"Keep the eyes on the road"

1. What is prohibited while driving?

It is forbidden to hold a mobile phone in your hand while driving,

  • to look at the screen,
  • to touch the screen.

·he applications of a smartwatch may also not be used (however, a single touch to read the time is permitted).

2. Which devices are affected by the regulation?

The devices affected are primarily mobile phones, but also all other mobile electronic devices with a screen, such as a tablet or a smartwatch.

3. Are there any exceptions where drivers are allowed to hold a mobile phone in their hand behind the wheel?

Yes, if the vehicle is parked in a parking space and the engine is switched off.

4. What about in a traffic jam or at a red light?

Even here, it is not permitted to hold the mobile phone in the hand without using the hands-free device.

5. Are the drivers not allowed to use the mobile phone at all?

Yes, the mobile phone can be used as a navigation system (sat nav / GPS). Drivers are allowed to look at the screen, however it must be fixed in a holder. The address must be entered before starting the journey.

Furthermore, the drivers may also use all the functions of the mobile phone that can be used via the car's onboard multimedia system for all the applications permitted by the car manufacturer (calling, navigation, music, etc.). The mobile phone must be connected to the system via cable or Bluetooth. It does not necessarily have to be in a special holder; however, you should not look at the screen.

6. Does the mobile phone have to be in a special place in the car?

If the mobile phone is used as a navigation device, it must be fixed in a suitable and stable holder. In all other situations, it is important that the mobile phone is not placed in an insecure spot and risks to fall.

7. What if the driver uses the mobile phone without holding it, such as placing it on the lap?

This is still prohibited because the driver is using the mobile phone without hands-free equipment. 

8. What if the driver only holds the mobile phone in his hand, for example to turn it off?

This is not allowed either, as it counts as "manipulation". Holding the mobile phone in the hand, including turning it off or answering a call, is prohibited.

9. Is it permitted to place a mobile phone on the passenger seat?

Yes, it is allowed as long as it is not being "used"  for navigation or "manipulated” such as texting or calling.

However, controlling and using these functions through the car's onboard system is permitted if the mobile phone is connected to the vehicle via cable or Bluetooth.

10. What about a mobile phone that is attached to a "mobile phone holder"?

If the holder is appropriately labeled as a mobile phone holder and is properly installed, the mobile phone may be used through the car's onboard multimedia system.

11. What penalties are imposed for violating these rules?

Violating these rules results in a deduction of 4 points and a fine of €250.

12. To whom do these rules apply?

All drivers of a vehicle must comply with the rules, regardless of whether it is a motorised vehicle (car, lorry, bus, motorbike, e-scooter) or a non-motorised vehicle (bicycle, pedelec).

13. Does a cyclist also lose points?

No, a cyclist does not lose any points since the law stipulates that points cannot be lost when operating a vehicle that does not require a driving license. However, the €250 fine still applies to cyclists.

14. When did the new regulations come into force?

These amendments to the “Code de la Route” were made in 2023. On 24 October 2023, the regulation came into force that you no longer lose 2 but 4 points if you are caught driving with a mobile phone. Since 10 February 2024, this is also no longer punished with €145, but with €250.

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