Senior Drivers in France - new sticker available

There is a new sticker available (not compulsory by any means) for drives over 65. The large "S" warns other drivers that reflexes may not be so quick as younger ones. It may also command respect. link from: The connexion.

Warning sign for older drivers

January 24, 2016

NEW drivers on French roads are required to stick the letter "A" (apprenti) on the back of their car. Now an association is introducing the letter "S" (senior) for older drivers.

The Signal Senior association says it has sold 1,200 stickers so far - costing €4 - and hopes they will save lives.

Some 16% of drivers on French roads are over 65, and while they are involved in fewer accidents (9%), when a crash does happen they are twice as likely to die according to figures from Prévention Routière.

The idea of the sticker is to alert other road users to the fact that the driver of the car in front might have slower reflexes.

The association's president Gilles Renard told BFMTV: "We want this sticker to protect elderly people who are still driving. Those who are already using the sticker are happy because they are no longer honked at by other road users, they are left in peace and are much better respected."

I thought this sticker a good idea until I read all the comments made. Most people, men in particular, would certainly consider 65 too young to start even think about slowing down or worry about any aspect of their (probably bad) driving skills. But, saying that, there are any number of reasons why people may want to drive slower and more cautiously as they grow older. Cars are faster and even younger people only need a minor accident or near miss (not of their fault at all) for them to lose their nerve. Then you have the over 80s who have never had an accident or only a minor one, who are getting frail but do not admit it, who are losing their eyesight etc. but dare not see the doctor - cost etc., who are only arthritic and live in the middle of the countryside and need their car. Who should be telling them not to drive? Until the law states an age limit why not just let the other insensitive idiots who think they have more experience, are far more capable (yes, at causing a pile up) etc., that there is an elderly person who will probably abide by all the rules and speed limits of the road, in the car in front by the letter 'S'. Where can I buy one or more?

You are right.!


As it happens, today after having to negotiate four jams where the striking farmers were blockading superstores and jamming up major road roundabouts, I succeeded in collecting my second daughter about half an hour later than normal. So off I went taking the very rural back road route to avoid the blockades all over again. But was it that easy/ No! The rain having stopped droves of aged cyclists were out, clearly practising for the Tour de Hades because that would be the only place such road misuse would be tolerated. Up to four abreast, oblivious of cars behind them until loud blasts of horns told them to go into single file. Now they should all have something like a big balloon up above them so that in the twists and turns people driving faster than I do have a hope of not massacring a group of them one sunny day. Mind you, I am late 60s too and do sometimes go faster than the signs say, so perhaps I should buy a bike and go the whole hog being dangerous too.

Any driver, no matter what their age.. if they feel a sticker is necessary to warn other road users of their inadequacies of driving skills.. should they really be on the road.. for theirs and others safety and sanity?

someone told me last week, there is a test associated with the sticker, you can't just buy one???

Bloody Cheek! At 78 I don't expect anyone to make any concessions. Any slowing of reactions is more than compensated for by 60 years of driving experience. Let them sell "I" stickers for idiots - there's plenty of those on the roads.......

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Anybody stupid enough to pay €4 for this sticker should have their license revoked IMO.

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S for "Soûl" comes to mind. One particular young lady is on a cocktail of booze and wacky backy and is frequently crashing, driving without lights, hitting the church wall, shouting abuse at les Anglais etc. She still has two of her four childre, the other two have been taken away. She's had more boyfriends than most have had hot dinners and her last BF but one or was it two hung himself in the chicken shed. Walking my dog last week in the dark luckily I saw her coming but she had no lights and when I waved at her to point that out she just sailed on. I stupidly once accepted a lift from her but after 200 metres we struck another car but she carried on despite my calls to stop. Her mother who is at her wit's end is a good friend of mine and her life is being spoiled by this angel of death.

Spot on, although just as relevant for the UK.

Well, since the French often translate the new driver's A with "abruti", I guess the S could be something like "salaud" :-)

I think the majority of French drivers would benefit from an "S" sticker, which would give us better (though often older) drivers warning of "Stupidity" ahead...

As an ex motorbike instructor and Advanced Motorist, the above statistics always miss out '[what percentage of] accidents are caused by senior drivers' with their slow driving/reactions etc.

There's an old chap in the village who has to physically be carried everywhere as he is so frail, he drives at 35 in a 90 but allegedly (the Mairie) there is no law in France to take someone's licence away on the grounds of age.

I'll go along with you all the way, Brian (I am old as the hills and loving it) personally I don't think many people will understand what the S is for from the fast way they come up behind one, they will not be able to read the small print. Hmmmm what does "S" stand for? suggestions please!

In this neck of the woods I think a small figure of Satan with a big grin would be more appropriate. I am somewhat over 65 and forgot age when I passed my test aged 18 until this day, but stay just inside the law. The number of people well and truly above my age who soar past me has ceased to amaze me any longer so I am more inclined to note that some of the objects they are propelling are well past sell by date and how they get a CT pass is anybody's guess. Perhaps a sticker for their vehicles might be more appropriate!


In a town near us there is an elderly person that drives one of the French Aixam cars. We frequently pass this car on our way to collect our baguettes in the morning. I just wish over the months I had photographed it regulary. Each week a new dent etc appears. Despite being reasonably "new" the rear door is now taped partly closed (it cant close totally) with gaffer tape. The side door is dented and tied closed with string, the plastic engine guard pannels underneath now rub the road. Cellotape cover the cracks in the rear lights.......He drives around 15 mph and looking at him he can heardly see, I just give him a very wide berth !

You must be able to fog a mirror.

With the exception of the sheet metal dings, the other failures you mention are standard on these sans permis. Having had to rent one for almost one year while acquiring a French license, I made many trips back to the locateur to exchange for bits that just fell off or ceased to function. These were all new cars, too. Horrid little badly screwed together machines, and way overpriced. The dealer had three different marques to choose from and all had their problems... not to mention vibrations that could thoroughly mix paint. I now have great empathy for those who must drive them, unless they are holding a white cane out the window and tapping the road as they go. Then I give them a wide berth.