OK I will come clean from the start – I like France, the French, their cars and life style in general. I realise that isn’t a popular view in the UK but that’s how it is.
I have also been on ‘the wrong side of the law’ over there, I was pulled for speeding in a village – it was a fair cop so to speak, and in many respects their policing of the roads is far better than ours. Their drink driving laws are already tighter than ours – the legal limit for drink-driving in France is 50mg per 100ml of blood, while in the UK it is 80mg per 100ml. Frances lower limit means it’s very easy to be over the limit the morning after as well.
I would totally support a tightening of the drink driving laws over here, we are better than we were, but still the UK attitude to drink is not conducive to safe roads. So I think the French have now come up with another good idea – breathalysers are required to be carried by all drivers in France from July of this year, and there is an instant on the spot fine of €11 if you don’t have one.
Its not a big cost issue for drivers either, a single-use breathalyser kit cost between £1 and £2, and will be on sale at all ferry and rail terminals. Multiple-use devices are available but at a greater cost.
Existing French laws require all motorists to carry a warning triangle and a high-visibility vest, both a good idea and neither of them required over here yet. I think it would be a great idea to make drivers more responsible for their actions and to require carrying safety items such as high visibility vets, the breath test kit is the best bit though – bring it on!