Driving in France: 6 Quick Tips

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1) Residents of the United States need only a valid passport and a valid state driver’s license to drive legally in France.  An international driver’s license is not necessary.

2) French police can impose an on the spot fine for driving violations and payments must be made in cash.

3) When pulling into a roundabout always yield to the traffic on your left.

4) Traffic lights in France are usually on poles on the right side of the road.  They are much less visible than traffic lights in the states that hang down from wires stretched across the street. Sometimes there are different poles for different lanes, so be alert when approaching a busy intersection.

5) A flashing red traffic light means Do Not Enter, flashing amber means Caution, and a flashing yellow arrow means Yield.

6) Blue “Peage” signs indicate a toll road.  Always have spare change on hand to pay the toll.  As you approach the tollbooth, drive to the lane below the sign with an illustration of falling coins and the word Monnai (change).  If you have exact change toss it into the basket and wait for the gate to open.  If you do not have the exact amount toss your coins into the basket, collect your change, and then drive through when the gate is raised.

2 responses

  1. In Japan, know that no ally is too narrow: time and space will, in fact, warp to allow your car (or very large bus) to navigate the side streets narrower than the actual width of the vehicle. I have seen this first hand.

    In India, honk your horn. Always. You know what your pulse rate is? Well, you’ll want to double or treble that to arrive at a good round number of horn honks you need per minute in order to fit-in with the average Indian driver. Quadruple it, if you want to look like an “old hand” at driving in India. A plastic Lord Ganesha on the dashboard is good, too.

    Thanks for the advice for France.

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