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 What next the kitchen sink??

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bigsavak
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PostSubject: What next the kitchen sink??   Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:30 pm

Now the French say holidaymakers have to carry a breathalyser kit in their car

They have penalised British drivers for not carrying a warning triangle or a fluorescent safety vest.

Now French police have another weapon to wield against holidaymakers – a law insisting all motorists have a breathalyser kit in their cars.

The gadgets, designed so that drivers can test themselves to ensure they are under drink-drive limits, are the latest addition to a list of rules for driving on the other side of the Channel.

The measure, which will come into force in July, will apply to anyone travelling through France by car.

Critics however have cast doubt on the accuracy of the kits in being able to tell if a driver is over the limit. Others said it was simply another attempt to make money out of foreign drivers.

Motorists found with between 50mg and 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood can be fined 135 euros (£112) and lose six out of 12 points on their driving licence. Above that, a driver risks a fine of 4,500 euros (£3,744), losing their licence and being sent to prison for up to two years.

The French drink-driving limit of 50mg is much lower than in the UK where the limit is 80mg.

Motorists are being urged to carry at least two of the single-use breathalysers so that if they have checked themselves with one they can still show police they have a ready-to-use kit if stopped.

Police, however, will use their own breathalysers to carry out any roadside test.

Those drivers caught without a kit will face a fine of 11 euros (£9) but the French have said there will be a period of grace till November before police start issuing the penalties.

The breathalyser kits cost between around £1 and £2 and will be available at ferry and tunnel terminals for crossings to France, but motoring groups have warned that many drivers will still forget to pack them in their car.

Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety, explained that it takes time for alcohol to be absorbed into the blood, so early readings could be misleading.

He said: ‘After you have had your last swig of alcohol, your reading will continue to rise for the next 40 minutes because it takes time for alcohol to go down into your stomach and be taken into the bloodstream.’

He added: 'Driving requirements in France are now quite complicated and the list of things you need to take is beginning to be quite a substantial extra charge to a holiday.'

Keith Peat of the Association of British Drivers said: ‘Some people will take the chance and not buy them, but many will simply not know about this latest requirement or just forget.

'The whole idea of self-testing sounds like nonsense. It seems like another money spinner for the very profitable road safety industry.'

Police are expected to carry out random checks on drivers crossing into France via Calais to ensure that they understand the latest drink-driving rules.

Anyone driving in France is already required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest to use in an emergency.

Additionally British motorists must display a GB plate and have their headlights adjusted to the right.

But even if drivers have the full list of equipment they can still be caught out by the complexity of the rules.

If a motorist carries the luminous vest in their boot rather than the main section of the car they can still be fined.

Drivers are not obliged to carry a spare set of lights, but if one of their bulbs goes and they do not have a replacement ready they can be fined.

A fire extinguisher and first aid kit could also be required in the case of an emergency so not to fall foul of a law about assisting in the event of an accident.

Last month, the French introduced a new law banning satellite navigation systems that show the location of speed cameras.

Those caught can be fined 1,500 euros even if the device is not in use.
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Daisy
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Presumably if you are over the drink drive limit you will be unable to use the kit or comprehend its reading anyway ? This will not stop those that ignore the drink-drive laws.They'll still continue to drink and drive however many kits they have in their vehicle. The only foolproof method is for all new cars to be fitted with a built in breathalyser device that you must breathe into before the engine will start and refuses to start the engine if you are over the drink drive limit .These devices are already available but without legislation to force car manufacturers to fit them to all new cars as standard they will never be fitted because of the cost. s
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BGTRAVELLER
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:39 pm

I think it is a good idea, if it was the law in uk as well then perhaps people would be a bit more careful about drinking and driving. They do drink alot of wine in France and I have followed quite a few drivers weaving about on the empty roads after a liquid lunch !
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:36 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
The only foolproof method is for all new cars to be fitted with a built in breathalyser device that you must breathe into before the engine will start and refuses to start the engine if you are over the drink drive limit. s

Sounds a good idea in theory, but they would only get someone who is sober to blow in the breathalyser to get the engine started instead. Unfortunately it doesn't take a genius to by-pass that system.

s s s s
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cowshed-sarah
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:23 pm

Yet more beauracratic idiocy....and this from a nation who's general everyday driving habits are utterly hideous and hugely dangerous. I friend who lives in France regularly regales me with the latest examples of French driver hideousness...particular favourites of the French motorist are: for no reason, suddenly slamming the brakes on and stopping their cars in the road in front of you, another is deliberately veering across the road towards you when oncoming forcing you into the grass verge..reversing into your car when they haven't got enough room to fit their vehicle into the space so forcing your car back to allow room for them, driving at very high speeds on tiny narrow roads usually on the wrong side thus forcing you into yet another verge...the list is growing....Stupid silly yellow 'vests' are now compulsory, next is this breathalyser unit, what will follow? Flashing amber beacons? A selection of luminous cones to put out when broken down? Flags? Incendary flares ? or the kitchen sink
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LisA
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:27 am

Sarah you're right The French have a rule called priorite a droit, which means that if you are happily driving along in town - a car can pull out in front of you from the right and you must give way - I am very grateful for having to sit a hazard perception test when i got my licence.....you need to keep your wits about you driving in France! note to self to move my UV vest from my boot to the glove compartment!
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Noddy
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:38 am

Ok for vests and warning triangle that is common sense but an alcohol tester? Perhaps they should look into the French cars leaving the Dutch borders with a head count of 6 and driving like idiots, perhaps a smoke detector mounted on the car ceiling would be more appropriate and respectful of driving in other countries! Only a suggestion from a Brit that often sees such in my travels!
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:44 am

Warning triangles and flourescent jackets isn't just mandatory in France, it is also mandatory in Germany and many other countries on the mainland. Plus, the drink drive limit has been 50mg/100ml breath on the mainland for at least 10 years. So, maybe it's time the UK caught up with the rest of Europe on safer driving?
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davshaz
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:00 am

Frankly it should be nil for all drivers. I rarely drink so the effect of me having one and getting behind a wheel is likely to be more profound than someone who has had two or three and drinks daily. Yet I could cause an accident and be within the legal limit, would it make me any less guilty, no, not in my opinion. So if we don't like it stay home
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Blink
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:57 pm

Stopped travelling to France years ago. Found the drivers rude, intolerant and arrogant, considering themselves above anyone else. Parisians are different again....worse. Seems they all still havnt got over Waterloo.
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oddball
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:27 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Frankly it should be nil for all drivers. I rarely drink so the effect of me having one and getting behind a wheel is likely to be more profound than someone who has had two or three and drinks daily.

I totally agree with you davshaz, g

BG I certainly hope not as I would have a problem getting the kitchen sink in my Matiz

Oddy

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bigsavak
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PostSubject: Re: What next the kitchen sink??   Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:38 pm

This will not make anyone safer. This is a nasty little scam to target the non-French, who are easily spotted by their foreign numberplates. "
Those who trade liberty for temporary safety end up with neither liberty nor safety"
Benjamin Franklin had it right.
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