Hi there - figured I'd introduce myself

(Ben van Staveren) #1

Per the subject, I guess. I’m a Dutch guy in his 40’s, living in a tiny little village in the Lyon area, having arrived there with my French girlfriend after traipsing around the rest of the world for a while (3 years in the USA, 8 years in Indonesia). I’m working as yet-another-devops guy at a Lyon semi-startup, and spend most of my days wondering if my parents nugget of wisdom (French people can’t drive worth a damn) is true or not.

So, hi. Pleasure to be here!

Edit: yeah probably the wrong category, unfortunately doesn’t seem I can move it by myself :wink:


(Phillip Cox) #2

welcome…yes the French can drive ok… but remember which side of the road it is

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(James Higginson) #3

Welcome Ben!

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(Ben van Staveren) #4

Thanks James, also for moving the topic to the right category :wink:

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(John Withall) #5

Accident stats may suggest otherwise?


(Ben van Staveren) #6

I’ve had more near misses in my daily commute to Lyon over the past year than I had in 8 years in Indonesia; mostly just people cutting into your lane right in front of you, total lack of indicator usage, and it seems a general attitude of “me me me me first and screw you”.

But maybe I’m still seeing it with my Dutch eyes instead of being “French” about it :smiley:


(Dan Wood) #7

Experienced the same problems as you Ben when we first arrived so decided on the ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ approach - That didn’t work as it turned my wife and constant passenger into a screaming, angry harpy, shaking her fist and giving the finger to the world at large. I have since adopted the ‘Papy’ method - taking it at my own pace and moving over whenever l am tailgated, which is often and giving way on round abouts, junctions, zebra crossings and generally expecting the unexpected. We may get to where we are going a little slower but our blood pressure isn’t sky high and the road rage has all but disappeared.:rage::rage::rage:

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(Ann Coe) #8

Hello Ben

Welcome to the Forum and France.

I have driven quite a bit in Paris, and other French cities, and red lights and keeping to your lane are considered ‘cissy’, well at least that’s the way it appears.

In my experience, in all big cities, whether in Europe or elsewhere, the driving is the same. It’s a question of habit and you soon find yourself ‘going with the flow’ as it were.

Changing tack slightly, I loved Indonesia when I visited for a few weeks many years ago. Lovely people and the language was easy to learn too. Only zoomed around on a hired motorbike but it was fun !


(David Martin) #9

The driving thing made me smile. I lived in Germany for a long time and there it was the Dutch drivers who were considered to be dangerous. :slight_smile:


(Paul Flinders) #10

If you don’t already know about it, be aware that “priorité à droite’” still operates for many city junctions.

It’s a stupid system made even more stupid by the fact that it’s applied inconsistently by the French themselves but, sadly, it still exists.


(John Withall) #11

And on some occasions priorite a gauche! :smile:


(Mat Davies) #12

A truly bizarre system.


(Ben van Staveren) #13

Lived in Germany for 2 years as well - and yes, yes, the majority of my fellow countrypeople also have no clue :smiley:

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(Ben van Staveren) #14

It’s normal in Holland as well, unless otherwise stated, traffic from the right has right of way. Not entirely terrible, but it has to be consistent, at least.


(David Martin) #15

I know that your countrymen have pretty strong opinions about their neighbours too. :slight_smile: I spent a long time living only 500 from the Dutch border saw got to see both sides. Personally I have great affection for the Netherlands as my Grandfather lived there for 40 years.


(Simon Armstrong) #16

Love the Dutch (sweeping statement I know!) - they tell it as it is! No good if you’re a sensitive wallflower :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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(Ben van Staveren) #17

It doesn’t go over too well with most French people though :wink:


(Fay Gotting) #18

I agree the French take the cake for bad driving. Only 2 speeds stop or full speed!


(David Martin) #19

Really? Where do you drive?


(Ann Coe) #20

There are also some good French drivers Fay.

IMO, and experience, there are good, bad and lousy drivers in most places !