Went to the local airport to collect a friend today, arriving just as the passengers were entering the arrivals hall. Being a lazy b I parked, illegally,close to the terminal, making sure, however, that the access road was left clear. Staying in the car I saw first one Brit car, then another, pull in to the one way access road & stop, presumably to pick up friends. This would be fine if the passengers were out & waiting - a minute stop to load is not much to ask, but they were not. My passenger had made an appearance & I drove up to collect her & in a few seconds we were ready to go. The two cars in front, however, were still waiting with no sign of any passengers. At this stage common courtesy & politeness should dictate that blocking a road for an indefinite time is not acceptable & one should drive round to let traffic through ( a couple of hundred yards). With no movement from either driver I gave a polite toot. The only reaction came from someone chatting to the driver of the second car who stopped leaning on the car to look at me with distain only to resume his conversation with the driver. Not being on holiday & with a busy schedule I activated the MK 2 horn, somewhat louder than the standard vehicle one, only to get the same treatment. Only when I got out of my car did these people start to move & the "friend" shouted at me " patience!". I wonder what his patience level would be if I parked across his driveway & just stared at him when he wanted to leave? Public roads are for all to use & are not for lazy english to block when they feel like it!
There seems to be quite a lot of "the law does not apply to me - I'm British" mentality about, especially with regard to motoring, which hopefully will change as parameters change.
For a long time I have had a rant about uninsured UK registered cars being driven here ( & strangely, been criticized for on some sites) but recent changes here should help reduce this. It is illegal for a french resident to drive a foreign registered vehicle in France, punishable with a 5 year prison sentence, 3750 euro fine, a minimum 3 year ban & the confiscation of the car. (code de la route Article L.317-2). This has been European law for some time, but at the beginning of 2011 if you are importing a car you needed both the car's log book AND a certificate of european conformity to get a CT. With that you are well on the way to completing the import process. French insurance would only (legally) be given for a month at a time on a foreign vehicle. Now, according to my broker, French insurance cannot be given at all!
I somehow don't think we will see the end of UK reg blue Peugeot 106s on Mussidan roads or Vauxhall Fronteras in Aubeterre with export tags & no CT or insurance for a while, but one hopes one day the gendarmes will have a purge! But why do these people think the law is only for others?
I might add that the reason my contributions are mostly moaning ones is because the James & Catharine know that we need to whinge to each other sometimes - even in paradise!