How many yellow vests must you have in a car?

A friend broke down and police officers checked the car and said she should have had a yellow vest for every seat in the car. Is this true?

27 May 2020
By Liv Rowland

This is incorrect. The law (article R416-19 of the Code de la Route) only refers to the obligation for the driver to have a yellow vest to hand in the car.

The vest should therefore be, for example, in the glove compartment and not the boot.

This is so it can be put on if the car breaks down and the driver needs to get out, leaving the car in the road or at the side of the road, in an emergency.

This would include getting out to place the red triangle behind the car if the car is positioned in a way likely to pose a danger to others, especially if it is near junctions, bends, or after the brow of a hill. Carrying a red triangle is also a legal requirement for every vehicle.

An internet search shows that unofficial driving websites “recommend” carrying more than one gilet if you often have passengers, as it is likely to be safer if you are all visible to other traffic if you all have to get out of the car after a breakdown.

However, there is no legal obligation to do this.

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