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The Ups and Downs of Overtaking...

Posted by lespalmiers - Created: 15 years ago
0 0

OK then . . . . .sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin . . . . . . . . .


Can someone please tell the French Roads Authority that we need to overtake vehicles that are slow ( ie nearly grind to a halt) on the steep up bits and not on the steep down bits.

I remember that in the UK the overtaking bits were often marked on the roads on the ups- stopping well short of the crest- ideal for any slow vehicle to be overtaken by a faster car.

Here I am often stuck behind two or three grindingly slow wagons, on an overtake coming down the other way stripe, who crest the hill then accelerate like hell so i cant overtake before the line once again switches sides at the bottom of the dip.

Ok, folks - moan over - should we start a petition ?


Regards, Les

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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 13 years ago

Totally agree about the abuse the police, UK and elsewhere have to tolerate. 

A few months ago I was driving into Walton on Thames at about 2am.  I was stopped by a routine police check, waved over, and the officer very pleasantly and politely assured me I'd done nothing wrong (despite the fact that I'd almost certainly been doing a bit over the speed limit a few miles before!). He then asked me for the car's documents, which I didn't have, where I was going, and was obviously satisfied that I was neither drunk nor committing any offence.

As he thanked me for my cooperation his colleague waved over another car and repeated the : "Just routine Sir, nothing wrong" spiel to the driver.  At this the driver immediately leapt out of the car, pointing his finger and took an aggressive and threatening stance, shouting : "If I ain't done nuffink wrong, this is ****ing police 'arrassment ...... "  The officer who'd been talking to me said : "Even if the car is out of the box, we'll find something to nail him for ....!"

You reap what you sow!  Always good to remember in dealings with the law!


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Posted by davidl-181802 - 13 years ago

Gotta agree about speed cameras - I don't think they help that much. I suppose now the precedence is set in France, they will grow in number rapidly as they did in the UK.


Glad you didn't think the Police were harrassing you :) I have always found them to be efficient and fair (and thats from an ex long haired biker - ex long haired but still have a bike...)

Anyway, have just loaded the removals truck and am on my way back to Blighty so there goes my licence - too many bad habits down  here...

***Google is our friend. ***

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Posted by Mike-06000 - 13 years ago

Yes, I didn't mean to label the UK police as being particularly unpleasant, in fact I think they do remarkably well to keep their calm given the level of verbal abuse that they habitually receive from a gutter-press-influenced public that think it's okay to personally attack anyone in authority. I was more referring to the systemised harrassment that results from a state attempting to control everything by adding more rules.Take for example speed cameras. Shortly before leaving the UK I was 'caught' by a speed camera. I was doing 41 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. The road was 60 MPH for a number of miles and I was happily trudling along when I saw the 30 sign. It was daylight, there was nobody around and the road was completely clear in front of me. I started to slow down but a few metres after the sign there was a fairly steep hill, so not wanting to break suddenly (after all, there was absolutely no reason to do so) my speed was not falling as fast as it would have done normally. What I didn't realise was that the police had hidden a speed camera behind a tree at the bottom of the hill and before I knew it my identify was captured by a computer, and a week later I received a letter from another computer demanding money under threat of legal action and I had to return my driving licence so my 'offence' could be noted on there.I am not exagerating when I say that I genuinely felt harrassed by this. I really felt that my individual rights had been violated - by computers! I didn't care in the least bit about the money, it was the fundamental unfairness of it all - and you can't even appeal. What was I meant to do - go and talk to the camera? There was no point in talking to the local council either, as this particular camera is apparently a major source of income for them! To ram the point home that you have no say in the matter, the computer includes this statement in bold on the fine: "MITIGATION WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED BY THE ISSUING AUTHORITY AND CORRESPONDENCE WILL NOT BE ENTERED INTO".Everybody gets ripped off from time to time, it's a normal part of life. But you don't expect the government to join in. And don't get me started again on the commission-based traffic wardens...Official figures estimate that the number of speed cameras in the UK will rise to 6,500 in 2005. According to http://www.radarsfixes.com there are around 250 in France at the moment. Vive la France.:-)

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Posted by davidl-181802 - 13 years ago

Dublinmike - comparing that to George Bushs infamous line is a bit rubbish really. Sorry if I offended you but you seem to be now making the point I was making - dangerous driving, not speed kills. Well done. Ta

quote: I take issue that UK roads are better.........any trip through the UK from Ireland (several recently) DEMANDS doing the run at night. A five hour trip takes 11 hours through M56, M6, M1, M25 and M20. That is the normal time without being a particularly busy timeThere are currently 56 miles of road works on the M6 alone, and remember it's caravan season!!quote:(not the UK where driving is fairly excellent and relatively fast moving) quote:The issue is not the speed but the inappropriate use of it.

Pretty much the argument I (hopefully) was trying to make. I'm not against speeding, I am against dangerous driving.

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Posted by ifs-194624 - 13 years ago


"Consequently, in the UK we have harrassment by police who frequently stop people going about their law-abiding business..."

I have only ever been stopped by police when infringing the regulations.  And then never harrassed.  Without fail they have been polite and fair.  Which may be in response to the fact that this is (I like to think :-)) my approach to life.

Even though I've been known to speed (on motorways) and take orange traffic lights...

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Posted by Φ - 13 years ago

There are not many countries that light the motorway system at night.

Belgium does, but the country is densely populated and the motorway exits are close together.

The Belgian government gets a lot of criticism about the lighting from ecologists, so much that they turn the lighting off in the small hours, and for rural areas they only turn it on near exits.


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Posted by peter57-190654 - 13 years ago

AND!!! on the Auto routes that costs 70 euro for a return  trip (£40) to Lyon,  doesn't have cats eyes or lighting, and when driving at night is a nightmare, and if it rains, then forget it, or just drive like everyone else and hope for the best....so to the French authorities, MORE LIGHTS, BETTER ROAD MARKINGS, AND CATS EYES.....PLEASE...............

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Posted by dublinmike-182617 - 13 years ago

DavidL: "Oh well Dublinmike - you obviously don't care about all the people who die on the French roads due to poor, careless and uncontrolled driving."

David with respect, that's the sort of comment I dislike. It's akin to the President Bush line; 'You're either with us or against us", whereby any sensible complaint about sensible freedoms can get assaulted through oversimplification of a complex subject and a moral majority backlash.

For example in Ireland (not the UK where driving is fairly excellent and relatively fast moving) the continuous slowing down of traffic with penalty points, radar traps, reductions in limits, bumps, zones, et al, has led to an increase in road deaths.

The issue is not the speed but the inappropriate use of it. How many times have you been stuck behind a car doing 50 on a road that's safe for much more, and then seeing that car continue through a village, pulling away from you, still at 50! Past the shops, past the school, past the bus unloading it's passengers, and through the just changed red light.

Speed kills in the middle of the night, cars full of stupid young men, and it kills in the middle of the day in the hands of otherwise nice sensible slow driving people not paying attention with a modest driving skills set. The remaining high speed autoroute/Route nationale accidents are few and far between and the lowest in the cars/distance/accidents ratio.

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Posted by Mike-06000 - 13 years ago

I must say that DublinMike's summary of the benefits of the rules of the road here (or rather the lack of rules) really hits the nail on the head for me:quote:The systems here may not be perfect, but they allow you to actually have a life!! You CAN stop outside the shop, you CAN change your mind, and most important there is none of the beep-beep reprimanding that is liberally dished out by drivers in Ireland and UK whose abilities are to say the least...suspectid=quote>Somebody once told me that there is no real difference between the respect for individual rights between France and England (or between Southern and Northern Europe, whatever). The difference is simply the way in which society tries to protect those rights. Consequently, in the UK we have harrassment by police who frequently stop people going about their law-abiding business for no reason other than they have to breathalise X people per week to reach their predetermined quota, and we have commission-based parking wardens who drive around London on scooters at 3am giving tickets to cars in quiet backsteets doing no harm to anyone - all in the name of protecting the rights of others. In France, your individual rights are protected by letting you live your life more freely without harrassment by the state. In the end for me it was a simple choice - I was so upset with the harrassment in the UK that I moved to France and I don't regret it for a minute, even if they are deplorable drivers and sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to get from one end of my street to the other due to the double-parking. If you follow MikeP's suggestion (excellent article, by the way) and combine that with a little patience around town, you'll have a relatively okay driving time and reap the benefits from a less opressive system:quote:A simple rule of survival : think of the stupidest thing you might expect someone to do and you will be wrong - he'll manage something so unbelievably stupid that nobody could have thought of it.id=quote>

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Posted by Φ - 13 years ago

It seems to me that over the past year the French have made a serious effort to curb dangerous driving.

Speed cameras and mobile radars are so common that it has become socially acceptable to respect the speed limit.

Alcohol tests also seems to be more common.  The mobile radar groups usually breathalyse anyone they stop, and there are units breathalysing anyone who passes.  I was stopped by such a group on a remote mountain road last year.  The officer said that they often find traces of alcohol, but very few people over the limit.

This seems to be confirmed by the accident statistics which show that the number of fatalities has dropped by about 50% over the last 3 years,and is still falling.