Télépéage is the generic French term for an automated toll payment system that allows you to use toll roads without having to stop and pay manually at the toll booth. The DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communication) technology behind Télépéage is used extensively on the French autoroute network but is not unique to France. It is used in many countries around the world, including the UK where it is used for the Dartford Crossing, M6 Toll and the Severn Bridge. It can also be known as 'free flow' tolling. In France, there are two national télépéage schemes: Liber-t for light vehicles and TIS-PL for larger vehicles.
The Liber-t transponders (or tags) are small and unobtrusive. They affix to the inside of the vehicle windscreen behind the rear view mirror. They contain a battery that lasts between 5 and 7 years depending on usage.
The lanes at the toll plazas on the French motorways (autoroutes) have beacons mounted on gantries above them that detect the transponder travelling underneath and automatically charge the toll to the tag owner’s account. The barrier lifts automatically and you drive straight through without stopping. This can save considerable time, particularly on busy routes in the summer and winter holiday periods where the alternative can be long delays as traffic queues up in the slower manual lanes to pay by cash or credit/debit card.
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From 1st July 2012 it became obligatory for all vehicles (including motorbikes) driving in France to carry a breathalyzer or alcohol-level test. Originally scheduled for 30th March, the law came into force on 1st July as suppliers could not provide enough breathalyzer kits.
From November 2012 there is an 11 € fine for not having one in the car, buy yours here.
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