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Thread: France: any horror stories?

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    A Bit Bored
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    Default France: any horror stories?


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    Bad news coming from France. Lower speed limits, the bloody yellow vests to have on your vehicle (do I have to have it on the bike, too?) and the draconian speed fines with immediate payment...

    Or so they say, but...

    How is the enforcement? Is it that bad?

    I remember riding with my Moto Guzzi 1000 SP 2 in France in 2003. I was in Burgundy. Three BMWs Boxers of the "Gerdarmerie" overtake me at least 20km/h faster than the speed limit (could have been 30 km/h). All three greet me after overtaking with a stretched arm in the usual Southern European manner. I remember thinking "This is the Country a want to be biking in!"

    Is this a thing of the past?

    O

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    Should Get Out More RiceBurner's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    I've never had a problem on a bike, but then I don't ride like a twat simply because the roads are empty. (well..... I DO, but not in villages or on busy, straight roads )

    I HAVE had a trio of speeding tickets - ironically whilst driving a feckin' Land Cruiser on a dual carriageway - all within about 4 days of each other. Relatively easy to sort out tbh.


    Re the speed limits - I heard recently that they're doing away with the 80kph limits and going back to 90.

    The yellow-vest is simply a rule that if you're out of the car on the roadside (ie, where there are no pavements), you must be wearing a vest. Obviously the panickers take this to mean that if you even step foot out of the car without one, you're Bastille-bound. As with anything it depends on how you behave and your attitude.

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    Should Get Out More DefTrap's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    I live there.

    I have some yeller vests in the cars. Of the half dozen times I've been stopped over the years they've never bother checking that I have them, let alone all the other things like first aid kits and warning triangles - they like checking docs though, they do that w/o fail every time. And once they briefly looked at tyres. This doesn't mean they never check the whole lot though. If you've been a twat, you can rack up a lot of misdemeanours.
    I never take a yeller vest when I'm out on the bike. IME French plod like bikes and bikers.

    Yes, the speed limit on single carriage roads is, unless otherwise indicated, now 80 kph. 80 kph is really, really slow and boring. I've been caught out once already - 91 in an 80 by a handheld device copper hiding in a farm track. They love doing that.

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    Should Get Out More KungFooBob's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Don't think your British plate gives you impunity to static speed camera's either.

    There's a scheme in place for the DVLA to issue details to the Fronch Popo (but not the otherway round iirc) for the last couple of years.

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    Really Bored whysub's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    My brother was caught speeding near Le Mans on his way to the 24 hour bike race held over Easter.
    . He was riding on a rural road between two villages, very little traffic, overtook two lorries. He was then stopped about half a mile down the road by two Gendarmes stating he was seen doing 138kph in an 80 kph limit, although they showed not proof of this, but that's neither here nor there, as he knew he had sped to pass the lorries
    Upshot was they took him to their station a few miles away, impounded his bike, and fined him €750 on the spot fine. He was then told that he would not be able to ride his bike in France, and would have to get it recovered. As he had paid for his hotel and race tickets, he decided to stay and sort out revovery after the race. It then cost him €80 for a taxi to his B&B from the remote Gendarmarie.

    Four days later days later he received a phone call from the officer who dealt with him when he had his bike impounded, saying that as the Prosecutor had failed to sign the papers within 72 hours (presumably because of Easter) and so he could collect his bike and ride it back through France to the Ferry port. All good, or so he thought.

    Two week later in the UK he gets paperwork to say that he had been banned from driving in France for 6 months from the date of the offence. He also.found that he had been clocked speeding again, just outside of Calais as he was doing 54kph in a 50 kph limit. Fined €180 for that, reduced to €90 If he paid in 14 days. He paid.

    He and I can't understand why he was told one thing at the gendarmarie, allowed to take his bike and told he could ride it, when documents stated he was banned from the time of the offence. My brother has decided not to challenge this, as he isn't going to France in the next 6 months. Plus he would have to employ a solicitor who was an expert on French motoring law. He considered himself lucky he got his bike back, as many are seized for good, and didn't have to have it recovered from France. He just put this down to experience.

    I've just driven back to the UK from Spain. I was in no hurry, so drove back using D and N roads in the main, sticking to the limits. If you need to get across France quickly use the motorways and toll roafs-cheaper than any potential for getting fined, banned, and having your vehicle seized.

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    Should Get Out More DefTrap's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    That -is- a great horror story.

    Yes, the fines for exceeding the speed limit get increasingly severe the further you are over the limit.
    90 for 54 in a 50 doesn't sound right by the way - it should be 45. The 90 fine is for +20 to +39 over the limit.

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    Really Bored whysub's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Thanks DefTrap-in that case maybe it was €90 and he paid half, and I misinterpreted it that he paid €90, and that was half of the fine, rather than the fine was €90 and he paid half.

    It's still a bit of a bastard getting caught there than other European countries. Speaking to my mate in Melle (many will know who I mean) said he was recently fined €22, as although he did stop at a stop line, he didn't put a foot down.

    Edit: Just spoke to.my brother, who said he was fined €90, but reduced to €45 as paid within 14 days. My mistake. But still, €90 for exceeding the limit by 4 kph.
    Last edited by whysub; 13-06-19 at 17:19.

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    Should Get Out More DefTrap's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Quote Originally Posted by whysub View Post
    Thanks DefTrap-in that case maybe it was 90 and he paid half, and I misinterpreted it that he paid 90, and that was half of the fine, rather than the fine was 90 and he paid half.

    It's still a bit of a bastard getting caught there than other European countries. Speaking to my mate in Melle (many will know who I mean) said he was recently fined 22, as although he did stop at a stop line, he didn't put a foot down.
    That's harsh
    Id heard that one was an offence but first time I've heard anyone actually being caught for it
    Unlucky chap!

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    Should Get Out More Noggin's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Quote Originally Posted by DefTrap View Post
    That's harsh
    Id heard that one was an offence but first time I've heard anyone actually being caught for it
    Unlucky chap!
    I got pulled over in the uk in part for that. It was one of the reasons they gave!! LOL They got a more important call so let me off, but they weren't happy!

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    Should Get Out More Taipan's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Any horror stories? Yes, its full of the French!

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    Should Get Out More 1888's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taipan View Post
    Any horror stories? Yes, its full of the French!
    Best head east for Germany then. Up and down the Moselle area it just bike country.

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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    I got done about 5 years ago on the N85. I was doing 92 mph in the middle of nowhere, clocked by a hand held radar gun thing. €750 on the spot fine banned immediately for 6 months and they kept my bike.
    I was very lucky that a chap staying on my camp site in Castellane rode my bike to Italy for me and his wife drove me to the border so that I could come home.

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    Should Get Out More Taipan's Avatar
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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1888 View Post
    Best head east for Germany then. Up and down the Moselle area it just bike country.
    Just long established bants innit. I used to drive across France to Spain each year and actually found the french to be really nice once you got away from the ports.

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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taipan View Post
    Just long established bants innit. I used to drive across France to Spain each year and actually found the french to be really nice once you got away from the ports.
    Did it in the car. Got off ferry and heading for a McDonald's. Lass gave us a map of all the McDonald's round France so we used that as out main map for two weeks as it listed most main towns/areas we wanted to see. Down the coast and up the border. Only shit part was Paris as they are ignorant bastards. Only times i go now is just passing through to cut down to the Black Forest via Luxembourg. Only thing i want to see now is Monaco and Mont Saint Michel and that would be me done with France. Spain has never interested me apart from probably visiting Barcelona one year but aye, nowt wrong with the French.

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    Default Re: France: any horror stories?

    Was there last week on the bike and going again in two weeks in the car. There seems to be a lot of villages now with stop lines on the main road at the entry and exit to the village. Didn't realise I had to put my foot down at each one I can stop for a second and balance and check it's clear, which it always was.
    Did get flashed by a speed camera though, luckily it was on the other side of the road and front facing. Will have to be careful in the car.
    Have a look in the Classic Bike section for the write up of the trip.

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