strict than the French, because the speed cameras locations are well sign posted and you can down load a Government APP that shows the location of the cameras. Fines for using devices to detect speed cameras can be as high as 6,000 Euros. If you are driving to Spain please double check and make your journey safer.

Italy is a similar story to that of Spain; where speed camera detectors are illegal, but Sat Navs are not. Fines if caught could be as high as 2,800 Euros

Germany is a similar story, it is not illegal to own a detection device, but illegal if you have it switched on in moving traffic and so with all these countries, it looks like you can have and use Sat Navs  but switch off the speed camera location function and the same applies if you have a mobile phone app.

I am not sure about the other European countries, as I have concentrated on French Ban where most of the British traffic travels to.

Just as a footnote, I drove to France a few weeks ago and have noticed the increase in the building of large gantries across main roads such as the A10 in South West France. At first I thought they were some kind of speed cameras, but have since learned that they were erected to record the movement of heavy goods vehicles, that would be detected by the fitting of a black box inside the cab of the trucks. This idea was to raise taxes for the French government. What are these people thinking of?

The truckers were so against this idea, that they organised demonstrations, road blocks and indeed rioted in places. The result of this is that the idea was scrapped, what a waste of

French Ban

A gantry that you can now see all over France, originally to charge trucks a road tax but now scrapped.

money? I thought that France was hard up? In fact the whole exercise has cost about 900 million Euros, and at the moment the gantries are useless , but who’s not betting that they will be put to other sinister uses against the motorists, who include millions of people travelling to their holiday destinations.

In my opinion all these French Ban measures are just to catch drivers out who will pay the fines into the French government’s coffers, what a shame these things have to happen to an otherwise wonderful country, I for one am selling up and getting out.

Other great web sites about the subject are …


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