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France: Radar Localization Hardware - Forbidden, But..

  Posted at 08:00:00 AM
  File under  France Travel
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
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With all the measures being taken by the French government to part you from your cash, one that has been under the magnifying glass is the devices that tell you where the fixed (and mobile) radars are located.

Over the last few months there has been a lot of issues regarding these devices. After a massive strike by all road users, the government backed down, a bit. Instead of forbidding GPS-based devices to show you where the radars are (remember that it is highly illegal to have a radar detector on you in France), they changed it to show you where the "danger" zones were, within a certain radius.

Radar Photographed Sign

So instead of showing you where the radar is located, your devices will tell you that you are in a "danger" zone, and the zone can be a few kilometers long. Better than nothing...

That's for specialized devices, like the Coyote Open link in a new window. But if you are using one of the many smartphones, iPhone, Android or Blackberry with a GPS, in theory, they are as restricted by law to show you the exact location of the radar. But here's the clincher; if you get stopped by the police, they are NOT allowed to touch your smartphone to see if your GPS program shows the exact location. That would be a privacy issue, and they can only touch your phone if they have a warrant.

Don't you love the law...

The other points that are to be legalized are:

Usage of a phone while driving

It is now totally not allowed, even on a motorcycle. If you get caught riding and talking on a phone, you'll get a €135 and 3 points will be deducted from your driving license.

France Radar Current sign
Radar Warning Signs

Until last year, all fixed radars had a warning sign that you're approaching a radar. These signs are disappearing at an alarming rate.

For the rest (hi-viz bands for motorcycle riders on their clothing) and bigger license plates for motorcycles have been pushed for legislation to 2013 (2012 being a presidential election year). If the current president, Sarkozy, is re-elected, he'll ram it through.

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