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LifeinFrance Jul 29th, 2014 04:55 AM

Self-driving tips for France
Here are a few suggestions of websites to help those self-driving in France (notably French Riviera): is a French website detailing major road works, main closures or highway disruptions. They have a calendar of peak travel congestion (handy for travel planning during French school holidays which have different dates according to regions), and regular updates by department (area) in France.
Train updates from SNCF (French national rail) including line works and strikes.’Azur
Useful local news website with links to updates on bus strikes. A great website initiative from Penny Ciocchi for global transport strikes. Very helpful for advice regarding strikes at Nice Airport including strikes by air traffic controllers and ground workers. Also, covers Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and Paris metro.
Map and information on the location of speed cameras in the region.
Helpful weebsite for estimated driving times and costs – particularly good for fuel estimates and costs of tolls in France. Add 10%-15% time buffer to the travel times given as does not take into account stopping at traffic lights, major congestion etc

willowjane Jul 29th, 2014 05:57 AM

Thanks for sharing this!

Pegontheroad Jul 29th, 2014 06:22 AM

I think Americans who plan to drive in France (or in Europe in Europe in general) should familiarize themselves with traffic circle rules.

I was quite confused, and I'm sure I made mistakes when I first drove in France because I didn't know the rules for traffic circles.

In Germany I was once yelled at by a man--I still don't know what I did wrong, but it was something to do with the traffic circle.

dwdvagamundo Jul 29th, 2014 06:36 AM

Merci beaucoup!

nickn Jul 29th, 2014 07:37 AM

The traffic circle rules are usually explained in simplistic terms. And as often is the case, there are ambiguous cases. I came upon a tiny traffic circle where cars from all directions arrived all at once. Who was supposed to go first? The circle was so small it was practically a intersection of two narrow streets. Everyone stared at each other for couple of seconds. Finally a guy in an Audi sports car revved the engine and went into the circle to break the apparent log jam.

Alec Jul 29th, 2014 08:04 AM

That's the whole idea of a traffic circle (or roundabout in British English): to slow down traffic. Generally, the traffic already on the circle have the right of way. They will be stop/yield line as you approach one to remind you of the right of way/priority.

bilboburgler Jul 29th, 2014 08:09 AM

it is a great system, in the UK we have multiple small ones joined together, at these you have to use "cooperation"

kerouac Jul 30th, 2014 10:13 AM

One thing that I always point out to people is how left turns are handled in France. There are very few cases where you "face off" and turn in front of the other cars. Normally you go around behind the other cars that want to turn left in the opposite direction like dogs sniffing each other's butts.

Gretchen Jul 30th, 2014 10:46 AM

Learn the meaning of "cedez la passage"!!

kerouac Jul 30th, 2014 11:48 AM

Well that is just "yield" and the sign is the same everywhere.

Alec Jul 30th, 2014 04:22 PM

The archair Priorité à Droite (give way to traffic coming from the right) has largely been replaced by priority/non-priority signs, Stop or Cedez le passage signs and road marking. You just have to be careful in some small towns/ villages where not every road crossing is so indicated.

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