French Police Are Chasing Thousands Of British Drivers

Tue 13th Aug 2019

A quarter of a million UK drivers are being chased for traffic offences committed in France this year according to a new report.

The figures, which have been published by AlcoSense, following a Freedom of Information request reveal that there were 325,000 requests for driver details made to the DVLA this year between February and June - 76 per cent of those applications came from the French authorities.

UK drivers can now longer avoid punishment for driving offences abroad, the British government signed the Mutual Legal Assistant agreement two years ago, which allows European police forces to pursue any British driver deemed to have broken a law within the EU.

Offences such as drunk-driving, speeding, jumping red lights, mobile phone use and even land contraventions can all be chased for. But of the 250,000 applications from France, it is thought that many of those come due to the country’s stricter speeding laws, where drivers are only allowed to exceed by five per cent, compared to the 10 per cent plus 2mph many are used to in the UK.

AlcoSense has published the report to bring to the attention some of the laws which many British drivers may not be aware of on the continent, including the requirement to carry a single-use breathalyser.

Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense Laboratories, said: "British drivers clearly need to be extra vigilant when driving in France.

"They must take care not to exceed the speed limit – and carry a high viz jacket for every passenger, a warning triangle, spare bulbs, headlamp beam deflectors, a GB sticker and a single-use ‘NF approved’ breathalyser.

"Although taking an NF approved breathalyser with you is a legal requirement in France, it’s a good idea when driving in any country.

"It removes the guesswork about whether you’re clear of alcohol the morning after, with Europe having much stricter limits than the UK."