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French driver fined €135 as hearing aid mistaken for hands-free gadget

The man is contesting the fine saying he has been a victim of police misunderstanding and assumptions

 A close-up of a man wearing a hearing aid device

The driver’s hearing aid device appears to have been mistaken for an illegal hands-free phone gadget Pic: andras_csontos / Shutterstock

A driver in northeast France was shocked to receive a fine of €135 for wearing an audio device while driving, despite the device actually being a medical hearing aid.

Dominique Moret, 53, from Saint-Quentin (Aisne), received the fine from a centre in Rennes, and was docked three points from his licence for the alleged offence of “driving a vehicle while wearing a sound-emitting device in the ear".

But Mr Moret has hearing difficulties and wears hearing aid devices in both ears. The device allegedly seen by police was this, and not a banned sound-emitting gadget.

The national police said that they recorded the supposed infraction on April 7, in rue du Jeu-de-Paume in Saint-Quentin, at 12:17. 

But Mr Moret said that he was never “stopped by the police” and never even saw a police officer that day.

He says he will contest the fine and claims he has been a victim of police misunderstanding. 

At the start of May, he wrote to the public prosecutor to challenge the fine. He also included evidence of his hearing problems and hearing aid use, including a bill for his hearing aids and a photograph of them to show how they could have been confused for a “sound-emitting device”’.

It is illegal to use hands-free headsets, earpieces or earbuds for the purposes of using a mobile phone while driving in France, including in a car or van, motorbike, or when riding a bicycle.

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