CENTRAL FRANCE: Information on the Indre, Creuse, Allier and Cher.

DRIVING IN FRANCE: Some useful tips and Road Sign Meanings

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DRIVING IN CENTRAL FRANCE

Driving in France is a great experience, wonderful roads, not too much traffic and amazing countryside. But, to make the experience that bit more enjoyable and even more stress-free, here are a few tips you may find useful.

 

VISITOR DRIVING IN FRANCE WITH A RHD CAR

 

Top Ten Tips:  Click here for Road Signs and what they mean

  1. Wear a wrist band on your right hand or place a marker on your dash for "this side is the verge"!!!

  2. When at a junction, if in doubt, wait for another car to come along so you can see which lane to get on.

  3. Never never go above the speed limit - they are strict in France. On the spot fines are in force. 25km/h over the limit and you risk losing your license. Speed camera fines vary from 45 euros upwards. Speed cameras have very large and prominent signs 500 metres or so before you get to them. The camera itself may be discretely placed. Watch out - you have been warned. Unlike UK with lots of signs and no cameras - there will be a camera if you see a sign.

  4. Never never drink and drive. Over 0.05 per cent and you could be looking at anything up to imprisonment.

  5. On dual carriage ways / auto routes - never get flustered by the French drivers that are attempting to get in your boot, or ones that are flashing their lights (unless they are the Gendarmes!) - keep your head, drive carefully.

  6. STOP at a stop sign. Your wheels must actually stop rolling. You may get fined if you don't!

  7. Watch out for the old rule giving priority to traffic coming from the right (Priorité à droite) - in towns it is still relevant on side roads that are not marked with Giveway or Stop. Many country roads now have side roads marked as such, but not all - for more info see the signs section below.

  8. Make sure you carry with you the following documents when driving in France... Your driving license, insurance certificate and vehicle registration document and your passport.

  9. Carry a warning triangle (In case hazard lights are inoperable). Which in the case of an accident or breakdown should be placed on the road thirty metres behind the vehicle and clearly visible from One hundred metres. Also a set of spare bulbs is also compulsory.

  10. You're in France, slow down a bit, take a few side roads, enjoy the scenery (well passengers anyway) and enjoy stress-free driving.
     

Signs and their meanings:

Some road signs are very similar to those found in the UK - but some may mean nothing to you - and that can be dangerous - so before driving in France, make sure you familiarise yourself with these signs.

STOP sign in France - Stop MEANS Stop. On the spot fines inforce.

 

STOP MEANS STOP!

Make sure your wheels come to a full stop before proceeding. You could get an on the spot fine from a gendarme if you don't stop properly.

 

 

This is the warning you get 150m before a junction. In this case it is telling you you are approaching a STOP sign - it will look like this for approaching a GIVE WAY sign, just with different words underneath

 

 

 

 

This means you are on the road with priority and you will be passing a junction

 

 

 

 

Much more importantly - this sign indicates you are approaching a side road or crossroad and there is NO PRIORITY. In other words you must give way to any traffic approaching from your right. Sometimes you may not be able to see approaching traffic - so SLOW right down and approach with caution. There will be no road markings.

This sign indicates you are entering a zone of absolute priority (found on main roads). Anyone approaching from junctions on left or right will have to stop. The sign below ends that zone.

On entering a town, you may not see speed signs - but once you pass a town sihn (or village sign) that looks like this - you are in a 50km per hour zone.

The Road number is indicated at the top of this particular sign.

When you leave the town or village there is a red line through the sign.

SPEED CAMERA sign - where you see one of these there WILL BE a speed camera (unlike UK where there are loads of signs but no cameras). The camera will be approx 500m from where you see this sign.

It looks like this.....

More signs coming soon.

Happy driving.

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