Friday, 27 November 2015
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citroenFrance is to introduce “virtual driving licences” for foreign drivers in an effort to cut down on road deaths.

It will also start a register of foreign drivers who have failed to pay traffic fines.


These measures are part of 22 unveiled by the country’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, who said: “The roads of France cannot be a cemetery”.

Accidents rose last year for the first time in 12 years. In July this year the rate was fully 20% higher than July the previous year.

Some 3,384 people died on French roads last year, a 3.5% increase. The government aims to bring down the annual toll to 2,000 by 2020.

Foreigner drivers make up 6.7% of all drivers in France but were involved in 12.5% of traffic offences last year, amounting to 3.13 million cases.

Mr Valls said the “virtual driving licence” for foreigners will function “exactly like a French licence” but did not give more detail.

The licence will hold a list of any driving violations and motorists will run the risk of having the licence and the right to drive in France removed if too many violations are recorded.

Unpaid fines will be recorded. Holders of foreign licences were responsible last year for 4.5 million speeding tickets. The Brits were not alone. Highest offenders were the Belgians, followed by the Spanish, the Germans and the Italians.

Foreign drivers will no longer be able to avoid fines under a new EU directive will takes effect in 2017.

The UK had opted out of the EU’s road safety directive, which helped drivers avoid paying, but Britain will have to enforce the law by May 2017.

France will install 500 new speed traps for a total of nearly 5,000 as well as 10,000 fake speed cameras to get drivers to slow down. It will experiment with drones to spot dangerous driving.