Travelling to France? Order your vehicle emissions sticker

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Drivers travelling to Paris, Lyon and Grenoble this Easter and in the coming months are being urged to order recently introduced vehicle emissions stickers as soon as possible after it took six weeks for one to reach the UK, according to RAC.
 
The Crit’Air scheme, which was brought into force in January by the French authorities to tackle pollution, requires all vehicles - cars, commercial vehicles, motorbikes and buses - to display a windscreen sticker, or vignette, according to how much they pollute. 
 
Stickers, which cost £3.60 (€4.18) each including postage, come in six categories and cover the very cleanest electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles (Crit’Air green sticker) to the dirtiest (Crit’Air 5 grey sticker). They relate to the six European Union emission standards for cars - dating back to 1992 when Euro1 was introduced. The penalty for failure to display a sticker is an on-the-spot fine of between €68-135 (£58 to £117). 
 
RAC European breakdown spokesman Simon Williams said: “We are concerned that anyone who orders one now for a trip that will take them into the centre of Paris, Lyon or Grenoble this Easter will not receive it in time and may be at risk of an unwanted encounter with the French authorities. We strongly urge people planning to drive to these cities to order their stickers now to avoid any issues.
 
“Motorists who don’t order stickers are in danger of being fined up to £117, although we understand the police will be lenient in the early days.”
 
The new Crit’Air system is used on high pollution days to prevent the worst polluting vehicles from driving in the affected cities. The RAC says that a further 22 other French towns and cities may decide to introduce the Crit’Air system by 2020.
 

Make drivers aware of new mobile phone penalities

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Fleet managers have been urged to make employees that drive on business aware of the doubling of penalties for being caught using a hand-held phone while on the road.
 
The call came from the AA following this month’s increase in the fixed penalty for a hand-held mobile phone offence from £100 and three points to £200 and six points.
 
The doubling of penalties came into effect as new research for the AA showed that drivers considered texting while driving (71%) to be more than twice as risky as drink-driving (29%). 
 
And with the majority of fleet and SME motorists not driving as their primary job, it was vital that fleet managers made their staff aware of the changes to legislation immediately, said the motoring organisation. 
 
Stuart Thomas, head of fleet and SME services at the AA, said: “With motoring legislation changing regularly, it can be difficult for motorists to keep up to date with changes. Because of this, confusion can arise, which is why fleet managers must alert their team to the updates without delay.” 
 
Mr Thomas continued: “Penalties incurred by drivers will not just impact them personally, but can have huge ramifications for businesses. This can include issues such as lack of availability of insurance providers and increasing premiums, through to downtime from staff attending compulsory training, possible court attendance and even loss of revenue.” 
 
The most effective way of reducing the risk to businesses was through educating staff, said the AA. 
 

Driver-less cars 'could lead to complacency'

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Certain types of driverless vehicles may not be safe, peers have warned.  Over-reliance on technology could mean drivers react slowly to taking back control of a semi-autonomous vehicle in an emergency, they said.  However, the Lords Science and Technology Committee noted that some technology could reduce accidents caused by human error.
 
The Department for Transport said driverless cars "have the potential to transform the way we travel."  Read More...