A Driving School in France Hits a Wall of Regulations

Suzanne Daley:

Alexandre Chartier and Benjamin Gaignault work off Apple computers and have no intention of ever using the DVD player tucked in the corner of their airy office. But French regulations demand that all driving schools have one, so they got one.

Mr. Chartier, 28, and his partner, Mr. Gaignault, 25, are trying to break into the driving school business here, using computer technology to match teachers and students across France and to offer cut rates.

But they are not having an easy time. The other driving schools have sued them, saying their innovations break the rules. Their application for an operator’s license for their school, Ornikar, has been met with total silence at the prefecture.

“It seems like the idea is to wait us out until we run out of money,” Mr. Gaignault said recently. “There is an effort to just destroy us.”