DRIVING IN CENTRAL
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
Wear a wrist band on your right hand or
place a marker on your dash for "this side is the verge"!!!
When at a junction, if in doubt, wait
for another car to come along so you can see which lane to get on.
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.
Never never drink and drive.
Over 0.05 per cent
and you could be looking at anything up to imprisonment.
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.
STOP at a stop sign. Your wheels must
actually stop rolling. You may get fined if you don't!
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.
Make sure you carry with you the
following documents when driving in France... Your driving license,
insurance certificate and vehicle registration document and your
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.
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
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 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
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.
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