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French Speed Limit Changes

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On 07/03/2018 at 21:37, Jardinier said:

Apparently, the effectiveness of this new measure will be evaluated in 2020.

Yes, I heard this weekend that the Prime Minister (who is personally piloting this scheme) will review the results after two years to see if road deaths (which I think rose again in the first two months of this year) start to decline. If they don't then the government may revert to the original 90kmph limit and try and find another way to tackle the problem. Alcohol and or drugs are still the cause of 30+% of all fatal accidents with speed and tiredness following on. So they have decided to crack down on the second cause as its the only one which brings in money even though adopting a Swedish-style zero tolerance to alcohol would be a more logical first step.

https://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.securite-routiere.gouv.fr/la-securite-routiere/l-observatoire-national-interministeriel-de-la-securite-routiere&ved=2ahUKEwiN-vzlyPjZAhVIVBQKHT5VD7wQFjAMegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw1Wn4F9585IHZjl2ppzy8mk

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy

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Some tips for driving in Finistere. They, the locals, do not know the word "courtesy". They do not accelerate joining dual carriageways or motorways they just push in at the end of the slip road. They do not drop down a gear or anticipate hills. They stick in top gear until they lose all speed then drop down a gear. They do not follow the roads around car parks they go diagonally and are very dangerous. As I understand it they will continue at 90kph whatever the law says!

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13 hours ago, RayWild said:

Some tips for driving in Finistere. They, the locals, do not know the word "courtesy". They do not accelerate joining dual carriageways or motorways they just push in at the end of the slip road. They do not drop down a gear or anticipate hills. They stick in top gear until they lose all speed then drop down a gear. They do not follow the roads around car parks they go diagonally and are very dangerous. As I understand it they will continue at 90kph whatever the law says!

I was following a truck at around 80 here yesterday on a stretch of road I regularly use and noticed the ride was quite bouncy. I suspect the road imperfections that the car normally glides over at 90 are more noticeable at lower speeds which will make journeys not only longer but more tiring too. Has anyone else experienced the same? Ed

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Just a quick reminder to anyone travelling over to France this weekend, or already here, that as of midnight tonight the speed limit on main roads drops from 90 to 80kmph. I don't know if BF have been highlighting the change onboard but the authorities should be replacing all the signage tonight. Interviews on TV with Gendarmes seem to suggest that for the first few weeks they will be relatively tolerant with those who drive too fast, preferring to educate offenders rather than penalise them. Fixed radars will however now flash drivers at 80 and will be recalibrated immediately. If anyone wants further information this is the official site:

https://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.securite-routiere.gouv.fr/connaitre-les-regles/reglementation-et-sanctions/baisse-de-la-vitesse-maximale-autorisee-de-90-a-80-km-h&ved=2ahUKEwi827PmmfvbAhVBEBQKHUe4DBIQFjAAegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw3KdBmZ3hYSwO7ZqOUNT5iX

Ed

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Driven about 100 miles today on a mixture of roads and have been pleasantly surprised by the number of local drivers sticking to the new limit on the first day even though not all the new speed limit signs have been uncovered or old ones replaced. Perhaps it’s because it is Sunday. Of course there are still those locals who think that any speed limit is for everyone but themselves and those who take it as a personal insult to be traveling behind a car with foreign number plates no matter what is coming the other way.

One point I had not appreciated until the overhead gantry signs were explaining last week, the new limit only applies on roads without a central divider/barrier. Dual carriageways with a 90kph limit stay the same.

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13 hours ago, SpecialK said:

One point I had not appreciated until the overhead gantry signs were explaining last week, the new limit only applies on roads without a central divider/barrier. Dual carriageways with a 90kph limit stay the same.

Yes, any road with a physical central divider (metal barrier or raised pavement) which prevents overtaking, such as most ring-roads or dual carriageways, is exempt and will not change. That only represents, I think, around 20% of the total (mostly around the big cities) so the other 80% (in rural areas) will drop to 80kmph.

A lot of people were shown on the TV news last night being pulled over by the police and given printed information rather than fines for not sticking to the new limit. There seemed to be a mix of those who were not aware of the change (did the information campaign fail? or are they just too daft - as this is a family-friendly website - to understand? In which case the police should have confiscated their licence on the spot!) and those who forgot the change was taking place on Sunday 1st July (ditto the last comment, given it was announced at least 6 months ago). And then there were those who, once the police were out of earshot, said that they though it was ridiculous and would continue to ignore it whenever possible (at least their brief interview will help the authorities to identify their remains when they end up on a slab in the morgue with the front end of a Massey Fergusson embedded in their smug faces). 

Ed. 

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I saw someone on Twitter who was going to ignore the change as the new signs were too shinny and you couldn’t see them in sunny weather.

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Again, the new figures are in and there has been another small drop in the number of deaths in the past year. 

https://www.bfmtv.com/politique/en-2019-3239-personnes-sont-mortes-sur-la-route-un-chiffre-historiquement-bas-selon-castaner-1850598.html

The results would have been even better were it not for a significant increase in accidents involving bikes and electric scooters.

https://www.bfmtv.com/societe/securite-routiere-184-personnes-sont-mortes-a-velo-et-11-en-trottinettesen-2019-1850654.html

Ed

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The city of Nantes and the department in which it's located, Loire Atlantique, now holds the record for the greatest number of roundabouts in France. There are three thousand across the department and a thousand in Nantes itself. The city is continuing to build more and more, convinced that they are contributing to a reduced accident rate. The latest is this strange creation:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.20minutes.fr/amp/a/2689487&ved=2ahUKEwjqu-7fgLbnAhWQA2MBHQkBCq0QFjAKegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw2yPJVMHTKWsEnnFtxaG6Tl&ampcf=1

The city was one of the first in France to adopt this type of road layout in the 80s after sending a city planner on a fact-finding trip to the UK. As a result they have become incredibly widespread, so much that France now has half of all the world's roundabouts. 

To give you some idea, in the small town where we live (with around 6,500 inhabitants) there are 11 that I know of. Meanwhile in Petersfield (15,000 inhabitants at the last census), where my family live,there are just 7 including the bypass slipways plus one large one-way-system. 

Ed

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Quote

 

Our City fathers have recently spent millions on removing roundabouts from the outer ring road, replacing with traffic lights using the same arguments - they also declined Highways Agency cash to improve two which regularly congest because they want to encourage public to use public transport.

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8 hours ago, nottingham said:

Our City fathers have recently spent millions on removing roundabouts from the outer ring road, replacing with traffic lights using the same arguments - they also declined Highways Agency cash to improve two which regularly congest because they want to encourage public to use public transport.

In Nantes, and many other cities, the roundabouts are being built specifically due to improvements in public transport. Tramway lines are the new trend and the only way to allow them to cohabit large boulevards is to install regular roundabouts. Three have opened in Angers in the last month, replacing the previous traffic lights, but equipped with special flashing lights to stop cars when a Tram is crossings the junction. Ed. 

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Roundabouts are certainly an improvement on ‘priorité à droite’ junctions, but you need to be aware of the French habit of driving right round the outside of roundabouts, even if going to, say, the third exit, rather than taking a more direct line, as a British driver would. I have often nearly pulled out in front of a vehicle which I thought was turning off into the exit I was waiting to emerge from but which was carrying on round. I’ve often thought they could save on surfacing the middle parts of French roundabouts, since they are never used.

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9 hours ago, nottingham said:

they also declined Highways Agency cash to improve two which regularly congest because they want to encourage public to use public transport.

It's like that in Harrogate where the largest proportion of the inhabitants are all pensioners, they've said no to the bypass again as they want everyone to walk, ride pushbikes or get on a bus.

The problem is that most of the traffic is just passing through so there's no room for pushbikes and the new electrically powered buses take an hour to cover 2 miles. It's worse than the Streatham High Road  on a Friday everyday in Harrogate from 0600-1800.

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17 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

The city of Nantes and the department in which it's located, Loire Atlantique, now holds the record for the greatest number of roundabouts in France. There are three thousand across the department and a thousand in Nantes itself. The city is continuing to build more and more, convinced that they are contributing to a reduced accident rate. The latest is this strange creation:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.20minutes.fr/amp/a/2689487&ved=2ahUKEwjqu-7fgLbnAhWQA2MBHQkBCq0QFjAKegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw2yPJVMHTKWsEnnFtxaG6Tl&ampcf=1

The city was one of the first in France to adopt this type of road layout in the 80s after sending a city planner on a fact-finding trip to the UK. As a result they have become incredibly widespread, so much that France now has half of all the world's roundabouts. 

To give you some idea, in the small town where we live (with around 6,500 inhabitants) there are 11 that I know of. Meanwhile in Petersfield (15,000 inhabitants at the last census), where my family live,there are just 7 including the bypass slipways plus one large one-way-system. 

Ed

Not only learning off the UK, but following the Isle of Wight.  This is ours https://goo.gl/maps/EJZPiyL1Wtqmhgfd9.  Also nicknamed the "peanut-about"!  I think we should have a carpark for spectators, too!😂

Edited by PSUPete

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4 hours ago, Hermit said:

Roundabouts are certainly an improvement on ‘priorité à droite’ junctions, but you need to be aware of the French habit of driving right round the outside of roundabouts, even if going to, say, the third exit, rather than taking a more direct line, as a British driver would. I have often nearly pulled out in front of a vehicle which I thought was turning off into the exit I was waiting to emerge from but which was carrying on round. I’ve often thought they could save on surfacing the middle parts of French roundabouts, since they are never used.

Plus not signalling. I found it worse in Spain, I can normally tell where the French are going but in Spain not a clue.

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