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Driving in France

Posted by Julia-780937 - Created: 15 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Bald Eagle-780964 - 15 years ago

Le Gallois,

Were doomed to disagree on this ;-)). Just taken some friends to Roscoff and been tailgated by an idiot who was determined to pass me even to trying on a blind corner over a continuous line! Passed by numerous cars while I was at the legal limit and then just had the following car run over a dog in the road that I drove around! We'll just have to agree to disagree  :-))

Ray

 

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Posted by Le Gallois-781070 - 15 years ago

Hi Ray,

If you want bad driving, try Belgium! I still say that French driving habits are better than the UK. (School run Mums should be banned from driving, whichever country ;-))

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Posted by Marcel-781135 - 15 years ago

Hi Julia,

Some very good advice given already, can I just add a couple....

Buy a French highway code book, Code de la route, it`s obviously in French but there`s plenty of pictures and diagrams to help you become familiar with the way things are over here.

Please make sure you understand the `give priority to the right` rule, `priorite a droite`. It`s totally ridiculous, but if your unaware of it the resulting accident could be quite serious.

Sorry don`t mean to sound `teacherlike` but I`ve seen many foriegn drivers (and plenty of French) come a cropper because of it, I drive a coach by the way.

When you drive into a town have a look at the sign with the towns name on it. On top of this is normally a yellow diamond shaped sign with a white border. This tells you that on this road you have the priority. If the sign has a black line going through it, beware, you don`t have priority and may have to give way to the right at junctions.

Best of luck, it generally is a lot less stressfull driving in France, honest!

If you really want wacky races try India.

Marcel

 

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Posted by Bald Eagle-780964 - 15 years ago

I stand by what I say. The French only escape horrific accidents because their roads are less congested. French lady does the school run and passes my house on a country lane at 80+ kph having only just left a 40 kph area!

Ray

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Posted by Le Gallois-781070 - 15 years ago

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The standard of French driving is way below England. Tailgating, excessive speed and poor awareness of what is happening is rife.

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Blimey when was the last time you drove in England (Or Scotland or Wales for that matter) !!

They don't have to walk in front with a red flag any more you know :)

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Posted by Bald Eagle-780964 - 15 years ago

Town/village limits start as you pass the road sign into them and finish with red bar through the name as you leave.

To stay on correct side of road I advise visitors "Dope to the ditch" or "Driver to the ditch".

The standard of French driving is way below England. Tailgating, excessive speed and poor awareness of what is happening is rife.

Ray

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Posted by Le Gallois-781070 - 15 years ago

Yes, sorry, amd is probably not the word I should have used.

No, it should've been Intel!!

On the subject of flashing headlights, everyone uses them to warn of Gendarmarie up ahead.

Laws in France can seem more of a suggestion than a rule, I got pulled over for running a red light, and when asked for my documents, handed over a two year old reminder letter from my British Insurance Broker. He wished me a good day and waved me on !!!

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Posted by Julia-780937 - 15 years ago

Prefer not to have the moustache, but thanks!!!!

Wish me luck everyone! I'm not a bad driver and also not nervous, but I suppose there's a certain age when you start to doubt your capacities just a touch!! NOT that I am ancient by any stretch!!

Yes, sorry, amd is probably not the word I should have used.

Crazy maybe?!

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Posted by Stargazer-780995 - 15 years ago

These are excellent tips, I only have a little to add, I'm not a driver myself, a top navigator though (when I don't get distracted!).

If you have a passenger with you give them the job I was given, 'Keep Right Adviser', each time you come out of a junction, a car park, or a petrol station (as La Gallois said, it's the familiar things that can lead you astray)I would remind my partner to keep right, not in a naggy way I must add !

For a while we had a post-it on the dash also. Do not use a cell phone. My partner was spot checked the other week, he keeps the phone in his bag, in the back of the van, fortunatly. They checked when his last call was made, even though he couldn't possibly reach it from the drivers seat.

Oh and don't flash, the headlamps, as a kind of nod to others, at crossings or whatever, I think I'm correct in saying it's only used as a warning signal. And you also need to carry a first aid kit, along with the items Priory mentioned.

You'll be fine, keep your wits about you and try not to feel bullied by anyone. I did notice we got more curtesy in a locallly registered car, I think we're a bit more relaxed up here in Normandy.

Before you know it you'll be as confident as a man with a bushy moustache wearing tights on the high wire.

Regards.

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Posted by Priory-780845 - 15 years ago

I would say they weren't mad....

They do drive differently, but in general the standard of driving appears higher than the UK.

You will get tailgated on the Autoroute if you dawdle. They do leave their indicators on when overtaking. They have far better lane discipline. And so on.

I wouldn't say it was a particularly daunting experience though, quite the opposite.