New speed limit on French roads.

Any non accordion related chat & banter in here, but try and avoid religion and politics!
Post Reply
Geoff de Limousin
Star
Star
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:28 pm
Location: Centre of France

New speed limit on French roads.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:58 pm

Just a quick note of warning to anyone driving to France this summer:

The open speed limit on non dual carriageway roads has been reduced from 90 to 80 kph. This reduction started at the beginning of July BUT..... it does not look as if all the new speed signs are in place as yet. As far as I can gather the new limit will apply even if the old signs are still up.... well, that may be incorrect but I'd not rely on assumptions , better to be on the safe side.

Happy holidays.

Geoff.

User avatar
jozz
Superstar
Superstar
Posts: 737
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:03 am
Location: Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by jozz » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:38 pm

thanks for mentioning :!:

maugein96
Should get out more!
Should get out more!
Posts: 1854
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:56 pm
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by maugein96 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:06 pm

In Denmark they've actually increased the speed limit on some roads by 10km/h in the name of reducing the number of accidents. After trials on the sections of road concerned they have finally realised that the nominated speed limit has little effect on drivers, most of whom tend to drive at a speed which they feel comfortable with according to the configuration of the road system.

They are of the opinion that lowering the speed limit below what is practical for the sections involved is actually more dangerous, as impatient drivers often overtake traffic which they consider to be driving too slow.

I know things are different in France, Geoff. I was once ambushed by three Gendarmes who literally jumped out of a hedge in the Bocage district of Normandie. They thought I was just about to fail to come to a complete halt at a "Stop" sign, but were disappointed as I stood on the brakes when I caught sight of them, and one of them stumbled into the front of my car, which was fortunately then stationary. When they realised I was an "etranger" all they were interested in was if I had those deflectors on my headlamps to dip them to the right. Fortunately I had them fitted, and I got off with a small dent in the front offside of my car caused by a Gendarmes's boot.

Thanks for the warning. I was driving in mainland Greece earlier this year where it's just a case of survival of the fittest. You never stop until you've made absolutely sure that the driver of the vehicle behind you is not on their phone, and you just blast your horn at everything and everybody until they get out of your way. Speed limits are for learners and old people, and most of the drivers in Halkidiki are Macedonians, Serbians, Romanians, and Bulgarians, who couldn't care less what the Greek traffic laws are. You get fined 750 Euros if you ride a moped or motorcycle without a crash helmet, but you win 1500 Euros if you see anybody actually wearing a crash helmet. Most older Greeks have never passed a driving test, but just bribed the local licensing officials to obtain a licence. That practice has now been outlawed, same as riding a motorcycle without a helmet!

Geoff de Limousin
Star
Star
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:28 pm
Location: Centre of France

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:22 am

Hi John,

currently les gendarmes appear to have other fish to fry, with the continuing State of Emergency, thus 'speed traps' , license checks and 'failure to have all four wheels come to a halt at stop sign' checks are at a low ebb. There are however plenty of kamikazi 'give way to your right' drivers and posh 4x4 owners who would never consider putting one of their fancy tires onto the grass verge as they plough a straight furrow down the middle of narrow roads, especially dangerous during the school run , but perhaps that is the same in many countries.

The lack of driving tests and lessons was something of a problem during the years I lived in the west of Ireland. There had been a huge delay in the licencing system at some point, to combat this driving licenses were given out to anyone who applied 'in person'. One of my neigbours went to the office to get a licence for her son, who was busy driving the tractor at the time, only to be told that she could have a licence but the son would have to come in and ask for one himself... the lady was about 80 and had never driven anything more than a few cows in for milking. Or another neighbour who got his driving lesson by taking the wheel of his friend's car on the way back from the pub because the friend was too drunk to drive.

I passed my motorcycle license test in County Clare by making three left hand and two right hand turns around a quiet housing estate whilst the examiner watched from a safe distance and gave me the all important advice to "take it easy on that thing".

My opinion : there are not enough ( advisory) speed limit signs in France and the ( blanket) open limit of 90 or 80 has to cover too much road variety. Yes, I can see 80kph is going to frustrate many drivers on those lovely straight sections but it also suggests one is safe to do that speed through villages like the one I live in which is too small to come to the notice of the road authorities... of which there are several and various ' Responsables'.

Geoff de Limousin
Star
Star
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:28 pm
Location: Centre of France

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:34 pm

Further to this:

We made a taste test of the road signs ( as one always does ?) this morning and realised there are no 90 or 80 signs ( around our rural location), just cancelation signs of the restricted speeds in towns and villages , as in a 50 or 70 with a diagonal line through. The driver is supposed to KNOW what the open limit is.

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by Corsaire » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:15 pm

Geoff - I don't know which department you live in, but I understand the Creuse has refused to put up any new signs. It may be that other departments have also refused to make changes.

Geoff de Limousin
Star
Star
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:28 pm
Location: Centre of France

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:33 am

Corsaire, I have been sticking close to home of late so I've no idea what is happening in other departments, and yes I do live in la Creuse, where a distinct lack of 90 signs would suggest 'they' have nothing to change and do not wish to add new signs.
The only places I can think of where 90 signs occur are when a dual carriageway section ends.

What is the situation in Brittany ?

maugein96
Should get out more!
Should get out more!
Posts: 1854
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:56 pm
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by maugein96 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:11 am

Hi Geoff,

In Greece on roundabouts you give way to traffic joining the roundabout from your right, which I believe was also the case in France for a while. Therefore if you are on a roundabout you stop to let traffic on in front of you. The odd bang in the rear is to be expected at roundabouts, as people cannot be expected to use the phone, drink a beer, eat a pastry, brake, and steer at the same time.

However, when you are approaching a roundabout at a major road junction you give way to traffic that is already on the roundabout coming from your left! They put "Give Way" signs up to tell you that, but the oldies (and drivers of "fast cars") just plough straight on regardless.

The Greeks have their own version of prioritie a droite. It involves accelerating and steering towards anybody due to pull out from your right in an effort to prevent them from doing so. It doesn't work if the other driver accelerates and steers towards you to enforce their right of way, but it's a lot more fun than the French version.

Even if you take out full CDW insurance on mainland Greece, you still usually have to enter a separate "damage contract" with the hire company (usually around 400 Euros) in case somebody "dings" your car with a shopping trolley or a lorry takes your mirror off while your car is parked. You can wipe out a whole street of parked cars and the CDW covers you, but drop a bottle from your shopping bag onto the bonnet and dent it and it costs you 400 Euros. I've always maintained that if I ever damage the front of a Greek hire car I'll just crash it into the back of a lorry so that I keep my 400 Euros. You can't crash it into a fence as that's not covered by CDW.

Apparently the "damage contract" was created as a result of people hiring cars to carry out various crimes whereby the car sustained damage, and the hire company was out of pocket, as the damage wasn't covered by the CDW company due to a "crime exclusion" clause. The damage contract doesn't seem to apply to car hire on the islands.

I'm sure after a few decades people will get used to the new French speed limits.

Corsaire
Star
Star
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:41 pm
Location: Brittany (35) France

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by Corsaire » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:43 pm

Geoff de Limousin wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:33 am
Corsaire, I have been sticking close to home of late so I've no idea what is happening in other departments, and yes I do live in la Creuse, where a distinct lack of 90 signs would suggest 'they' have nothing to change and do not wish to add new signs.
The only places I can think of where 90 signs occur are when a dual carriageway section ends.

What is the situation in Brittany ?
Similar ! In fact, you rarely see 90 signs on ordinary roads anywhere if you think about it ! Dual carriageways at 110 can go down to 90, such as on a rocade, but that won't change.
So in fact, I doubt we'll actually see any new 80 signs anywhere !

Geoff de Limousin
Star
Star
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:28 pm
Location: Centre of France

Re: New speed limit on French roads.

Post by Geoff de Limousin » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:53 am

Thanks Corsaire, that is the way I see it too.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest