Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How Rumours Start.

Today I had an example of how interesting rumours start. While viisiting the east side Long and McQuade I overheard someone telling the staff that a new law would force you to have a breathalyzer and a spare in your car or be fined.  He was outraged about this apparent infringement on his rights, and how much it would probably cost everyone, 30 or 40 bucks each I think he said.

The claim sounded suspicious to me.  So when I arrived home I looked it up, and found it was true.  But there was a missing part of the story.  This new law is coming into effect in France, not Canada.  Under a new French law you will need to have a couple of one use disposable breathalyzer kits in your car, and you can indeed be fined if you don't.  However these kits only cost around 3 bucks, not 30 or 40.  The fine will be 11 euros.  The idea is to have drivers who have been drinking self test themselves, and not drive if they're over the French limit.  France is trying to reduce its road fatalities, of which it had some 4000 last year.  And this requirement will simply add to the safety equipment French law already requires you to carry, such as a warning triangle and a flourescent vest.  You can be fined for not having those already.

Presumably the fellow I heard talking about this missed the locale.  So he and the others he told the story to may spread this mistake, and get more people riled up.  Of course I say "presumably" because I may have misheard what he said, and he did mention this was in France.  Fortunately I took a look before doing my own rumour spreading.

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