France outlaws texting while driving, even when you’re at a red light

france texting while driving man sitting in car with mobile phone hand
sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo
We know you’re not so reckless as to still be texting while you’re driving, but now, the French government is looking to be even more sure that this dangerous habit is eliminated for good. A court in the European nation has ruled that it is illegal for drivers not only to text while driving but basically to text while they’re in the car at all. Even if you’ve pulled over, stopped at a red light, or have your hazard lights turned on, you better not have your smartphone in hand. If you want to run the risk, you could be looking at a fine of up to 135 euros, or about $167.

Anytime you aren’t parked in a designated parking lot (or your own driveway), your phone now has to be put away in France. In addition to the fine, French drivers will also face three points on their driving license for three years (think of it as a demerit), which is the same punishment doled out to folks who are caught actually texting while driving.

But before you cry foul and say that the laws have gone too far, you might consider the challenges France has faced in attempting to make their roads safer. Road mortality in the nation has been on the rise for the last three years in a row, which marks the longest period of continued increase since 1972. In 2016, the death toll resulting from motorist accidents reached 3,469. We should point out, however, that this is still markedly lower than numbers in the U.S. — in 2016, the number of reported casualties at home as a result of car accidents was 40,000.

As such, it comes as little surprise that governments are doing everything they can to reduce injuries and fatalities in whatever ways they can.

Of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule. If you’re driving in a car with Bluetooth audio (or any other hands-free method), you’re welcome to make calls or otherwise operate your smartphone, as long as you can do it with only your voice. And naturally, if your car breaks down on the side of the road, you’re not forbidden from taking out your phone to call for help.

Mobile

Master your Sony Xperia XZ2 with these handy tips and tricks

While new Samsung and Apple phones get the lion's share of attention, Sony released three new flagships, the Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Premium, and the XZ2 Compact. Here are some of our favorite Sony Xperia XZ2 tips and tricks.
Social Media

How to use Adobe Spark Post to spice up your social media images

Images are proven to get more likes than plain text -- but only if those images are good. Adobe Spark post is an AI-powered design program for non-designers. Here's how to use it to take your social media feeds to the next level.
Home Theater

HDMI 2.0b is a whole lot more than just a connection to your TV

HDMI 2.0b is the backbone for many of the latest updates in 4K UHD technology. And while a new cable standard can often involve a bunch of changes for consumers, that is not the case this time around.
Cars

These are the best 2019 wagons on sale today in the U.S.

While minivans seemed to have fallen out of favor for the SUV and the crossover SUV with just a few available today, wagons remain relatively popular, particularly with a strong cult following. These are the best wagons on sale today that…
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Deals

The Beats Solo3 wireless headphones are on sale from Walmart for $150 off

If you've been eyeballing a pair of Beats headphones and trying to sniff out a deal, then you're in luck. Walmart just slashed the price of the Beats Solo3 wireless headphones to just $150, bringing it down to about half of its retail cost.
Mobile

What do golden retrievers and Samsung Note 9 owners have in common? Loyalty

Samsung has introduced the Galaxy Note 9, but rumors have spread it may be the last of its kind due to its similarity with the Galaxy S9 Plus. We spoke to Samsung about the productivity device's future.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Mobile

Lifeguards in Germany link child drownings to smartphone-distracted parents

Too many parents are fixated on their smartphones instead of monitoring their children in the water when visiting the beach or lake, putting their safety at risk. At least, that's the claim of lifeguard organizations in Germany.
Mobile

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from X on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.
Mobile

Here's how to use iTunes to make a customized ringtone for any iPhone

No one likes to pay for ringtones -- or anything else, for that matter. So hang on to your precious money and check out our comprehensive guide on how to make ringtones for an iPhone using iTunes.
Mobile

Verizon Unlimited users can now sign up for 6 free months of Apple Music

Verizon's latest offer stands to benefit both Apple Music and its own subscribers, as the one-of-a-kind deal is likely to be compelling to both existing and potential new subscribers. .
Mobile

Apple releases sixth public beta of iOS 12, sans Group FaceTime

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.
Photography

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.