France bans earphones for drivers, cyclists

Paris, June 19 (IANS) France has announced a ban from July 1 on wearing earphones while driving a vehicle and riding a cycle.

The ban was announced on Thursday and is aimed at reducing accident deaths, The Local news portal reported.

Authorities said drivers need to improve their attention while on the wheel, and noted that one in 10 deaths was linked to mobile phone use while driving.

Those caught with earphones will be slapped with a fine of 135 pounds ($214).

The ban would mean an end to using hands-free kits and means that the only way to use a phone while driving in France is to have the caller on loud speaker, authorities added.

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