Penalty Points - speeding

Yes, happened to OH years ago (thank goodness, because at the time it was at the prefecture). He went in to ask if he needed to change his license. The person at the desk said “no”. He than said “I’ve just been given a couple of penalty points” at which point the person at the desk positively snatched his British licence from him. :grin: And, of course, he paid the fine as well.

I changed mine when I reached 70 (happily also just at the prefecture). Out of curiosity when I got it, I went onto the site to check my license and nearly collapsed in shock because I ALREADY HAD 12 POINTS ON MY LICENSE!!! No one had told me the points are knocked off. :grin:

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If the UK/FR driving licence exchange is not sorted out by October, I’m almost tempted to get caught speeding just so that I can then have a French licence.


I got zapped by a speed camera for the first time 6 weeks ago with a UK licence.
It is not possible to exchange the licence at the moment (because of the lack of government agreement on the exchange protocol) but have been assured that two points will be set against my name, ready to be applied as and when I get my French licence.
They couldn’t say whether the points will apply from date of offence, fine payment or licence exchange. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Not at the moment, it was the case but not since Jan-21.

So annoyed as I got a fine in Sept 20 which I was very excited about, then my sister got ill and I just totally forgot about it so didn’t send it in!

Very interesting list, I’ve driven in France for many years on hols, but now as a resident (nearly 2 yrs) I’m much more interested in what constitutes infringements, particularly ones easily transgressed (unintendingly?!)…speeding and traffic signs.
Is there a catch all offence like the UK of “driving without due care and attention”?
One that I struggle with is the “give way to the right”…can’t get my head round it, I can be driving along a “main road” …and suddenly from a smaller road on rhs a car joins my carriage way, no looking or it would appear care.
And reading through convinces me that I would find it challenging to pass a test here. Oh woe…still no news on driving licence exchange :frowning_face:

They make you a virtual French licence specifically for points, associated with your car numberplate. I have a UK licence and when I get points taken off/put back every so often, I get a letter telling me about it, (the most recent was a couple of months ago and I’m back up to 12 :tada:) so clearly they keep a tally whatever the status of your actual licence.
Don’t get me started on the difficulty of explaining to Fr authorities how a French person can have a UK licence and want to switch it for a Fr one, they cannot compute :roll_eyes:


It’s easy John.
If you see thie first sign when on a road, prioité à droit exists so look out for cars joining without notice from your right. The second and third signs indicate you have priorité

In the absence of any sign, the only safe assumption is that priorité à droit exists so proceed with caution.
Priorité à droit is diminishing but some old stagers with licences they never took a test to obtain (and with eyesight far below any sort of driving requirement - including kiddies pedal cars) and sans permis will never change their ways.
If you really want to see priorité à droit in action… spend a hour at the etoile paris…

@graham …thanks for that, but how should I regard minor roads joining from the right with no marking on them…bit like in UK , ( but l h side there) assume the driver might not stop!
Is priority from the right here actually lawfully and if a collision occurred would the joining driver be in the right ( no pun intended!)

I would expect that to be the case. There is nothing similar in the UK but that does not mean it is a not valid rule.

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You have to wonder why someone would go to the trouble of placing a sign with a large cross it on before a junction in the remote countryside. It doesn’t indicate a crossroads like many non French drivers think but a clear indication the p-à-d exists along that stretch of road at perhaps some point. The only safe assumption is to proceed with caution. Where no sign exists, again, the only safe assumption is p-à-d.
Yes, it’s quite lawful and comes from France’s rich history. With a cart and horse approaching a junction, the driver cannot always see up the road to his left before the horse has already entered the carriageway. In modern times, the tractor replaces the horse so it still has validity. In small compact towns with no line of sight round building lines it remains valid too. Always expect the unexpected!
ISTR @anon88169868 posted a photo a little while back of such a junction…


I can’t find the post but it was almost certainly of this junction where traffic emerging behind the church has PàD

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That’s the one I remember Paul.

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Aren’t they on the outskirts of the town/village - or is that the opposite that it doesn’t apply?!

It varies, @Mat_Davies - certainly around here you tend to see the yellow diamond with a line through it (ie priority to the right) on approaching a town/village, and the clear yellow diamond resetting to main road priority afterwards but it’s by no means always the case.

@strudball In my view the absence of road markings across a minor road joining a major one is a sure-fire indication that priority to the right applies. When the council or whoever has gone through adjusting priorities to what we are use to in the UK, they always seem to put the usual white lines across the join on the minor road.


The 2nd column from the right on the list of driving offences you provided looks very important.

Some are labelled as délit IIRC technically a criminal offence / crime.

Not sure but suspect avoiding any sort of délit in general would be a good idea for anyone needing to apply for a visa or some other things in future, and possibly not just in France

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After that lot I know I would never pass a driving test …but I’m not sure if i would do so in the UK either!

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I was about say the same thing @AngelaR
A thick uninterrupted white line is usually accompanied by a STOP sign, a broken white line by a ceder le passage and no white line means they have priority.
Also roads with zebra crossings at the end are usually P.A.D as well.
However, don’t be surprised if that makes no difference at all. We have a ‘ceder la passage’ coming off a bridge onto an 80km/hour road and 50% of drivers just pull out without waiting, and I do mean without waiting. They look and go anyway :woman_facepalming:t2::rofl:

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That’s it; solid white line = stop, broken line = céder le passage, no line = priorité à droite.
It takes time to sink in for the French too but they learn as they grow up. There are two priorité à droite on one of our training rides and my son (only 12 and French) took a while to get it sorted , but there again so did all the other youngsters that I used to accompany/train.
A few years ago we had a junction replaced by a round a bout in our village but there are still a few oldies who stop on the round-a-bout giving you priorité as if it were priorité à droite, others do as Deedee says and just go for it blindfolded :rofl::rofl::rofl:
and watch out for old dears who cut all the corners and knock people off putting them in hospital :open_mouth: So you're still wondering if you really need a mutuelle


I’ve not yet driven in France. Makes me wonder how motorcyclists get on.

I like the statement at the bottom

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