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Indicating when overtaking on motorway.

Posted by andylekker - Created: 4 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by yorkie2-406437 - 4 years ago

Over the years I have found that if I am approaching a vehicle in the centre lane which is passing another vehicle in the nearside lane ,if the centre and outside lanes are empty ahead it's a reasonable assumption that the vehicle ahead is just overtaking,and I also have many years of motorcycling,so I do drive defensively.

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Posted by bandy - 4 years ago

Perhaps people should read other posts more carefully.

I stated what was taught to me and others as to how to pass the French driving tests.

How many of you arguing the point have done this yourself ?

I also pointed out quite clearly that the only time you should not to leave the indicator on was when driving on a 3 lane (each side) dual carriageway/motorway for obvious reasons - so that point has already been covered.

Having been a motorcyclist for over 30 years I'm well aware of the need to be visible.

Obviously, if folks decide to 'do their own thing' then that's their problem. The answer was for the OP.

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Posted by Joe-Huelgoat-383105 - 4 years ago

Just been thinking about the couple of posts that advocate keeping the indicator on when overtaking.

So on a 3 lane motorway (or many 3 lane dual carriageways in France) you would advocate indicating to overtake from lane 1 to lane 2. Then keep indicator on the whole time overtaking?

What if someone want's to use lane 3 do they second guess if you are going to change lane yet again and pull out on front of them whilst they overtake you?

Suely logic prevails you only keep indicator on when overtaking on a normal road. An indicator is to indicate either a change of direction or a change of lane.  As for making sure a truck see's you then if they are looking they will see you if they are not they will not see your indicator!

How confusing for other motorists to advocate keeping left hand indicator on even if you are overtaking in the middle lane just incase a truck might see you if the driver is not looking ?????

As for an indicator catching the eye IT DOES NOT ! As any seasoned biker will tell you Indicator on twin powerfull headlights and still they don't see you because they are not looking!

I will stick by what I was taught to past my test and what the French driving instructor told me as BOTH have more logic than trying to confuse other road users. Having said that I really do not find the French habit of keeping the indicators on any problem at all. I just don't overtake them in the 3rd lane I wait for them to make up their mind on what they are trying to indicate.



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Posted by noblesse-404553 - 4 years ago


'à l'avance' in this instance means 'going forward'.

These instructions are just the French version of the 'mirror, signal, manouvre' technique they teach you in the UK.

So, you're checking the lane is free, turning on your indicators, moving into the lane, then indicating pulling in when you've passed the last vehicle in the queue. Nothing is said about turning off your indicators when you're in the other lane.

Leaving the indicators on is one of the few techniques British drivers might usefully adopt when driving in France. Unfortunately, judging by my experience on the RN12 in Brittany, most British drivers have adopted the 'passing at speed just before leaving at the next exit'  technique instead:-((


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Posted by Fashion1 - 4 years ago

Logic would seem to put it on when you change lanes, turn it off when going in a straight line(ie. passing) then turn it back on to enter in front of the car/truck you justed passed.

If you are passing a car/truck. You put it on the left to pull out, then put it on the right to pull in front of the car/truck you are passing. If there are 2-3 more cars/trucks in a row and you are going to pass them, you put it on(right) at the last one.

Avant de changer de file :
- vérifiez dans les rétroviseurs que la voie est libre
- signalez votre manœuvre en utilisant les feux clignotants
- déboîtez sur la file de gauche à l'avance
- rabattez-vous après le véhicule doublé en indiquant votre nouveau changement de file à l'aide du clignotant.

" à l'avance" means NO signal on. You are going in a straight line.

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Posted by janes-394036 - 4 years ago

Yes but it is confusing on a normal motorway if you are overtaking in the middle lane because traffic coming from behind you does not know whether you are indicating to pull out yet again. There are not many (any?) three lane dual carriageways in Brittany, so this is perhaps where the confusion lies with youngsters who have learnt to drive here. 

My son was very clear that he was taught to indicate on a motorway when changing lane only. In other circumstances, it was acceptable to leave the indicator on.

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Posted by bandy - 4 years ago

The above two posters comments concur exactly with why I was taught to do this. Any flashing light is an extra aid to being visible and it's something I've done for years especially when on a motorcycle. Every little helps.

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Posted by yorkie2-406437 - 4 years ago

I keep my indicators on all the time I am overtaking,especially heavy goods vehicles to make sure that the driver knows I am there,in the more than 60years I have been driving I have seen many near misses with lorries pulling out when being overtaken by cars .

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Posted by Jivedance-411773 - 4 years ago

Regardless of what is correct or incorrect, I always leave my indicator going when I am overtaking artics. This is because in my mind there is something extra to catch the lorry driver's eye when he/she looks in his/her mirror. I know how easy it is for the driver to miss a car when they are so high up.

This may or not be correct but it makes me feel a little easier and that I will be seen.

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Posted by bandy - 4 years ago

Live and love's daughter was taught the same as myself and all that I've known and as stated in the Code Theory handbook, one should leave the LH indicator on until the vehicle in front has been passed, then put on RH indicator for a second or so, before moving back to the right.

The only time one should not leave the indicator on is when overtaking on a road wider than a two-lane dual carriageway.

I always advise anyone moving here to get hold of a copy of the French highway-code to learn how to drive correctly when in France.