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French police fine woman for driving while wearing burqa

December 31, 2011 - PARIS

A Muslim woman in France has been fined for driving a car wearing burqa because the full-face covering 'reduced her field of vision'.

Police compared wearing a veil over the face behind the wheel to driving with ice on the windscreen, eating a sandwich or smoking a cigarette.

The woman was fined 28 pounds for violating a law that states 'field of vision must not be restricted by either passengers, objects being transported or by the position of non-transparent objects on the windows,' The Daily Mail reports.

According to the report, the police stopped the woman because she was driving hesitantly and clearly could not see properly.

"Looking out through a narrow slit in the fabric is as dangerous as driving while eating a sandwich, smoking or with an iced-up windscreen," police said.

The woman was told she violated the country's controversial burqa ban imposed last April, which outlawed anyone hiding their face in public, including in streets, shops, restaurants and cars on public roads.

France was the first country in Europe to outlaw Muslim headgear that hides the face. Similar laws have since being passed in Belgium and the Netherlands.


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