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Old May 31st, 2012, 08:25 PM   #1801
Penn's Woods
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The guys on Top Gear would have us believe they're particularly draconian. Particularly with Brits trying to get to Calais.

I'd take that, like everything on Top Gear, with a grain of salt, though.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 08:38 PM   #1802
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Vinci also runs many underground car parks in France.
Vinci is also the largest construction company in the world !





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Old May 31st, 2012, 09:07 PM   #1803
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The guys on Top Gear would have us believe they're particularly draconian. Particularly with Brits trying to get to Calais.
Not really, Clarkson was going rather fast the time he got pulled over by the French police and he thought it was a fair cop.

The stories about picking on British plates and letting French speeders on the A26 more leeway come from all sorts of (normally unreliable) sources, though the A26 does seem to get more police attention than other autoroutes.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 09:29 PM   #1804
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In one of the current season's episodes (well, the season currently airing on BBCAmerica, which I think is a few months behind), one of them joked that "everyone who's ever been stopped for speeding in France" is synonymous with "everyone who's ever been in France."
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Old May 31st, 2012, 10:13 PM   #1805
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Brits just arriving in Calais from the ferry usually drive really badly, slowly and not sure where they're going. On the industrial estates, where all the booze warehouses are, they often drive on the wrong side of the road, in particular the daytrippers.

Brits coming back from various locations around France, usually drive way too fast, together with the Belgians. Especially on the A16 and A26.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 04:55 PM   #1806
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normally, as in most eu countries.
I'd say more than most EU countries.

Having driven in Spain, France, the UK, Germany, Italy and Sweden, France is where I saw most police on the roads, and by far where I encountered most speed traps. In 2 different days, in 200 kilometers of A10 I saw six speed traps in six different locations. And the setup had always something different, be it the car or the speed measuring device.

Spain or Germany are far more lenient when compared to France.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 05:02 PM   #1807
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On the other hand, French speed limits are mostly reasonable, though there are always exceptions like A31 Nancy - Luxembourg.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 05:12 PM   #1808
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You can get away with 140 on most autoroutes in France. I always have anyway. Sure, there are a few speed traps, but if you do get pulled, and you haven't exaggerated your speed, they often let you off with a warning.

Austria and Holland, that is where the real nazi's are, when it comes to speed traps. And in Holland, speeding fines are astronomical.

Police presence are mostly in Austria and Germany, while in the UK, they like to work with CCTV camera's instead.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 05:19 PM   #1809
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Quote:
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In one of the current season's episodes (well, the season currently airing on BBCAmerica, which I think is a few months behind), one of them joked that "everyone who's ever been stopped for speeding in France" is synonymous with "everyone who's ever been in France."
Never been stopped in France... but I drove only 1500 km there...
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Old June 1st, 2012, 07:16 PM   #1810
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On the other hand, French speed limits are mostly reasonable, though there are always exceptions like A31 Nancy - Luxembourg.
Yes, they are not too low. But cops apply no tolerance (5% for >100 km/h). If the limit is 130 km/h, you will be ticketed from 138 km/h onwards. That's why you see almost no speeding in French motorways, whilst you will see much of it in, for example, Germany or the UK.

Plus, French speed traps (normally a cop looking at traffic with laser jumelles -binoculars-that will catch you from 1 km) are barely visible. And they are everywhere.

As for being pulled over in France, I know quite a few cases. My dad himself was ticketed back in 2000, when the French drove like there were no speed limits, for driving 157 km/h in A62 west of Toulouse. As for me, I've been very lucky for now.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 09:45 PM   #1811
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that's why I always drive 137 km/h in France. only one pull over for me, when I was driving 30 km/h in a town in Pays de la Loire, might be because of the strange licence plate. and they even drink-tested me, for the first time in my life.
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Old June 1st, 2012, 11:50 PM   #1812
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I don't usually push tolerances that much. You know, speed cameras are very precise, but a 0,5% error and they get you. That's why tolerances exist indeed.
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Old June 4th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #1813
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What exactly is the rule on using direction indicators on French motorways? When I drove in southern France 2 weeks ago, it seemed like nobody really knew what the correct rule was as I saw:
  • Using signal only when changing lane, so 2 separate times to overtake someone on the right or middle lane: seen a few cars do that
  • Using left indicator all along while overtaking a car, even though there are 3 lanes and there is still a lane on the left free: seen very often, seemed confusing for people in the left lane to me
  • Using left indicator when moving a lane to the left, but no indicator when "going back" to the original lane: seen very often. Changing a lane without indicator? No thank you. And certainly not when the French very often (at least 8 times in 100km) leave little more than a meter between cars when they move into the previous lane again.

This became more apparent to me than usual since we were driving about 10kph less than allowed as we still had a lot of time left and wanted to save some fuel. Normally, we would have been a better part of the traffic flow and this wouldn't have caught my eye.

I've read several french forums dating from 2005 up to a month ago, and it seems to me that nobody really knows what the official rule is... The law requires the use of the direction indicator when changing lane, but it doesn't mention for how long, in which direction, etc. apparently (note: I only read this in a forum post, I didn't actually look it up). One person also said he was fined for not using his right indicator when "going back" to his previous lane after an overtake.
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Old June 4th, 2012, 03:05 PM   #1814
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I once read they taught (or are still teaching) in driving schools that "the indicator should be used for the duration of the overtaking". In most European countries, indicators are only used when changing lanes. Another issue is: what is the definition of overtaking (passing)? Staying in the middle lane and go with the flow could be explained as overtaking the right lane, thus the indicator should be on as long as you are not in the right lane, which makes very little sense. Imagine a 4-lane motorway with all vehicles on the left 3 lanes having their indicator on the entire time. It would be a mess.
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Old June 5th, 2012, 01:31 AM   #1815
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I experienced another rule today: if you see a police control on the other side of the motorway, start flashing lights as a maniac.

I was driving on A4, and all the sudden everybody on the other side of the motorway starts flashing lights at me. this went on for like 5 min, so I started to worry if there's something wrong with my car. I ended stopping my car on the shoulder and checking if everything is ok, 500m before the police control, apparently.

they were really flashing like crazy
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Old June 5th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #1816
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they were really flashing like crazy
They do this in Egypt too.
And I think they tend to leave the indicator on for 'the duration of overtaking' too.
I expect that these are probably unwritten rules.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #1817
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I once read they taught (or are still teaching) in driving schools that "the indicator should be used for the duration of the overtaking". In most European countries, indicators are only used when changing lanes. Another issue is: what is the definition of overtaking (passing)? Staying in the middle lane and go with the flow could be explained as overtaking the right lane, thus the indicator should be on as long as you are not in the right lane, which makes very little sense. Imagine a 4-lane motorway with all vehicles on the left 3 lanes having their indicator on the entire time. It would be a mess.
I'm not sure about it, but think that people were taught to use indicators for the duration of the overtaking before, but not anymore. I had my driver's license three years ago and the rule was only to use them when changing lines. Then my mother lets on them all through the overtaking process, even on three-lane motorways, which I find very confusing and a bit dangerous. Not to mention that she overtakes rather slowly. We had a discussion about this and I therefore asked my parents. They said that they were taught to overtake this way.
I've noticed that most "old" people let the indicators on whereas most young drivers use them only when changing line (when they use them at all ). Maybe it's just me?
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Old June 10th, 2012, 08:57 PM   #1818
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I experienced another rule today: if you see a police control on the other side of the motorway, start flashing lights as a maniac.
They do that in Italy too, but that pisses me off. If you want no tickets, just stay within the limits. I for sure don't warn others. If they go too fast they deserve a ticket and warning them is none of my business.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 09:04 PM   #1819
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I am grateful that people flash to warn me, and return the favour as well. In some areas, law enforcement really don't have anything better to do, and it saves people a lot of money. It certainly saved me a lot of money...
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Old June 10th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #1820
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Yes, I warn people too. I mean, sure breaking the law is wrong, but I do break it and thus feel some sympathy for others who act like me.
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