80 % of French cars are not fitted with indicators


(Jon Allsop) #1

...I know that it's a rhetorical question ???? but has anyone else noticed that most French cars havn't apparently been fitted with indicators?(the little flashing lights for turning left and right.).


If you are waiting to enter a roundabout the guy coming round it never bothers to tell you that he's turning off....you just wait......and cringe.I've demonstrated my dissatisfaction with 1) a finger up 2) a shrug of the shoulders "à la francaise', 3)grimaces, 4)arm waving etc etc...no reaction.Most French drivers in fact don't really understand roundabouts. The 20 % who do (apparently.).(sorry "repetition') have indicators don't know how to use them...they approach a roundabout and kindly indicate 'left' (let's face it, there's only one way round a roundabout,) then turn right at the first exit !


Just to finish my moan...after 30 years here I bought my first right hand drive car (off an ex pat) cos it was very cheap and I was 'a bit short'. It's got French plates etc...but if any vehicle behind me spots the driver on the wrong side...ie driving in the passenger seat)..he just HAS TO OVERTAKE !!! even if I'm doing 110 on a 90 kph stretch...the baby just has to overtake l'anglais.


It's a decent country all the same......c'est comme ca !!! au revoir or tara!!! in Mancunian.


(Melissa Miller) #2

A very near miss last night! Giving lots of notice (but not too far in advance) I indicated to turn left, slowed down, pulled to the middle, looked in mirror. Person in car behind, slows, indicates too - methinks they must also be coming to the party. Turn left into gateway, glance left and see a car heading towards my door!!!! I veer towards a concrete post to the side of the driveway and stop just before it (Roy, shouting, wondering what the hell I am doing). There is a car, stopped about a foot away from my door. Initially thought - he was trying to get through the gateway before me then realised the stupid ******* was overtaking!!! There was no other vehicles around so why would I be doing anything other than turning left into the only property on the left?


(Tim Blake) #3

French Code de la Route contains a number of absolute priorities ( some of which are changing and evolving) It is not a French habit to indicate when following a priority route , whether that turns or not. As a result , french roundabout technique is not quite the same as in UK !


(Robin Hicks) #4

Come come Shirley - it would spoil the fun!


(Sandra Chubb) #5

I too was in Teheran in the 70s and the driving was horrific. Lane discipline is non-existent in Tobago but there's not a lot of traffic there anyway and it's hard to stay in lane on anything but the major roads because of the potholes which need avoiding. On the whole, my driving is mainly away from major towns as I live in the sticks. Out here we know that anything coming towards us on the road will probably not be in the correct lane as it comes round the corner and drive accordingly. I'm just grateful for the small amount of traffic in central Brittany and only start swearing when I arrive in Plymouth on my twice yearly visits to Blighty.


(Sara Ann Fitzpatrick) #6

As a fellow Manc Junctions and roundabouts baffles them and the priority "A Droite" is a joke .Everytime someone comes to my right its like running the gauntlet "Are they going to go "? "Are they not going to go "? "Should i put my foot down "? or"Should i slow down"? !Ohh thank god for that ive passed them without incident"!!!!!! Its still good here though init like you said


(Valerie Skinner) #7

Lol. That's good.


(Robin Hicks) #8

Oh dear Jon - do wake up at the back. They don't need them - they know where they are going


(Brian Milne) #9

Like, so true, hahaha!


(Dick Smith) #10

Remember the M-S-M we were taught. Mirror-Signal-Manoeuvre. Like many French acronyms it is reversed here. Manoeuvre-Signal-Mirror - but the latter two forgotten !


(Bruce Brewer) #11

Don’t you just love it when he/she risks life and limb to overtake you, just to slot into the vacant 10 metres in front of you? You try to leave a safe gap between you and the car in front, and some dumbo HAS to fill it!

The only thing that rstionalises it a bit for me is my yearly visit to Mauritius…now they are summat else! Don’t drive on the right or left…middle. Think and see only a car’s length in front of them. Overtake ANYWHERE. Kids rattling about in front and back. It’s obligatory for cyclists to ride at night, with no lights, preferably with 2 or more people per bike, on the wrong side of the road, coming towards you! At lesst, when car drivers run over you though, it doesn’t leave tyre tracks on your face as it’s compulsory that your tyres are as smooth as Dellboy’s French!


(Brian Milne) #12

Just come in from a little drive. I am not supposed to for about three weeks, but I need to practice. I was going steady to begin with, then my tyre pressure guage came on, so a bit slower. One British car overtook me in a 50 zone going through a village, I was just under 50, but he had to be well over. Then on a 70 coming up to a 50 another Brit roared past me at 90 upward and did not slow down for the 50. It is nearly an hour before lunch, so what did both of them have for breakfast?


(Claire OWEN) #13

Hmmm That makes me think of this Saturday when on my way home from work, with a Uk car behind me. I indicated that I was turning right with a fair amount of warning as it's a hidden RH turn slowed and as it's a very, very tight turn pulled slightly left to hook around to the right when to my surprise I found the Uk car on my left ! Given that the road bends to the left at this junction while I was turning right I hope he was equipped with bendy eyes and / or X ray vision. He glowered at me when I hooted a warning, pulling to the left to turn right on a sharp bend how dare she. Seems the shock of seeing a french car indicate had sent him into must over-take mode. It's not just the french drivers who are crazy at lunch time on french roads it seems. :)


(Mark Rimmer) #14

The lack of indicator thing is one of my pet hates too, but I have got used to it & only shout to myself " indicators an optional extra then??" having sat at a busy junction for 5 minutes.

What really puts me close to boiling point is the car which angrily hoots his horn & mouths at me when I dare to turn left on a main road! Acutely aware that many drivers are not content to be behind so drive too close ( I don't think there is a French phrase for "safe braking distance") I always make sure to mirror, signal, manoeuvre, ensuring that the Audi or gravel truck has plenty of warning. I still occasionally seem to earn the wrath of the occasional driver for turning in to my own drive.


(June Mackenzie) #15

In my experience (10 yrs living in France) cars have indicators but drivers do not usually bother to use them. Sometimes, they will indicate (but ONLY when they are completing the operation), e.g. put on right indicator, just as they start turning right. I believe I am still alive only because I do not take any notice whatosever of any indicator use. Why not? because more often than not the indicator is on without the driver's knowledge and means nothing. It is not an indication of what the driver intends to do. My own bug bear is the countless drivers who drive as if they want to get into the boot of my car, dangerously close. I have a French registered UK car so it goes without saying that I HAVE TO BE OVERTAKEN. I am very happy to be overtaken and often pull over so that the dangerously close nutter behind me can pass. Other than when driving, I find the French charming, friendly and courteous.


(Brian Milne) #16

Jo, my OH and I discussed this with an acquaintance Marcel whose daughter is in the same class as one of ours, so we see at occasional social gatherings. He has been a gendarme for a bit over 20 years. He sees what has happened as an outcome of very loose controls until quite recently. People drove fast, drinking and driving was the norm, nobody bothered with seat belts, child seat and children at the front and so on. Then during the last decade particularly, although it began before, speed limits, radar traps, spot checks and all the things we are experiencing very often began in earnest. Many experienced drivers have not adapted to that and are probably almost as bad as before, but more and more are getting caught and gradually changing their ways before they lose their licence. Young, risk taking drivers have bad role models on the one hand and as ever, the day they get their licence until something makes them change their ways, some of them think they are the best driver ever. The best times for catching people according to him are in the morning and at the end of lunchtime when people are late going to work. He also said that as many as 80% of all drivers exceed the 50 km limit in towns and villages and many more where there are 30 limits.

For my OH being Swiss and their roads being controlled strictly, the UK was unbearable, here she goes crazy. Her top speed because of where she comes from is 80 anywhere and rarely over 100 on motorways. Because Italy is just across the border from her area, she is also used to the strict rules there that belie the myth that Italians are crazy drivers but that they are generally steady drivers rather than ever fast because the penalties are heavy.


(Jo Blick) #17

I drive much differently here, than in the UK, because of this. Much more hesitantly, which would probably get me a "fail" with any good driving instructor, over there.

I've also spotted a larger number of no indications and general, nutty, dangerous driving, at lunchtime, 12 -12.30 then again at 2-3pm presumably because they are in such a huge hurry to drive home and then drive back to work.

Besides the obvious increase in accidents, I wonder why there is no public outcry about the waste of fuel with this obsession around travelling at lunchtime? I realise lunch is a huge part of french culture, but you'd think this was important enough to spark a bit more debate. Malta may be worse, and I know India is, but France is definitely a long way behind the UK in this respect. I think that is partly because of the density of cars being so much greater on UK roads in comparison but there also seems a definite difference in actual attitude towards road safety.


(Jon Allsop) #18

Hmmm Claire, I understand that but some indicate left and then right on first exit...seems a bit quirky...but there it is...and to reply to Johnny: it's true that some don't think to turn their indicators off but that can happen to us all, if you are a bit deaf (like myself) and playing Springsteen at high volume ! Bonne journée à tous...il pleut en Vendée !


(Claire OWEN) #19

My son is doing conduite accompagne at the moment so is indicating left on every roundabout until he has to turn off when he then indicates right. This is what has has been taught if you aren't leaving on the 1st exit indicate left .

There's also another odd rule if the roundabout has only one approach i.e. not a multi-directional laned junction as you get on, you are perfectly entitled to go around it on he absolute outside edge until you get to your exit, whilst indicating obviously. It certainly stops people carving you up.


(Brian Milne) #20

My one particular bugbear is the plonker who overtakes you when you get to a junction, stop and look and he veers off along your right side to turn left without any view of oncoming traffic or whatever. The occasional one of those who does that then goes off to the right in front of you is worse, of course. Neither has time to indicate, so doesn't bother. I know that if ever I am driving a clapped out car to the breakers and one of the latter clowns does that, then I am going to put my foot down hard, ram the bugger and try to claim a 'new' car off his insurance. Note that I say 'he', no woman has ever done either to me, and the boys who do it are not much over 12 (give or take six to eight years by age) and yet to learn the word 'dangerous'.