Top 10 Driving Rules In France –

If you are planning on having a vacation in France or you are going for other purposes, you need to know certain driving rules so that you will not have any problems while travelling. This top 10 of driving rules in France will be very helpful once you get into the country.

  1. When overtaking, make sure you be careful and allow more space between your car and the one in front of you so that you will be able to see further down the road ahead.
  2. In France, all of the people inside a car are obligated to wear the seatbelts at all times, anywhere in the country.
  3. The country has very strict drink driving laws; the blood alcohol level is 0.5 mg/ml, in comparison to United Kingdom for example – 0.8 mg/ml. It is highly recommended to avoid drinking when driving a car, as the likelihood of getting into a car accident is very high.
  4. When driving in France you need to know that urban speed limits begins at the town/city sign and not always where the first sign of 50 km/h is located. In most cases, it is denoted by a white name panel with a red border. The limit ends where the name panel has a diagonal black bar through it.
  5. When you are approaching a roundabout, you must give way to traffic that is already on the roundabout, on your left side, unless a sign tells you to do different.
  6. Never forget while driving in France that speeding as well as other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines.
  7. For people living in the United Kingdom or in any other country where the driving is done on the left side, be very attentive when setting off from restaurants or service stations on the left side of the road.
  8. The speed limits applicable in France are: 130 km/h motorway, 90 km/h (80 km/h when wet) open road, 110 km/h (100 km/h when wet) dual carriageway and 50 km/h town. For vehicles that are towing trailers with a combination gross weight of over 3.5t: 90 km/h motorway, 80 km/h open road, 90 km/h dual carriageway and 50 km/h town. For visiting motorists holding a license for less than 2 years: 110 km/h motorway, 80 km/h open road, 100 km/h dual carriageway and 50 km/h in town.
  9. Children under the age of 10 are permitted to sit on the front seats only in the situation in which the car has no rear seats or the rear seats are already occupied by children under the age of 10, or there are no seat belts. If a child must travel on the front seat, he cannot be placed in it with his back to the direction of travel if the car is equipped with a passenger airbag, unless it is deactivated. The child must travel in an approved child seat or restraint that is fully adapted to its size. A child seat is obligatory for any child that has a weight between 9 and 15 kg, over this limit the child must use the car’s seat belt with a booster cushion.
  10. While driving in France, always carry the driver’s license, certificate of motor insurance and vehicle registration document. If the license you have does not contain a photograph, make sure that you carry a passport in order to validate the license. If the car you are driving does not belong to you, obtain a letter from the registered owner for giving you the right to use the car.

Other information that you should know about when driving in France is that the fines are issued on the spot. Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine. Although it is not compulsory to carry a first-aid kit, it is highly recommended to purchase one. As far as the fuel is concerned, all grades of diesel and unleaded petrol are available in France. LPG is only available at certain stations. Leaded gas is no longer available in France. You can carry petrol in a can. In most of the situations, you will be able to use your credit or debit card, but keep in mind that they will not work on automatic pumps. These automatic pumps are the only ones opened out-of-hours in rural areas, which also means lunch-time from noon to 3 PM. It is recommended to notify your card issuer that you will be travelling abroad because there are some cases in which the card can be suspended if used in unfamiliar places. This is done for anti-fraud purposes.

Regarding the lights, dipped headlights must be used at all times when the daytime visibility is poor. For motorcycles of over 125cc, dipped headlights must be used at all times during the day. Speaking of motorcycles, drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets at all times.

Make sure that you do not take your radar detector when driving in France as these are illegal, even when not in use. If you are caught driving with a radar detector, there are big chances that you will be fined, have the radar detector confiscated and in some cases, face confiscation of the automobile. This does not mean that you cannot use your GPS or SatNav as these gadgets will not detect radar speed cameras, they will just tell you where they are, a piece of information which is freely available.

During winter, it is recommended to equip the car with snow chains. If you do not carry and fit them when the weather conditions demand, the police can prevent you from going any further. As of July 1st 2008, the warning triangle is compulsory and it can be used in conjunction with hazard flashers. As of January 2008, winter tires are not compulsory but highly recommended. As of July 1st 2008, visibility vests are compulsory in France. In addition, a replacement bulb set is highly recommended when driving in France.

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