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Scams, rule-breaks, repairs: 5 practical updates in France

We recap practical articles from last week, including increases to rural policing, increased power for radars, and the new Covid booster drive

This week’s round-up covers useful practical articles from the last seven days Pic: sylv1rob1 / Alberto Giron Photography / Julia Sudnitskaya / winnond / Shutterstock

Radars can now check for more driving offences 

Radar cameras – if powerful enough – can now pass on information regarding a host of driving offences, allowing officials to issue fines. 

There are now 15 infractions which radars are permitted to measure, ranging from driving offences (such as illegally crossing lanes in carriageways, driving through red lights) to motorcyclists not wearing helmets. 

Radar cameras do not currently have the technology to measure whether drivers are breaking all of these rules.

However more powerful radar cameras may soon be implemented after successful trials in the UK have seemingly convinced French officials of their usefulness.

Read more: LIST: Radars in France can now fine drivers for more offences

More vehicle scams of which to be aware 

Drivers have been warned of two new scams increasing seen in recent weeks in France. 

The first is a classic ‘phishing’ scam, with scammers sending fake emails and texts about Crit’Air stickers with links to a fake website asking victims to enter personal information. 

The messages incorrectly report that drivers need to update their Crit’Air sticker using the link.

The second is taking place at petrol stations, where fraudsters are pretending their cars are out of petrol nearby, and asking kind-hearted strangers if they can also fill up a small can with a couple of litres to drive their car to the petrol stations.

They then take control of the pump by force and fill up huge jerrycans, leaving victims out of pocket.

Read more: Crit’Air car sticker scams multiply in France

Read more: Drivers tell how they fell victim to fuel station scammers in France

France’s Covid booster campaign has begun 

Monday October 2 saw the launch of the winter Covid booster campaign.

Those classed as vulnerable are being encouraged to get a booster vaccine against the virus. 

However although vulnerable groups have ‘priority’ in getting appointments, anyone eligible can have the booster. 

It will be free for those who have Social Security coverage (Assurance Maladie). 

Appointments can be made at a number of health centres including doctors’ surgeries and pharmacies.

Our article also reviews the recent Covid trends as the virus looks set to make a partial winter comeback.

Read more: France’s Covid booster campaign begins: What is virus situation now?

Hundreds of new gendarmerie units across France 

President Emmanual Macron announced the creation of over 200 gendarmerie brigades across France. 

It means thousands of new police officers will be deployed in rural areas of France as part of measures to increase security. 

Almost every department (excepting some heavily urbanised departments within the Île-de-France region) will see at least one new unit. 

Many of the units will also be mobile meaning they can cover large areas of a department. 

Read more: MAP: discover where the 238 new gendarme bases will be in rural France

Repair bonus scheme extended to smartphones 

The bonus réparation scheme which offers discounts on repairing electrical items is being expanded to cover smartphones. 

Alongside this, the discount on the current eligible products, for example laptops, is being increased.

Certain participating retailers which have the 'QualiRépar' certificate will automatically apply the government discount to your final bill when you take an eligible item in for repair. 

Smartphones will be eligible for the service from January 2024. 

The scheme has been in place since December 2022, but despite over €60 million being ring-fenced for repairs, only around €500,000 has currently been applied. 

Read more: How to get financial help to repair a smartphone in France

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