Motorcyclists applaud any move that makes drivers more attentive but now the French are banning earphones for all motorists, including motorcycle and scooter riders.
The ban is intended to also stop drivers from using earphones with a microphone to make and receive phone calls while driving, although they can still use a hands-free Bluetooth set-up.
While there is no ban on motorcycle helmet Bluetooth headsets, riders will also not be able to wear earphones.
They have also banned motorcyclists from jamming their phone between their head and helmet.
Those caught with earphones or a phone in their helmet risk fines of almost $200 and losing three license points which is the same as operating a telephone or not wearing a seat belt.
France has recently also required motorcycle riders to carry a hi-vis vest with them at all times, in case of breakdown.
Pierre Chasseray, who heads the French drivers’ organisation 40 Million d’Automobilistes has blasted France’s culture of resorting to “banning everything” but says the measure itself is actually worthwhile.
“In France we ban everything. Drivers are sick of it. But the culture here is that only strict measures will work to bring down the number of accidents, whereas in the UK they focus on changing the behaviour of the driver.