Is it allowed to use your phone in a stationary car?

Many motorists believe that it is permissible to use your phone while keeping quiet. However, there are circumstances where this is prohibited. Argus returns to risky situations with regard to Highway Code.

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Even when stationary, it is possible to speak for “phone while driving”.

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Article R.412-6-1 of the Highway Code punishes the use of a telephone held in the hand of the driver of a vehicle in circulation with a fine of 4th class (fixed fine of € 135) and a disqualification of 3 points from the driving license. A great punishment for a misdemeanor that can be detected even when the vehicle is stopped. In which cases is it verbalizable? What are the conditions to be able to use your phone when it is stationary while complying with the law?

Not to be in a traffic situation

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In a queue or at a red light, you are considered “in traffic”.

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According to Article R.412-6 of the Highway Code, all drivers must be constantly able to perform all necessary maneuvers comfortably and without delay. This general text only applies to the driver in traffic. Therefore, in order to be able to use his smartphone, whether he needs to make a call, send a message, an e-mail or even use an application, the driver must not be in a traffic situation. However, the cases of circulation are numerous, even vehicles keep quiet. A vehicle that is stopped in traffic jams, at a red light or even on the side of a road is considered to be in circulation. Use of the phone in the hands under these conditions is therefore prohibited. To avoid suppression, the vehicle must be stopped, the engine switched off and parked in a place where parking is permitted. This is the case for a public or private car park, a garage or even a car park on a public road.

Cases of force majeure and payment by “drive”

Apart from these cases, the use of the telephone by the driver of a vehicle is not lawful except in cases of force majeure. Force majeure is defined as an irresistible, unpredictable and external event for the driver. It is therefore still possible to use your mobile phone while driving, with the vehicle stationary, outside ordinary parking, if this immobilization is due to an unmanageable, such as. an accidental collapse.

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Telephone in the hand of the car

Contactless payment at the “drive” or at tolls can tickets.

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The Roads Act applies to public roads, but also to private roads and parking lots that are open to public traffic. Result : The increasingly widespread practice of paying for meals or groceries by drive-thru with your cell phone is likely to pose a problem. In fact, the parking lots for supermarkets and fast food companies are accessible to the public and are therefore subject to the motorway law. Stopping and using your smartphone to pay through the car window is in principle no exception to the rule. The car is then not parked, and it is obviously not an emergency that can characterize force majeure.

However, if it is difficult to see a gendarme or a police officer raise the offense for this type of behavior, the strict application of the traffic law would allow it. In the case of a fine, the police court, which is called upon to rule on the motorist’s dispute, may assess the matter strictly or, on the contrary, show a certain kind of tolerance in view of the special circumstances of the offense.


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