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French motorists are just thick as...

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French motorists are just thick as...pîg shît. Basically.

Excuse my language.

ALBF 10 mins ago was nearly brown bread.

On a cycle with traffic behind me I stuck my left hand out to move into the centre of the road to turn left. Looked behind beforehand and I had plenty of space between me and the car behind.

SOME OLD BAT decided to overtake me (thick white line....so that was illegal in itself) and narrowly missed... me....AND...AND the car coming towards her when she went on their side of the road. Pulls in of course and I skidded basically to a halt. Old bat probably pissed.

This was in town. She was gaining nothing in doing this because we were in traffic.

Boy, that was close.

So Mr Marcon...reducing the speed limit is not going to change anything.

Here is a thought, teach your f****** drivers how to drive.

There was a a big crash yesterday involving school a bus and school children. A clio or something just turned in front of the bus. Reducing the speed limit is not going change that stupid idiot behaviour.

Rant over.

F*** me that was close.
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I read about that awful school bus crash today in our local paper - Manciet, not far from us in the Gers.

As for your near miss, ALBF, it could have happened anywhere.

Although I'm a driver ancienne myself,  I do think France is going to have to bring in some legislation to test the road-worthiness of older drivers. Every time I go shopping here I see elderly people with a variety of disabilities, much worse than mine, climbing back with difficulty into their 20+ year old cars and pootering off. Fingers crossed.

Luckily the roads are very quiet here.

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I have been knocked off my bike in town more times than I can recall, never happened once in the UK, at least twice on a cycle paths, I was once chased a couple of hundred metres along one by a maniac reversing.


The cyclepath was put in at great expense to provide safety for the factory workers either cycling or walking, I zm one of the few two wheel users loads of cars use it either as a short cut, to overtake or to avoid the regular convoi exceptionelles, when they do they take great exception to a cyclist who will not get out of their way.

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I have never been knocked of my bike in France, England, Germany, Austria or the Netherlands, countries where I have cycled thousands of kilometres. My son has never been knocked off his bicycle despite commuting in London daily and cycle touring throughout Europe. Anyone who has been knocked off their bicycle too many times to remember is doing something seriously wrong!
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For some strange reason French drivers do not seem to have been taught the importance of road positioning - or reading the road postioning of other drivers.

IE - A driver/rider has checked behind, signals left in good time and moves left to postion just to the right of the centre line or crown of the road and is approaching an entrance/driveway, then slowly comes to a halt waiting for oncoming traffic to clear before turning into the entrance. This happens to me every Saturday on our regular shopping run turning into our local Intermarché.

50% of the time the following driver ends up stopped, half a metre from my back bumper, wondering what is going on, and there is more than car's width available to pass my car on the right.

So yes - driver training in France needs overhauling!

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"the following driver ends up stopped, half a metre from my back bumper,"....

That's normally the distance between cars driving at 90km. I hate to look in my rear view mirror these days as the car behind is usually so close I can see the whites of their eyes!!! Have to say this is by in large young females! (dreadful drivers who rely far too heavily on their brakes and reflexes).

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Given that when you do dare look they will be doing anything else but paying attention to what is in front of them then the safest place for all concerned is for them to be a close to your bumper as possible.


I reverse onto my driveway, it makes sense because visibility to drive out is limited, 100% of the vehicles on the road are speeding and also its the law although I am the only person to do so.


As I approach the vehicle behind will be on my bumper, we come into a zone 30kph 500m before my place so I slow from 50 to 30kph which further enrages them and they drive even closer, 150m from where I will stop to reverse I start indicating right, slow down even more and 50 metres before put on my hazard flashers, I stop just beyond my drive to reverse into it but of course cannot because I have a fuming Picard gesticulating wildly behind me, in the time that he lets off steam other vehicles will have pulled up equally close behind him so he cannot now reverse, many will then drive onto the pavement to pass and one I memorably T-boned by reversing my trailer into him [:D]


Twice in 12 years the person behind has left a sensible distance, has seen the road is clear ahead and has overtaken me while i am braking without slowing down and without being inconvenienced, only twice in 12 years [:(]


I feel like chasing them to give them a medal [:D]

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I am still recovering from my near death experience.

I reluctantly told my other half what had happened and she said 'you should have crashed into the connaîs'. 'Make her pay' !!! She then carried on swearing in French for five minutes.

Ummm.....I was on a bike !!!!

France has a serious problem with their drivers and attitude. At the end of the day it is attitude.

A very old international lorry driver who has seen it all once told me, 'the French don't want to be behind you or in front of you. 'They want to be where you are'.

They are very wise words when you think about it..

I really don't how France is going to solve this one. I guess everyone will just have to accept the French hate other car drivers. Reduce the speed limit to 10 kph they will still make the roads unsafe for themselves.
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Oh how I hate some french drivers - totally sympathise with ALBF, and glad you survived.  

I am so fed up with driving along with someone's front bumper up my exhaust.   On occasions, when I can see clear road ahead, I've slowed down, indicated and pulled into the side of the road to MAKE them pass - and sometimes even then they don't get the message but come to a halt behind me !!

The driving instruction needs to be changed - and brought up-to-date;  I feel they're still driving in the 1940's or 50's - no road sense whatsoever.

As for reducing the speed limits - oh give me strength.   White van man, utility workers etc all have to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible;  the difficulty with France is that it's such a large country, the distance3s between point A and point B can be quite substantial... so if the speed limit is reduced then it means fewer call-outs can be made by workers, utility repairs; white van man makes fewer deliveries - with quite a knock-on effect on wages.

We all know it's not the 'speed' per se that's the problem;  nor are the 'trees causing accidents' (!!) -

it's the total lack of driving ability, driving skill, driving sense, common-sense, ability to understand other drivers......... but NOT speed.

No-one in authority listens though, do they.    Reduce speed limit, impose fines - more euros for Macron and the enarqs to spend on what tickles their fancy.


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"On occasions, when I can see clear road ahead, I've slowed down, indicated and pulled into the side of the road to MAKE them pass - and sometimes even then they don't get the message but come to a halt behind me !!"

I totally agree - exactly the same situation every time I have to reverse into our driveway - following car - indicate right slow down- stop to get rid of the following car - driver's reaction is "Duh - the car has stopped what's going on?"
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This is something which aggravates me every time I go out, (in our beat-up van) even though the quiet straight roads here make overtaking easy and safe . Sometimes I look out for a place on the right to pull in and let them pass.

It's a similar mental attitude to that in supermarkets, when they abandon their trolleys so as to block passage, and stand there talking to themselves, consulting their oracle (shopping list).

They seem to be in another world where no-one else exists.

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"Them" and not "us" [:P]


I am reading a very interesting (although a hard slog) book called "Watching The English"  - hidden rules of English behaviour written by an anthologist, I'm not sure I would have been able to understand it with a detached view if I had not lived away from the UK so long. Suffice to say that there is a lot of ingrained behaviour and its not easy for a Brit abroad to see the rest of the world through anything but their own eyes and life expériences.


I got the book in Emmaus at Amiens and the person who read it before has underlined lots of bits and written notes down the spine which make fascinating reading, the notes are in Franglais, I think the person is English but has lived here a very long time, there may be some further clues to their identity.


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Over the years I have been driven by family, friends and colleagues. No two of them have driven in exactly the same way, they have all been individuals who drive and manage the road conditions in their individual ways. I find it amazing that so many people here claim that all French drivers drive in exactly the same (dangerous) manner.
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You are correct of course Brit.

My OH is a superb driver. Having said that everyone I know drives perfectly safe.

But, there is a large section of the French driving population that should not have a licence for one reason or another. Mostly because they have screw loose.

Like I keep saying, reducing the speed limit is not going to solve this problem.

On the way to Nantes a few weeks ago, a friend passed a nasty accident on the autoroute (probably deaths) and the car/cars were in the verge and upside down and in a mess. Everyone slowed down as they passed the accident.

As soon as they passed the accident, someone started to weave in and out of the cars at high speed. Fast lane to slow land to fast lane to middle lane creating gaps that do not exist and forcing everyone to take evasive action. You know what I mean. We have all seen it.

Normally when you pass a serious accident you reflect on life and how lucky you are to be alive. Not this wa***** he decided after the accident to try and create another one. Why ??? I really don't know. It is a cultural thing in France not to have any respect for your fellow motorist.

I have seen that behaviour so many times and it is not normal.
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"I find it amazing that so many people here claim that all French drivers drive in exactly the same (dangerous) manner"

For example:-

>The antics of french drivers attempting to overtake a vehicle, but they can't see the road ahead because they won't drop back to get a better view of the road ahead.

>And the also well known habit of their reluctance to overtake on a straight road, but waiting until there is a blind brow or corner approaching.

>The french tailgating habit.

>Their total inability to signal their intentions in any meaningful way when using roundabouts.

>The way that they exit side turnings on your left when you are approaching and swing out into your right hand lane.

>Treating speed humps as a challenge and attempting to get airborn over them by increasing their speed.

And of course the famous "It's priorite a droit here so I reserve the right to exit this side road without looking to my left because any approaching vehicle must stop for me (even if it's travelling at 90 kph and the exit is blind)

We've all seen examples of the above - not amazing at all!
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The whole point of the priority à droit is that the vehicle coming from the right has priority and needs to take that priority. The drivers coming from the left have to give way. It’s not rocket science just something not used in Britain. It’s the norm in residential areas in Germany as well. Different isn’t wrong or dangerous. As for the rest is it the whole population or just the ones outside my area as, apart from the occasional idiot the roads are fine here. In fact just like every other place I’ve lived.
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Priority à droit is great on paper but does not take into account the 30 % psychopaths that will exercise their right to use it at high speed and not look left. They don't seem to care if they get hit or die.

I bet a million pounds Brit you look left when emerging from a 'priority à droit'.

In town they only benefit the local carrosseries. It certainly does not prevent speeding and it is a killer for the environment because you have to slow down, change gear, speed up again and burn lots of unnecessary fuel.

They are also a killer for cyclists. How do you train a young child to cycle in a town in France ???

Furthermore, in rural areas when the tax hab is cut, I bet you all those little cross signs indicating a right hand priority will be become hidden with overgrown vegetation. So that will result in more accidents.
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I ameffectively blind in the left eye and hence have a narrow monocular field of vision of the right eye to watch where I am going and where all the approaching cars are coming from, I am legal to drive and judging by the carnage i see around me on a regular basis take in far more visual information around me than many.


Certain P à D's I have no choice but to take blind, a couple around here that are acute angles that I turn right from and the main junction in my village with a central divider where I turn left, I have to look to the right to see if its safe to complete the 2nd half of my manouevre (cars approaching me have priorité) but they have remodelled the carrefour to cassé la visibilité, its a zone 30 but everyone does double that, I have to take my priorité blind over any approaching traffic in order to get to the position to see if I can complete the manouevre or have to stop, there have been several close calls but they all were 100% the fault of the vehicle approaching from my left not paying attention.


The closest P à D to my house is only now one since the remoddelling, its not signposted as such because its a zone 30 so all carrefours are a blanket P à D, buy hey as everyone drives at 70kph + why should they bother about a new P à D? - Well one good reason is that I am bloody minded enough to take that one whilst looking them straight in the eye (good visi in both directions).


The issue is 100% not those taking a P à D not looking but those driving straight that dont take any notice of the P à D's even in a town area where they are blanket, a proper driver will slow down for any right side junction where they dont have good visibility until they can either see there are no vehicles or a stop sign or solid line (usually scrubbed bare) its no different to arriving at 4 way traffic lights and seeing that none of them are illuminated, you should drive cautiously and with anticipation.


Truth be known most of us who are honest enough or not cunsumed with our own egos will recognise that in the early days they were not aware of all or even any of the P à D's and that the  dawning of each one came as a real shock at the realisation of what could have happened prior.


A big danger around here on the circuit de souvenir is vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road, there are even road signs in English warning against it.

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