The goal of hands-free devices like speakerphones and Bluetooth headsets is that they free up the driver’s hands. This means that they will be able to keep both hands on the wheel while driving which technically should be safer than driving while juggling trying to send a text message with the other hand.
However over in France, it seems that the French government doesn’t believe that these hands-free headsets are much safer, so much so that they have banned them from being used while driving or cycling. This is according to French publication Numerama who reports that the new decree has gone into effect.
What does this mean for drivers and cyclists in France? Well basically you can use such headsets anymore and anyone caught doing so is expected to pay a fine of €135 and will have 3 penalty points going towards their driving license. As expected there are some exceptions to this ruling, such as those who need to wear hearing aids, along with officials like the police, ambulances, fire brigade, and so on.
Interestingly enough there are additional exceptions, like if the headset has been integrated into a motorcycle helmet it seems that would be allowed, and also if the hands-free system is integrated into the car’s dashboard itself as opposed to a headset. We’re not sure why that is but if you’re driving in France, this might be worth paying attention to.
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