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It's Now Illegal to Use Your Phone inside a Car in France, Even If Pulled Over

Having the smartphone next to you, particularly on a busy evening commute after a long day at work, is like sitting next to a bottle of water after running a marathon. Is anyone actually expecting you to refrain from grabbing it?
Smartphone browsing in the car 5 photos
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Apparently, yes. It takes a lot of self-restraint to keep yourself from firing up your favorite app and delving into its universe, leaving just a tiny fraction of the brain to deal with the bore that is driving through congested traffic. And, for the most part, that piece of your cerebral cortex is up for the job.

The thing is this habit creates a dangerous precedent, one that could see you grab the phone for just a little while under greatly different circumstances. For example, when you're driving on a narrow street doing 25 miles per hour passing a school. But, hey, it's not like that text is going to read itself.

Even though there isn't a clear study linking phone usage to the overall increase in the number of road accidents, the French authorities appear to be convinced there is a connection. Which is why they've just decreed that using the phone inside the car is illegal, even if the car is stopped on the side of the road.

Previously, the law banned the usage of a mobile phone while "circulating in traffic." Rather than change the rule, the men in power simply adjusted the definition of what "circulating in traffic" means. To circulate implies the presence of motion, which is why texting or talking on the phone was allowed when pulled over.

Now, though, stopping on the side of the road and switching off the engine is not enough anymore. To be able to use your phone inside the car without risking a fine of 135 euros you now have to be parked in a designated spot. The only exception to the rule is after you've had an accident or a breakdown, engadget says, quoting French publication Le Figaro.

The authorities hope this measure will curb the rise in road deaths that France has to deal with over the past few years after a long period of decline. However, it's not the only recent decision that has infuriated drivers across the country after the speed limit on two-lane roads was dropped from 90 to 80 km/h (55 to 50 mph). Well, at least they're neighboring Germany to the north-east: they can always take a vacation on the Autobahn, just to vent their frustration.


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