Driving in France -Simple - Drive on the Right!
Driving in France isn't so different to driving in the UK. The obvious difference being that you drive on the right-hand side of the road rather than left. Every day remind yourself of this when starting out. You need not worry too much, as the roads leading up to most roundabouts, traffic islands, dual carriageways and motorways take you in to the right-hand lane automatically. So you would have to turn against the traffic and signs to make the mistake of driving on the 'wrong' side of the road. Be careful is when turning out from a T junction or a restaurant etc, onto a quiet road. This is where you are most likely to forget the correct lane to move into. Take care when overtaking - allow more space between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.
France has strict drink driving laws, blood alcohol content - BAC- being stricter than in the UK (0.5 mg/ml rather than 0.8). In very broad terms, one standard drink of wine, beer, or mixed spirits raises BAC to approximately 0.2 mg/ml.The general rule of thumb is that an average person can process about one beer or one standard glass of wine each hour. Any more than that and alcohol collects in the bloodstream and intoxication ensues. Two standard glasses of wine will be put you right on the .5,g/ml limit. Whatevery you do - do not drive if you have had more than 3 glasses of wine. It takes 30 minutes for alcohol to enter the blood stream on empty stomach - about 120 minutes after light meal, 180 minutes after heavy meal. It takes 1 hour to burn off alcohol of one glass of wine, excercise helps about 20%. Never, ever drive if you know you are significantly over limit as France has very tough fines.Also Marijuana is considered an illegal drug so don't drive if you have used it.
Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere. Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously.
Radar traps are frequent. In France, anyone caught travelling at more than 25km/h above the speed limit can have their licence confiscated on the spot. Radar speed camera detectors are illegal.
Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines. City speed limits begin at the town or city When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on roundabout, on your left, unless signed otherwise.
A full UK driving licence is required.
Required Equipment –available from Halfords as kit.
Below are motoring regulations relating to France.Take care in built-up areas where the old rule giving priority to traffic coming from the right (Priorité a droite) still applies unless a yellow diamond indicates you have priority. On roundabouts you generally give priority to traffic already on the roundabout, in other words, coming from your left as you enter the roundabout but take care.
Speed Limits - Motorway – 130km/h – Open Road – 90km/h Town – 50 km/h
Children in cars: children under 10 are only allowed in the front seats if there are no rear seats or the rear seats are already fully occupied with children under 10, or there are no seat belts
Documentation: always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.
Fines: On the spot fines are issued. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.
First-aid kit is advised, but not compulsory.
GB sticker: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national dentifier on blue background) no longer need a GB
If you are involved in an accident, you must stay at the scene of the accident until the Police have been. Call 18 for the equivalent of the emergency services in the UK. 15 is the number to call for emergency medical aid, 17 for breakdowns- motorways be sure to make note of your location to get help as quickly as possible.
in France Roads can be poorly marked. Know the name of destination of your drive and village names on the way. This is best way to navigate if you don’t have Sat Nav and in this case buy a really good French Road map. Also if you make a mistake – don’t panic – be patient, take your time to find a safe place turn around. .