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cvabishop

French CRIT'Air Certificate

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4 minutes ago, penguin said:

Having seen the way they drive on narrow rural roads, I don't think it's a surprise to anyone!

I've seen some bad driving in Dorset when I come over to the UK, and in my opinion(for what it is worth!) the standard  of driving in the UK, has definatly gone down considerably in recent years.

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and in my opinion(for what it is worth!) the standard  of driving in the UK, has definatly gone down considerably in recent years.

I wouldn't disagree with that. People seem to have become more impatient and discourteous (and still addicted to using mobile phones at the wheel despite many serious accidents resulting from it).

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After living here (in southern France) for nearly fourteen years, I’ve never seen so many roadside checks by the Gendarmerie as in the last 12 months.

I have no problem with that,  in fact I welcome it - there are more than a few iffy vehicles around!  My impression is that it’s not just confined to dodgy-looking vehicles. If its ‘your turn’, then you’ll be pulled over.

Hasten to add that this is my experience locally (Gard, Hérault, Vaucluse) - it may be quieter elsewhere.

I don’t want to spook people in to getting this certificate, but given that it’s pretty easy to do and costs buttons, it sort-of makes sense.  Got mine some months ago.

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Living in SW France - and also having dual nationality, if that's of any significance - I find myself somewhat bemused by the accusations of poor driving in southern France; Depends what you mean by "south" and "southern", perhaps.

I live in what many Brits would describe as "the middle of nowhere" - nothing but country roads. As a driver and passenger, I've never felt safer.

However, when we've been over to the Riviera, it has been a different story altogether. Mad drivers, Paris-style, always in too much of a hurry, rude, impatient, etc.

So you Brit holidaymakers, choose a destination a little out of the ordinary and go down to the Midi-Pyrénées, and narrow it down further to the Gers or Tarn-et-Garonne! In Gascony, no-one is ever in a rush!

And yes, I've got my Crit'Air sticker, for when we go into Toulouse. And even there, the driving's not bad.

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I thought the driving was ok when we went down to Hendaye , I might get a certificate just incase plus I miss not having a tax disc in my window 😉.

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I've always found the short, tight slip roads and the need to rely more on the passenger side mirror something to have greater awareness of rather than other drivers. At least in France & Spain they'll pull across allowing access onto the motorway rather than over here where many of them have no problem tooling along totally unaware of anything.

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Whats missing here is this is all about having a clean air environment.

EU says you've got to clean up city air. French government says heres a wad of cash for each city to apply and  implement its use as they see fit. Thus the Crit Air certificate.

Had both cars issued with the sticker when it came out. Easy.

Son tells me that last summer an air quality monitoring unit 100m from his London Flat exceeded the EU limit. His baby didn't comment!

A few Euros-no brainer.

SFD

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15 hours ago, straightfeed said:

Whats missing here is this is all about having a clean air environment.

No it’s not! How does sticking a sticker on your car have any affect on the environment?!  It’s about red tape and giving an appearance of protecting the environment, as far as the French authorities are concerned.

As far as I am concerned, it is about not falling foul of idiosyncratic French bureaucrscy, which is a very worthwhile goal, and to that end I agree it is an insignificant cost.  But in buying a sticker I am under no illusions whatsoever that in doing so I am doing anything to protect the environment!  I am still taking the same car to France, and will still drive it where I drive it.  It’s just that it will have a sticker on it! 😉

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I shall probably invest in one once my new car arrives in a week or two, as there are three or four departments in Western France (Deux-Sevres, Vienne, Vendee and Maine-et-Loire) that are classed as 'air protection zones' and which I shall either be staying in or driving through this summer.

They do say the price for shipments to France will reduce from 4,18€ to 3,62€ from 1st March, not sure whether the same price applies to the UK

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39 minutes ago, Paul said:

Maine-et-Loire

I live and work in this department and don't (yet) have a sticker on either vehicle. Since this thread started earlier in the week I have not yet seen any other cars with them. I shall keep looking! Ed

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

No it’s not! How does sticking a sticker on your car have any affect on the environment?!  It’s about red tape and giving an appearance of protecting the environment, as far as the French authorities are concerned.

As far as I am concerned, it is about not falling foul of idiosyncratic French bureaucrscy, which is a very worthwhile goal, and to that end I agree it is an insignificant cost.  But in buying a sticker I am under no illusions whatsoever that in doing so I am doing anything to protect the environment!  I am still taking the same car to France, and will still drive it where I drive it.  It’s just that it will have a sticker on it! 😉

In fairness, the direction of travel is fairly obvious. Certain vehicles already don't qualify for a sticker and I'd imagine it wont be long before there are areas where only certain stickers are permitted. With the aid of a few ANPR cameras, I would have thought that would be easy to enforce in the cities.

 

I don't think it will help the environment much, but should help ease pollution levels in the cities. It's a shame the actions in London aren't more strict, it's an embarrassment.

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

No it’s not! How does sticking a sticker on your car have any affect on the environment?!  It’s about red tape and giving an appearance of protecting the environment, as far as the French authorities are concerned.

As far as I am concerned, it is about not falling foul of idiosyncratic French bureaucrscy, which is a very worthwhile goal, and to that end I agree it is an insignificant cost.  But in buying a sticker I am under no illusions whatsoever that in doing so I am doing anything to protect the environment!  I am still taking the same car to France, and will still drive it where I drive it.  It’s just that it will have a sticker on it! 😉

Yep, especially when you consider that a 5 tonne 180 bhp 8m metre long tag axle motorhome which manages only 20-25 mpg has the same M1 classification as a car... it chucks out more emissions but pay's the same €4.80.

 

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

Yep, especially when you consider that a 5 tonne 180 bhp 8m metre long tag axle motorhome which manages only 20-25 mpg has the same M1 classification as a car... it chucks out more emissions but pay's the same €4.80.

 

Why don't you buy one sticker for each end in that case? 😁 Ed. 

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13 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Why don't you buy one sticker for each end in that case? 😁 Ed. 

Not me, our's isn't that big. It's how they're all classified, same for MOT's plus road & bridge tolls.

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Rennes will soon be using this system at times of high pollution. It will apply to the area inside the rocades (ring roads).

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They're easy enough to apply for - it took less than a week for mine to arrive. I have however stuffed up removing/laminating it from the letter so when needed it will just get attached in a clip holder on the windscreen.

On another point of note, drove from Abbeville to Honfleur last weekend and the Autoroute signs were noting high pollution and suggesting a speed reduction of 20km/h. I'm assuming this is just a recommendation rather than an enforceable limit, unless anyone knows differently?

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The price has been reduced (effective from 1 March).  I just paid €4.20 (including postage).  The official price is €3.11 plus postage.

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On 02/03/2018 at 10:52, Jim said:

They're easy enough to apply for - it took less than a week for mine to arrive. I have however stuffed up removing/laminating it from the letter so when needed it will just get attached in a clip holder on the windscreen.

On another point of note, drove from Abbeville to Honfleur last weekend and the Autoroute signs were noting high pollution and suggesting a speed reduction of 20km/h. I'm assuming this is just a recommendation rather than an enforceable limit, unless anyone knows differently?

Le code de la route prévoit ces cas. L'article R411-19 "relatif aux mesures propres à limiter l'ampleur et les effets des pointes de pollution sur la population", prévoit une amende foraitaire de 2e classe en cas de non respect. Autrement dit, pour un excès de 125 km/h sur autoroute au lieu de 110, ou de 90 km/h au lieu de 70 sur nationale, il en coute 22 €, sans retrait de points.

Which means in plain English there is a law covering non respect of the reduced speed limit when pollution levels are excessive, and you will be liable to a 22€ fine if caught by the gendarmes, but no points off your (French) licence. So you were lucky Jim .......;)

Chris

 

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Good to know, thanks Chris. 

Am I correct in thinking the rain reduction of 20kph only applies to Autoroutes from 130 down to 110?

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46 minutes ago, Jim said:

Good to know, thanks Chris. 

Am I correct in thinking the rain reduction of 20kph only applies to Autoroutes from 130 down to 110?

A 10kph reduction also applies to dual carriage ways i.e. from 110 down to 100.

Another little known speed limit for fog: 50kph if the visibility is less than 50 metres on all roads including motorways.

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Here is the official table of speed limits in France. Note particularly the reduction of speed on main roads (normally 90km/h, but changing to 80km/h) in rainy conditions.

This is taken from this government site, and the table is followed by the penalties for exceeding the limits.

Speed limits in France.JPG

Edited by Jardinier
Factual error
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So when the speed limit is reduced from that indicated by the signs, are there other signs that flash to indicate the reduced limit?  Surely there must be as it can’t be left to the individual driver to judge how far he thinks the visibility is.

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So when the speed limit is reduced from that indicated by the signs, are there other signs that flash to indicate the reduced limit?  Surely there must be as it can’t be left to the individual driver to judge how far he thinks the visibility is.

Absolutely! It's all very well having all these rules and regulations but how is the average driver expected to pick it all up en route? You shouldn't have to go online just before you jump in your car every day.

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I'm sure that if foreign drivers visit the UK, most Brits would say that they should be familiar with the rules of the road in the UK - like not giving priority to the right, for instance.

Equally, Brits visiting France should know the French rules - though they are very unlikely to cause anyone a problem since they are, as in the UK, based on common sense.

There is, as far as I am aware, no particular law in the UK concerning driving speeds in fog. In France, the Code de la Route says that in the event of fog which reduces visibility to less than 50m, speed should be reduced to 50km/h.

I hope you find this helpful.

Edited by Jardinier

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The rule is clear Jardinier - but it hasn’t helped to explain how we know whether the rule is in force or not.  In the UK, where there are roads with variable speed limits, there are signs indicating which speed limit is in force.  Is that the case in France too?  If not, how is one supposed to know?  I cannot judge whether visibility is 45m or 55m by eye, and even if I could my judgment might be different from someone elses.  So you have misunderstood the point, rather patronisingly if I may say so - it is nothing to do with being willing to follow the rule in force at the time, it is to do with how the rule in force at the time is communicated to drivers.

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