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First Aid Kits French Requirement in cars


Frederick

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Due to robbing bits from the first aid kit in the car over years .I have decided its time to buy a new one and there are plenty to choose from on line . I will buy a decent size one but it got me thinking if in the event of the French boys in blue checking the contents of my car for all the bits they insist I carry .Do they expect more than a sticking plaster in the first aid kit ?

I have never been asked to produce a first aid kit at an accident fortunately although I know I may be asked to . Nor have i been Police checked for the things I must carry of know anybody who has ...

Some items you should be carrying when Driving in France: Now also to include the drink breath test kits

UK Driving License - Compulsory to carry this when driving in France - failure = on the spot fines!

Car registration documents - log book must be carried with you at all times. This can also incur an on the spot fine!

Headlamp Adaptors - UK vehicles are designed for driving on the left hand side of the road this will mean that when driving in France you will dazzle oncoming drivers. Failure to adapt your headlamps will render the vehicle UNFIT for the road. invalidating your motor insurance and could result in a spot fine

GB Stickers - these are required by International Law to indicate Country of Registration

Warning Triangles - In France warning triangle must be placed 50 - 150 metres behind your vehicle to warn approaching traffic if your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident. Hazard warning lights alone are not sufficient

Fluorescent Safety Vest - Obligatory to carry this in your vehicle while driving in France, in fact it must be within reach so that if you have an accident or breakdown, you can get out of the car you were driving with it on, so don't put it in the boot of your car!

Spare Bulbs - All car lamps, lenses and reflectors must be in working order at all times - failure to replace a broken bulb could result in a spot fine so always carry spares for all your car lights

Spare Specs - Yes a spare pair of glasses are required if you have contact lenses and are going to be driving in France.

First Aid Kit - A First Aid kit must be carried in your vehicle at all times when driving in France.

Fire Extinguisher - If you fail to render assistance in the event of a fire or take necessary precautions to prevent a fire from escalating is an offence

Insurance Policies - If the driver/owner of a vehicle fails to comply with the law and fails to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy for the country he intends to visit could result in the insurance company repudiating liability under the Policy.

Failure to Comply - On the spot fines can be imposed In the event of prosecution and conviction for failure to comply with the legal requirements of EU countries.

On the Spot Fines - Fines have to be paid on the spot in the local currency with travellers cheques and credit cards not being acceptable. Inability to pay may in some countries result in the vehicle being impounded until fine has been paid. Whilst a visitor driving in France will probably have to pay on the spot fines, residents often are given 45 days to pay. Residents can pay radar camera fines online here: www.amendes.gouv.fr.
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First aid kits are NOT mandatory to be be carried on a vehicle in France.

The only countries where it is mandatory for a visiting motorist to carry a first aid kit is Austria.

Advised to be carried for Belgium and Germany for visitors but mandatory for residents of these countries.
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In 30 years of visiting France, we have been pulled over by the police just once. As we scrambled to find spare light bulbs, driving licences, etc, we were told they didn't want to see them - they were looking for a prisoner on the run. We have since become rather complacent.

The one thing we carry, though - UK or abroad - is a first aid/emergency kit put together by Mrs Zoff. This has got us - and others - out of many a scrape.
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You do not need to have a fire extinguisher or breath tester also no need for GB stickers if you have a registration plate showing country of registration

Whilst you mention it the car is also UNFIT for the road, if your speed cannot be measured in kilometres per hour via your car instruments
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Frederick's post is a timely reminder, although the Gendarmerie may well not be interested in the complete list.

I was stopped (not far from home, but in the middle of nowhere) about 3 yrs ago - the 1st time in 9yrs. It was 11.00 a.m. & I was on my way to the dechetterie. 

They were only interested in my driving licence, carte grise, insurance and MOT (can't remember what its called here!)

I welcome checks like that.  Probably would have been stopped more often if I'd been out & about in the evenings.

  

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It seems some published lists include recommended to carry along with required to carry items in the same list . I always believed a first aid kit was required .I will however continue to carry one even if not mandatory .

http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/traveller-info/driving-in-france/
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For clarification:

This is the official list of items required to be carried when driving a vehicle in France (google translation here.)

This is the official list of papers required to be carried when driving a vehicle in France (google translation here.)

Spare bulbs: not compulsory, but recommended.

If one of the lights is not working, Mr Grumpy Gendarme is much less likely to make walk home if you can change the faulty bulb... though you might still have to pay the fine...

First-aid kit: not compulsory, but common sense.

Fire extinguisher: not compulsory.

Spare specs: not compulsory unless specs/lenses are mentioned on the driving licence, but common sense if you wear specs or contact lenses.

Official line here and google translation here.

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We carry all the things Frederick mentioned apart from a fire extinguisher. Our car headlights are flat beam and there is a switch behind the lights to alter the beam direction.  However in France we do not carry original car documents only copies, in the UK I carry nothing as you can choose a local police station and show the papers within five days. I've never been asked for any papers at all in France even when I got breathalysed and they got no result. My wife got stopped last week and breathalysed, once again no result, but they insisted on seeing all the paperwork and one Gendarme took her licence back to his car and pretended that he was checking it, what he was checking it against heaven knows? They accepted the copies without comment. The reason I will not carry originals is that if the car gets stolen then you lose the paperwork. Both the times we were stopped was the same time of the year October, Bernache time, I wonder why? [Www]
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The official items include

Breathalyzers

Since July 1, 2012, all drivers of land motor vehicle must have a breathalyzer in his car.

Only riders (2 or 3 wheels not exceeding 50 cm ³) and drivers of vehicles already equipped with a alcolock (including drivers of passenger transport) are exempt from this requirement.

The breathalyzer may be chemical or electronic driver-selectable. In two cases, it must meet the standards with which compliance is guaranteed by the NF (NF X 20702 for chemical breathalyser and NF X 20704 for electronic breathalyzers).

It can be purchased in a pharmacy, a tobacconist, some supermarkets and service stations or an insurance company.

This breathalyser should be readily available, not used and comply with the conditions of validity, including expiration date provided by the manufacturer.

Failure to comply with this obligation is not sanctioned.

But as it says they cannot fine or causion you
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NickP wrote

 However in France we do not carry original car documents only copies, they insisted on seeing all the paperwork and one Gendarme took her licence back to his car and pretended that he was checking it, what he was checking it against heaven knows?

They were checking the drivers name against computer records to see if she had committed a previous offence in France

 The reason I will not carry originals is that if the car gets stolen then you lose the paperwork.

Whats the logic in that just keep copies away from the car
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[quote user="basquesteve"]NickP wrote  However in France we do not carry original car documents only copies, they insisted on seeing all the paperwork and one Gendarme took her licence back to his car and pretended that he was checking it, what he was checking it against heaven knows? They were checking the drivers name against computer records to see if she had committed a previous offence in France  The reason I will not carry originals is that if the car gets stolen then you lose the paperwork. Whats the logic in that just keep copies away from the car[/quote]

 

"Whats the logic in that just keep copies away from the car"  

     Forgive me for being a bit slow this morning, but I don't understand your comment? But to hazard a guess at what you mean, I'll explain. I don't want to lose the originals.  If I'm in France and I lose the original log book or what ever they call them these days; that would mean hours on the phone to Swansea etc. and then getting it sent to France, it 'ain't rocket science. By carrying copies I'm trying to keep within the French rules, and it does seem to work as the Gendarmes who stopped my wife were perfectly happy.

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As for spare light bulbs, some vehicles, including Renault, require the front wheel and inner arch to be removed to replace a headlamp bulb.

One of my cars requires the front bumper to be removed to replace the bulbs. In other words, for most folk, it's a garage job.

Makes no sense does it. I'm sure the Gendarmes do have some common sense though.

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[quote user="vette"]As for spare light bulbs, some vehicles, including Renault, require the front wheel and inner arch to be removed to replace a headlamp bulb.

One of my cars requires the front bumper to be removed to replace the bulbs. In other words, for most folk, it's a garage job.

Makes no sense does it. I'm sure the Gendarmes do have some common sense though.[/quote]

I totally agree.

But as things stand, if your car is found to have faulty light, you will most probably incur a fine (68€ reduced to 45€ if paid quickly) and you also run the risk of having the car impounded at the roadside, a possibility if Mr Blue Uniform is feeling a bit grumpy...

Which would be more inconvenient to you?

A potentially long walk home, or carrying a kit of spare bulbs to show your willingness to deal with a faulty light?

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[quote user="Clair"][quote user="vette"]As for spare light bulbs, some vehicles, including Renault, require the front wheel and inner arch to be removed to replace a headlamp bulb.

One of my cars requires the front bumper to be removed to replace the bulbs. In other words, for most folk, it's a garage job.

Makes no sense does it. I'm sure the Gendarmes do have some common sense though.[/quote]

I totally agree.

But as things stand, if your car is found to have faulty light, you will most probably incur a fine (68€ reduced to 45€ if paid quickly) and you also run the risk of having the car impounded at the roadside, a possibility if Mr Blue Uniform is feeling a bit grumpy...

Which would be more inconvenient to you?

A potentially long walk home, or carrying a kit of spare bulbs to show your willingness to deal with a faulty light?

[/quote] Does anyone have any actual evidence (as opposed to hearsay) of  a car being impounded just for having one non-functional headlamp?
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[quote user="Rabbie"] Does anyone have any actual evidence (as opposed to hearsay) of  a car being impounded just for having one non-functional headlamp?[/quote]

Well I don't know personally of any cars being impounded, But my brother in law was made to change a failed bulb by the gendarmes, after he stopped along side them and asked for directions. They were apparently quite brusk, and my BIL who is a French language teacher in the UK was left in no doubt that he was obliged to do as they requested.  [:D]

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[quote user="AnOther"]Probably caught them at knocking off time.

Moral of the story, don't ask the gendarmes for help, it's not their job [:P]
[/quote]

As ordinary folk; we unlike some do not possess infinite knowledge, so we are not too proud to often ask for help without wondering if it's the other person's job or not.

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[quote user="AnOther"][quote user="Frederick"]Failure to adapt your headlamps will render the vehicle UNFIT for the road. invalidating your motor insurance [/quote] Sorry but that is nothing short of scaremongering nonsense ![/quote]

www.octagoninsurance.com › Tips and Advice
You will also need to think carefully about how you drive on the 'wrong' side of ... You will also need to adapt your headlights so that they do not dazzle oncoming vehicles. You can buy kits to do this, or your main dealer may be able to adjust the ... Not only is it dangerous to do so, but it could invalidate your motor insurance.

There are other sites that say the same thing ........I don't think by not using  beam adjusters I would like to find out who is correct here ...you  or the insurance company

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The phrase 'could invalidate your motor insurance' is misleading.

Your insurance company cannot just summarily declare that your cover is invalid simply because you may have failed to comply with some article of driving law
or even following an accident, be that in UK or abroad. Driving in UK without a valid MOT is the commonly quoted instance which allegedly invalidates insurance but of course it does not. If it did then by definition every motorist caught without an MOT would automatically also be guilty of driving while uninsured and suffer the heavy penalty for that, again that is not what happens and the penalty for not having an MOT is a fixed £100 fine and no points.

To cancel your cover your insurer must write to you at the most recent contact address you gave them informing you of their intention and stating the precise date and time when it will come into effect and they must give you at least 7 days notice of that. Most will actually give you more and will often write a second or even 3rd time if they get no response.

What may happen though is if you have had an accident and irregularities are discovered they will, as they are obliged to by law, cover claims from 3rd parties but refuse to cover your own losses. In addition they may subsequently seek to recover their losses paid to 3rd parties from you personally.

If you have not received notice of cancellation, or if you have but it is not yet past the date and time specified, then AT NO TIME will you actually be uninsured for the minimum 3rd party risks the law requires you to be, in other words your insurance is valid.

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