Driver training specialist IAM Drive & Survive is offering weekly motoring tips to drivers from its head of training, Simon Elstow. This week, he is giving some essential advice to those driving in France this summer.

  • From 1 July, all drivers and motorcyclists (excluding mopeds) need to carry a breathalyser kit, with two disposable breathalysers. The breathalyser must meet the NF standards (similar to the BSI here in the UK) and carry an NF certification.
  • Even levels of alcohol within the drink drive limit impair driving, due to increased sleepiness*. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive, and remember the alcohol limit is lower in France – 50mg compared to 80mg per 100ml of blood.
  • You are also required to carry a warning triangle, reflective jacket and spare light bulbs.
  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road. If you have two drivers, agree to remind each other when you swap and when continuing the journey after a break.
  • At complex junctions (especially left turns) look for the international circular sign with a white arrow on a blue background that shows you which way to pass the traffic island.
  • A child sitting in the front passenger seat must be at least 10 years old (or a baby up to 9 months in a rear-facing child seat).

Elstow said: “The school holidays are fast approaching, and many people will be driving on the continent this summer. Driving abroad can be very different to driving at home, but preparation as always is key. Make sure your car is fit for the journey, plan your route in advance including fuel stops, and perhaps most importantly remember your breathalysers.”

We are currently running a poll to find out how you feel about driving abroad, and what you know of the rules and regulations in other countries. In return, you will be entered into a free prize draw to win one of ten NF approved French breathalyser kits from Alcosense, worth £4.99 each.

To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.