Fog lights

hi all, Happy new year..

i was chatting with a friend this morning and she told me she was in town for some shopping and approached a police check point, she says she was ordered to stop via a loud hailer.. "Madam, arret"

it seems the policeman was concerned she didn't have her fog lights on!!.. she did have dipped beam so wasn't "driving blind".. there was a heavy mist, but not a serious fog.. she was told; "you will have a summons in the post".. is this a wind up, or is it required to have fog lights on.. if fitted?. This is front fogs, not rears.. as she was approaching the police.

Does anyone know the law regarding fog lights please.. i thought they were discretionary, not an obligation if they're fitted! Thanks..

A friend of mine was stopped a few days ago and has been fined for not having her lights on. Do you have any other info re cars that don't have fog lights fitted as standard as I have a classic car, I know for example seat belts are not required to be retro fitted if this is the case how do they get away with for example not fining me because I am in an old car but fining the next person coming along the road. Personaly I am in favour of using fog lights and have used them to try to get tail gaters off my arse something I detest, having been shunted, leaving me with arthritus in my neck 20 years on. A rule of thumb is if it''s raining or wet headlights on 110 kmph becomes 100kmph and 90kmph becomes 80kmph, just in case anyone wanted to know..


thanks Ben,

a very useful piece of info.. i have passed it to my friend and hope it will be of use to contest any summons she receives..

thank you all for your contributions, hope 2013 is going to be good for all of us..

Bonne Année

The whole issue is covered b Art. R416-7 of the French "Code de la Route"

Feux de brouillard.

I. - En cas de brouillard, de chute de neige ou de forte pluie, les feux avant de brouillard peuvent remplacer ou compléter les feux de croisement. Ils peuvent compléter les feux de route en dehors des agglomérations, sur les routes étroites et sinueuses, hormis les cas où, pour ne pas éblouir les autres usagers, les feux de croisement doivent remplacer les feux de route.

II. - Le ou les feux arrière de brouillard ne peuvent être utilisés qu'en cas de brouillard ou de chute de neige.

III. - Le fait, pour tout conducteur, de contrevenir aux dispositions du présent article est puni de l'amende prévue pour les contraventions de la quatrième classe.

There's no fixed indication of visibility. But in any case if she was driving inside the town limits then the dipped beam would have been enough since the forward fog lights are an option ("peuvent")

Guess I'll have to go out and read the owners handbook. Haven't a clue how to turn them on. Got a pull a couple of years back when ex partner was driving the car. El Couchon said to turn off the fog lights. It was mid day in summer with perfect vis. She must have switched them on accidentally when she hung her handbag on the stalk.

Unfortunately, due to these lovely drivers and a prevoius rather vocal contribution from me, young Twerp now sits in the back seat and warns when he sees someone coming towards us on full beam "Watch out, mum, there's a d*ckhead coming". Oops, wonder where he picked that up...

The back bumper specialists are great fun, especially when they then pull out to go round a blind corner when you can already see headlights coming toward you and know that if they crash then you get some too. I am actually quite pleased they are putting radar traps all over the place here. Get some of these total plonkers off the road.

As it would work out far cheaper simply to switch them on then instead of pay a fine, I'll go out and experiment with the 'new' car (okay, I've had it nearly a year but it's been sunny). Tactic: position one Twerp front then rear, play with the switches and work out which one does what. Could also be useful as a deterrent if I whack the rear ones on at any plonker sitting on my back bumper who's on full beam.

Val, my fog lights are less blinding than even dipped headlights. Before I ever used them, I put them on and walked down our road to see. I see your point though. But then, we are so used to people who drive full beam with no dipping in foul weather here and presumably elsewhere, so ahem... In both Switzerland and Italy sidelights are required to be left on all day (what is the point on a bright summer's day I wonder) and fog lights after sun down as a matter of principle rather than according to weather. It is not local habit but law! My OH takes it for granted and wonders why it is not that way here. Probably the answer here is, when in doubt put them on.

There is probably an obvious answer to do with mist density and visibility but when does 'mist' become 'fog' and require use of fog lights which, if the mist is relatively light or in patches, could be blinding to other drivers, as opposed to headlights?

Yes, if you have them, they must be on. Rear as well it seems. I have to drive along the edge of the Dordogne on school run which is frequently foggy for two-thirds of the year and the gendarmes strictly police that. Several people we know have been done this year. I do anyway, I lived in East Anglia for far too long not to!