Can you lose licence for using phone at wheel in France?

Reader questions are answered in each edition of Connexion. This month: can using a phone at the wheel make you lose your driving license in France?

4 September 2020
Orange mini parked outside the Hotel Belles Rives in Antibes, France.What are the penalties for using your phone at the wheel in France?
By Liv Rowland

Can you lose your licence for using your phone while driving in France? J.D.

No, contrary to rumours, you cannot lose your licence simply for using your phone (manually) while at the wheel. If this is the only motoring offence you commit at the time, you risk a €135 fine and losing three licence points. If you live in France and drive with a foreign licence, you must swap to a French licence to have the points deducted.

However, you may have your licence suspended – not removed permanently – if the situation is aggravated by another road traffic offence at the same time, eg. if you are speeding, you did not give way to a pedestrian or ignored road markings and signs indicating that you should stop or give way, if you went through red lights, or if you crossed a solid white line.

How to spot unmarked speed control cars on French roads

It is worth noting, on pedestrians, that the Code de la Route says they always have priority, even if they walk out into the street where there is no crossing or they cross when pedestrian lights are red. In the case of a suspension, this may not usually be for more than six months, but can be extended to a year if you were involved in an accident where someone died or received injuries, or if you were under the influence of drink or drugs.

Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now