Black Saturday – Every summer the major routes into and out of Paris get very congested as many Parisians head to the countyside, mountains or coast AND almost as many head back from their “vacances” into the capital and other major cities.

The 2 worst weekends on 2016 are 30-31 July and 6-7 August 2016 which include a day designated as Black Saturday . These weekends mark the end of the July holiday for many French families and the beginning of the August one for others. is a useful site for French autoroutes, providing links to all the autoroute networks and real-time maps of congestion points, service areas etc

autoroute traffic map fior Black Saturday
… or the Bison Futé (wise Bison) website which suggests alternative routesBison Fute kigi

From the AA:

The drink drive limit for novice drivers (less than three years driving experience) has been reduced to 0.02%, the same level as that applied to bus/coach drivers.

Drivers are prohibited from using headphones and headsets (any device attached to the ear) when driving. This regulation applies to all drivers and riders and covers devices used for phone calls as well as for listening to music/radio etc. Bluetooth or integrated systems in a motorcycle helmet are still permitted.

From January 2016 it will be compulsory for all motorcyclists (two or three wheels) to carry reflective jackets and wear them in the event of an emergency/breakdown.

A Low Emission Zone has been introduced in Paris, initially affecting only older (Euro 1) trucks and buses. Restrictions will be extended to all older vehicles from 1 July 2016 and tightened progressively between 2017 and 2020. More information can be found on

Eating at the wheel

There have been reports of a new law specifically prohibiting drivers from eating or applying make-up at the wheel. In fact this is not new, and there is no specific law to this effect. Eating/drinking etc. at the wheel is already covered under the more general French equivalent of our ‘Driving without due care and attention’ (article R.412-6 of the Code de la Route).

[July 2015] The AA