Should French kids be allowed to drive at 16?

Should French kids be allowed to drive at 16 ?

(Permis de conduire : le gouvernement réfléchit à baisser l'âge légal à 17 ou 16 ans)

That is the debate of the day.

For me….it’s a ummm……ummm…ummmmm….a big no.

Although, it could sort out the pension crisis.

What on earth are people thinking of ?

I am sure there are more dangerous countries to drive in, but France has to be near the top.

Nope, I like my kids alive.

Why not. I passed the test when I was 17 before that I had been driving tractors forklifts and combine harvesters. I first learned to drive an old Rolls Royce that had been cut and adapted to take soft fruit from the fields to the farm.

1 Like

No but they shouldn’t be on mopeds at 14 either.

1 Like

Because it is dangerous out there.

I’m not saying kids can’t drive at that age I’m saying it is too dangerous.

I think France should start first by a retraining/re-testing people at 65. Make the roads safer.

I give you an example, this morning, no joke…no exaggeration.

I go shopping this morning. An elderly bloke goes straight through a stop sign just as I’m approaching in my van. This is a hill with me going down the hill. I break heavily to avoid him. He then nearly takes out a pedestrian on a crossing pushing their bike. They were on the crossing so the car had to stop. He then went into the roundabout (3 metres away from crossing) without giving away and all the traffic on the roundabout had to break hard. Horn…horn…horn.

The thing is, he did not see the stop, the crossing or the roundabout.

This is everyday here. Day in day out.

I have been hit three times here. Everytime time I am stationary.

Nope too dangerous for kids.

1 Like

…and no one should be on those two wheeled scooters where people walk on the pavement

1 Like

I still remember my driving instructor saying to me that when you are a young new driver you rely a lot on your quick reactions to keep you safe, then as you get older your reactions slow down and you rely more on your experience to keep you safe eg you instinctively spot potential hazards earlier and tend to drive more defensively. Of course it does not always work like that. But it is true that kids generally have quicker reactions than older people.

Should not be on the road either because they are very difficult to spot. Especially if there is more than one zipping around you in town or a city.

I don’t think that’s true, there are plenty of “worse” places, even in Europe. I had great fun in Sorrento last year playing chicken in a Panda with the locals.

Though I do think driving standards in my neck of the woods have deteriorated over the last few years, but that’s generally, not just young or old people. On back roads without markings I’ve noticed more cars barrelling around corners half on my side of the road and more drivers overtaking before blind bends or humps. Though I’ve also got older and perhaps more cautious so maybe it is my perception that has changed.

I don’t think 16 or 17 is an issue, I think it’s the quality of the training and the enforcement of laws that matters. Last year we were just returning to our car when we saw a little sans permis thing try and park in the space beside us in the car park. Despite the space being large enough to park four of the little things he bashed into our wing. The insurance claim was about €1,500 if I remember correctly. Anyway, he hopped out, I guess he was about 14, and said “oh, I’m terrible sorry, I don’t know how to drive” :joy: So, I don’t mind them pottering around but they should be trained.

I think we’ll see more sans permis around, the little electric Amis you can buy or rent in Darty seems very popular and much better than the run of the mill models. If I had teenagers now I’d much prefer to see them in a Ami than on a shitty little moped.

Some time ago I read about someone being busted for driving when disqualified. He’d tried to make a Smart Fortwo look like a sans permis but the police twigged it :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


“If I had teenagers now I’d much prefer to see them in a Ami than on a shitty little moped.”

My parents felt the same when my brother at 17 started muttering about a motorbike. So Dad bought an A40 (this was in 1966). So my brother, my father and I all learnt to drive. My father (at 60) passed first time, I passed first time. My brother at 17 (he might have just been 18) failed, although he was the best driver of the three of us. The driving instructor did it, we’re certain, because he was only a lad and it was to slow him down for a bit.

1 Like

My uncle had a A40. They were the first “hatchbacks”, before hatchbacks has been invented :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Kids at 16 have much better reflexes than some oldies. With a proper bit of training and a license that can be changed at 18 they should be absolutely be able to drive.
That was the carrot - now the stick… if they cause an accident, or get more than 3 points on the ‘under 18’ license they will have to wait another year and sit an extra test.
I learned when I was 12 (dad was a petrol head and in the motortrade), got my proper license and first car at 18 and promptly crashed a few months later on an icy road…
Prompting dad to spring for a winter driving course and amother car once I passed…

A bit of a logical failure there as we need young people to pay the pensions, so a cull doesn’t really help.


They could cull the old people. I would not put it past Macrons thinking :thinking:

16/17 year olds driving is not my problem.

It is the other road users is my problem.

Would you want you a 16 year old driving around the peripherique in Paris or Lyon ?


My daughter turns 16 in two months time.

If the 16 year old has done their training and passed their test, and their parents have enough confidence in them to have bought them a car and have said it is OK to drive in Paris or Lyon, then where is the problem.
Just because they CAN learn to drive does not mean they HAVE TO, and just because they have passed their test does not mean they immediately have to drive in Paris. If you are not happy with your daughter driving in Paris then as a parent you can disallow it. Of course if by then it is permitted by law then you will not be able hide behind the law, you have to use your parental authority. You have to know your kids and trust them. We did not buy cars for our daughters while they were living at home. If they wanted to borrow my car or my wife’s car they told us their plan, where they wanted to go and who would be in the car with them, and we said Yes or No depending on when whether we felt happy about it. The older and more mature they got the less times we felt the need to say No. I do not recall any scenes over it.


Of course, but what happens if you live in Paris or Lyon ? Well Lyon is worse.

My point is, they need to make French roads safer before going down this route…excuse the pun.

It will be a bloodbath.

So I don’t get the logic. Big difference between 16 and 18.

Not so sure if kids are safer on a pushbike or scooter or even as pedestrians. City traffic is usually much slower than on our rural roads.
I loved driving in Paris, but way much less traffic then. Now every time I am in a Parisian taxi, they just crawl along…

Only goes at about 10kph or stopped :face_with_hand_over_mouth: Now, flat out around the l’Étoile, that’ll sort the men from the boys (or the girls from the women or the the younger theys from the older theys or the rather not says).

Try it on a push bike…that is actually more fun…

Entering a roundabout when you have priority is a thrill.

How fast do you want to go into it ? You got to know your exit.

I used to commute to work and back using that particular place.

Never got hit once.

À fond les manettes…

That’s handy, I can post this to the idom thread as well.