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Author Topic: Driving in France  (Read 958 times)

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Offline bob lawrence

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Driving in France
« on: June 12, 2018, 11:44:34 PM »
Will be setting off on Friday for 2 weeks driving in France. Getting the ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg on Saturday, staying in a hotel in Portsmouth Friday night as ferry at 9 am Saturday, staying in 2 cottages, first week at Louargat then down to Concarneau. Been before 3 times with the caravan but the last one was 4 years ago. Been reminding myself of what I need to take, speed limits and so on but wondered if anyone had any tips or experiences they would care to share.

Online njee20

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 06:03:04 AM »
High visibility jackets for everyone in the car itself (not the boot). Warning triangle, spare bulbs. No breathalyser needed as they realised they couldn’t enforce it.

Online Zwilnik

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 07:28:36 AM »
Also if you wear glasses for driving you need to have a spare pair.

Offline weave

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 08:19:56 AM »
Hi Bob,

You've prob seen this but if not....

https://www.drive-france.com/checklist/

I'm meeting up with a English mate who lives in France for a drink later before he goes back tomorrow so will ask if there are any top tips rather than 'the law'.

I seem to remember than you can turn right on a red light if there's no one coming from the left but better confirm that. Also I think that they very nicely have to have a road sign telling you that there is a speed camera 100m or so further along the road.

Hopefully some more but have a great trip, give my love to Brittany and have a boule de cidre for me.

Santé weave



« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 08:23:37 AM by weave »

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 09:36:40 AM »
Been a long time since I've driven in France but when I did your headlights had to be painted yellow as well as having converters fitted to them so the beam fell to the correct side of the road.
I was also shocked to find out traffic coming onto roundabouts had the right of way.
I don't know if any of the above applies these days.

Online njee20

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 09:41:32 AM »
Folks, let me gently remind you that we have a number of French members  :beers:

Has anyone said anything unpleasant or otherwise which might offend them? :confused2:

Still need beam converters on your headlights unless yours can be adjusted, most HID/Xenon and LED lights should be adjustable. Stickers do the job otherwise.

GB sticker if you've not got the European style numberplates with an integrated GB moniker too.

Basically what it says in Weave's link! Didn't know about the right turn on red thing (and I've not seen it), that's interesting.

Offline Nick

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 09:50:16 AM »
I seem to remember than you can turn right on a red light if there's no one coming from the left but better confirm that.

AFAIK, you can only turn right on red if there's a flashing amber "filter" arrow on the lights giving you permission. Note that it's flashing amber, not green. That means you don't have priority.

The other big one to remember is that traffic joining from the right has priority (e.g. on roundabouts or from side roads), unless indicated otherwise by road markings or a yellow diamond road sign by the side of the main road. This isn't anything like as common as it was years ago but it does still exist, especially in rural areas. As @Newportnobby says, that is a shock on roundabouts particularly.

I haven't seen yellow headlamps there for years and years except on the occasional old banger... Beam converters are still required, but lots of Brits don't bother. Probably get you into trouble if you're stopped for something else.

Safety (speed) cameras are grey, not yellow, so watch out. Also, I'm pretty sure it's illegal to use a satnav that warns you of approaching cameras, so that function needs to be disabled if you have it. I think most manufacturers do that by default now in the relevant countries. Satnavs that tell you speed limits are Ok, I think.


Nick

The perfect is the enemy of the good - Voltaire

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 09:56:50 AM »

The other big one to remember is that traffic joining from the right has priority (e.g. on roundabouts or from side roads), unless indicated otherwise by road markings or a yellow diamond road sign by the side of the main road. This isn't anything like as common as it was years ago but it does still exist, especially in rural areas. As Newportnobby says, that is a shock on roundabouts particularly.


It certainly was, especially as I was on my Triumph Tiger 750 at the time! :o
Being on a motorbike made things easier, of course, as even on rural roads I didn't need to put the other half in danger when I wanted to overtake anything.

Online njee20

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 10:04:11 AM »
Good shout by Nick on the satnav with warning of speed cameras, IIRC disabling the functionality technically isn't enough either, you're just not allowed to use them. I suspect that's very hard to enforce though.

Offline Nick

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 10:09:53 AM »
Being on a motorbike made things easier, of course, as even on rural roads I didn't need to put the other half in danger when I wanted to overtake anything.
I only overtake on single carriageway roads if my wife's given me the OK... Our lives are in her hands. I'm driving to Brussels for a business meeting in ten days, and I think it's the first time I'll have driven sur Le Continent in a right-hand drive car without a front seat passenger. No overtaking for me.  :no:

One thing I think is absolutely great about driving in France is the little repeater traffic lights at driver eye level, so the car at the front of the queue actually knows when the lights have changed! Why we can't have them over here I don't know. Our authorities seem to want us to install a periscope or cut a viewing port in the car roof!


Nick

The perfect is the enemy of the good - Voltaire

Offline Nick

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2018, 10:11:39 AM »
Good shout by Nick on the satnav with warning of speed cameras, IIRC disabling the functionality technically isn't enough either, you're just not allowed to use them. I suspect that's very hard to enforce though.
That may well be true. I'm pretty sure my satnav had a firmware update years ago that removed the functionality altogether when the GPS detects that it's in France. (And other countries).
Nick

The perfect is the enemy of the good - Voltaire

Online njee20

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 10:28:34 AM »
Yes that was the solution, for that reason. Worth checking, if you use one, if it has camera data for France (it shouldn't!).

Online daffy

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 10:32:39 AM »
And remember the penalties in France for using a mobile phone while in the driving seat of a car. This recent article gives plenty of detail:

https://www.thelocal.fr/20180205/french-drivers-banned-from-using-mobile-phones-in-carseven-when-they-arent-moving


My first experience of driving in La Belle France was around the Périphérique in Paris and down to the Ardeche valley back in 1984. One of the best  ;) driving lessons I ever had! :D Not so much a steep learning curve, more a very sudden one! Having been a motorcyclist since I was a teenager helped in the wits and eyes open departments!

Enjoy your trip! :thumbsup:
Mike

Sufferin' succotash!

Offline weave

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 10:47:15 AM »
Hi again,

Remembered another one but please check. On Autoroutes if it's raining the 130 kmph speed limit goes down to 110 kmph, 110 kmph to 90 kmph etc. I think that's only if raining quite hard.

Hope it wont be raining and as you're on holiday you'll probably not be in a rush anyway (unless your trying to get back for the ferry  :doh:). Apparently the gendarmes decide what level of rain determines this law so be careful.

Hope this all isn't worrying you too much but as you've been before, you'll be fine  :).

Cheers weave  :beers:

« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 11:24:11 AM by weave »

Offline Dancess

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Re: Driving in France
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 10:54:06 AM »
Living here all the above can apply to visitors. Regarding the speed cameras on the sat nav my French car has this function, it hasn't been disabled, very handy though once I missed it and got a point took off my licence! Remember also that speed limit drops to 80kmh from 90 on most roads from July 1st but not applicable for this visit.
Before you reach a town there is normally a section of 70kmh but once you pass the sign with the town name the limit is 50kmh though some towns have areas with 30kmh.

If your car has ability to be set up in metric units then somewhere you should see a digital speedo in kmh but for info

30kmh = 22mph
50kmh = 31mph
70kmh = 44mph
80kmh = 50mph
90kmh = 56mph
110kmh = 68mph (on autoroutes)
130kmh = 81mph (on autoroutes)

If stopped by gendarmes then any fine that is applied normally has to be paid on the spot.

Safe driving
Building layout in attic - at last!!

 

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