CoinAppleyeard.com survey reveals UK ignorance of continental road laws
Driving across Europe requires drivers to conform to a number of different local laws and regulations – the legal requirement to fit winter tyres in northern European countries including Germany in cold season conditions will be a familiar one to readers of Tyrepress.com. However a new survey by the ColinAppleyard.com car dealership chain suggests that nearly every British driver would break at least one national motoring regulation. The chain said that many British drivers are not only unaware of speed limits on foreign roads, but also of other vital regulations such as mandatory safety equipment.
Figures obtained by the ColinAppleyard.com survey include the following:
• 98 per cent didn’t know that the law in France and Spain demands you carry a spare bulb kit
• 95 per cent of drivers didn’t know it is illegal to drive in France with a satnav that shows the location of speed cameras
• 94 per cent of drivers didn’t know that you have to carry a breathalyser kit whilst driving in France
• 82 per cent of drivers did not know local speed limits, or were unable to convert them into miles per hour
• 35 per cent unaware that headlight converters are required by law across the continent
• 18 per cent didn’t know that hi-viz jackets are required in some European countries in case of roadside breakdowns
• 6 per cent were unaware that a GB sticker or a “Europlate” number plate with the UK flag is compulsory
• 1 per cent of those surveyed didn’t know to drive on the right on the continent, and 20 per cent had accidentally driven on the wrong side whilst abroad
At a time of year when many families are taking their cars onto the continent for holidays, the likelihood an on-the-spot fine has increased as new powers mean police in France can ask for the money immediately instead of transferring the offence to the UK.
“Everybody knows that ignorance of the law is no excuse,” said ColinAppleyard.com Robin Appleyard, “And it only takes a few minutes’ research to find out what steps you need to take before setting out on a foreign driving trip.
“Unfortunately, we found out that many people are leaving these shores quite unaware of the risks they’re taking.”
ColinAppleyard.com blamed mixed messages and inconsistent information about that lack of knowledge about foreign driving rules.
“Unfortunately, people seem to think the headlight converters requirement was phased out years ago,” said Robin, “but it’s very much in force to this day.”
Ignorance about driving conditions in France is especially worrying, especially as looming on-the-spot fines could put a dent in any family’s holiday budget.
“As most drivers heading for the continent make landfall in France, it’s a shame that there’s so much confusion over the local driving laws there,” said Robin Appleyard. “While you probably won’t be fined for not having a breathalyser, the fine for having a speed camera-enabled satnav can be up to an eye-watering 1,500 euros.
“Drive safely, and study local driving laws before you go.”