Current "safe" speed(ing) limit on French autoroute?

Current "safe" speed(ing) limit on French autoroute?

Author
Discussion

swamp

761 posts

135 months

Saturday 28th September
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130kph is the "safe" speed, if you're travelling some distance. In my car that's around 84mph, indicated on speedo.

Heaveho

2,035 posts

120 months

Saturday 28th September
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My understanding is that anything over 160 kmh is an automatic licence loser over there. I was escorted off the autoroute to a Gendarmerie for 161 and was apparently very lucky to escape an immediate ban, largely handled with a medium dose of deception on my behalf. There was also the fact that I wasn't actually driving as fast as was suggested!

The rules of the game are not to speak French to them, and not, under any circumstances to produce your licence at the scene, regardless of the fact they treat it as a separate offence. Might not work in all circumstances, but after a long delay, I was on my way with a smaller fine than anticipated.

21st Century Man

31,786 posts

194 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
This has been done to death in various forums on PH over the last decade or so. The French started to clamp down on this about fifteen years ago and the current situation has been the norm for about ten years. Stick to roughly the speed limit like you'll see the locals doing, it's still an 80-85mph cruise, but much more than that and you'll be taxed 90 euros. 40kmh over is an instant on the spot ban, if you drift into a 110kmh limit without noticing you can be banned for doing little more than 90mph. I have the T Shirt.

Anyone who says or has experienced otherwise in the last decade has simply been lucky.

Aids0G

217 posts

95 months

Saturday 28th September
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I would really advise downloading and using Waze in France, very accurate for the spots the police sit + fixed locations.

Usually stick bellow 150kph easy to drop down to 130kph from there.


21st Century Man

31,786 posts

194 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
NDA said:
I set my cruise control at 130kph and it felt fine.
Yes, I did that, went over a 300m long viaduct (110kph) and promptly got pulled over to pay my 90 euro crossing fee hehe


Toltec

5,812 posts

169 months

Saturday 28th September
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madcal said:
If it rains they take the 110 extremely seriously.
I've occasionally wondered what the defining point is for that, I tended to work on the principal that if the road was still wet enough to generate spray I'd keep it down to 110. Not sure when the odd spot becomes rain though, when you need to use wipers?

Marcellus

6,532 posts

165 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
We got done in a French registered car for 135kmh in a 130, it’s simply not true they target the brits, they target everyone.

And yes watch for the 110 (or lower) in rain or for pollution reduction.

21st Century Man

31,786 posts

194 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
And of course, they're not visible like in the UK, they hide very well on the Autoroutes, quite often the first you know about it is when they come after you on the big bikes, and if you've not been going very fast, it's a surprise to realise they want you. Especially if you have your cruise set at the speed limit.

DonkeyApple

34,670 posts

115 months

Saturday 28th September
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Just take the wife’s car and vmax it safe in the knowledge that the worst case scenario is having to fly Easyjet home. biggrin

Bill

39,880 posts

201 months

Saturday 28th September
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Aids0G said:
I would really advise downloading and using Waze in France, very accurate for the spots the police sit + fixed locations.

Usually stick bellow 150kph easy to drop down to 130kph from there.
nono It's illegal. Google maps automatically switches off camera location in France.

leyorkie

938 posts

122 months

Saturday 28th September
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Recent documentary on French tv showed the gendarmes at the side of the road with a mobile camera, they had Waze active and when their location was pinged just laughed and moved on.
Same program showed helicopter on the route Napoleon catch motorbikes crossing white lines relaying film to the stop team in the next village.
Hope I don’t speak to soon touch wood and all that, I’ve not had a ticket this year in my French reg car, of course the 80 km limit on normal roads doesn’t help

NDA

16,286 posts

171 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
leyorkie said:
the 80 km limit on normal roads doesn’t help
Bit of a nightmare.... 50mph on pin straight empty roads is quite hard to keep to.

21st Century Man

31,786 posts

194 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
NDA said:
leyorkie said:
the 80 km limit on normal roads doesn’t help
Bit of a nightmare.... 50mph on pin straight empty roads is quite hard to keep to.
And sometimes it doesn't return to 80kph after a 50kph through a no dog hamlet.

madcal

301 posts

83 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
Toltec said:
I've occasionally wondered what the defining point is for that, I tended to work on the principal that if the road was still wet enough to generate spray I'd keep it down to 110. Not sure when the odd spot becomes rain though, when you need to use wipers?
No clue, I tend to reduce if the road is wet and my wipers are really wiping, but then I would reduce anyhow, 90 mph on a dual carriageway in the rain is probably not that safe.

It is local French people who tell me to watch out in 110 rain limits, but never been done myself.

1ians

310 posts

139 months

Saturday 28th September
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When I was there in February, there were plenty of Range Rovers, X5s, Audi’s, and even VW transporters sat at around 180KM on their way to Chamonix etc. Didn’t see anyone pulled over.

Majority of the speed cameras were also destroyed by the Gilet Jaunes.

Personally I’ve slowed down a bit now and unless I’m in a hurry will sit at 85mph which is around 140 kph and not worry about getting pulled over or fuel economy etc.

phil y

330 posts

68 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
Bill said:
Aids0G said:
I would really advise downloading and using Waze in France, very accurate for the spots the police sit + fixed locations.

Usually stick bellow 150kph easy to drop down to 130kph from there.
nono It's illegal. Google maps automatically switches off camera location in France.
Waze doesn't give you the exact locations, it warns of 'Enforcement Zones', which coincide with the signage warning of cameras.


To answer the OPs question, I don't exceed 140, usually set the cruise to 135.

110 limits are far more likely to have a camera, so always stick to them

fiju

196 posts

9 months

Saturday 28th September
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deckster said:
This is most definitely not true. French speed cameras are well capable of getting fines sent to British drivers and they've have a huge crackdown in the last year or so. Yes the big fines/confiscation don't start until a decent speed but nonetheless I'll be setting the cruise at 130 from now on and just going with the flow.

The days of wafting down to the Riviera at warp speed with nary a concern for Les Flics are long gone.
On this subject, seeing as there are no number plate laws per se, could you just fit a pair of stylised plates which would be illegal here but technically legal there? In theory the camera wouldn't be able to pick it up, and the coppers couldn't fine you for illegal plates because different rules?

Double Fault

648 posts

209 months

Saturday 28th September
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On a return trip to Tignes this year a friend received no less than 3 speeding tickets.

braddo

6,453 posts

134 months

Saturday 28th September
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Kolbenkopp said:
Gents,

silly question if I may: but what's the current "safe" speed one can go currently on a French autoroute? Safe as in not getting your car impounded or your first born put up for adoption...

I know the limit is 130 (in dry weather), I also know they've added loads of cameras and that they upped the fines in general. But what speed can you currently go over and get away with just paying x €?

Any input -- grand merci wink!
For the vast majority of the country, it is still the case of having some cash (€135) in your wallet up to 30kph over the limit, so 160kph on the motorway, 110kph on other roads.

Obviously this is with the proviso of keeping your eyes open for changes in speed limit and fixed speed cameras. I have found the typical motorway driver in France actually drives under the limit. There aren't many doing more than 140kph so you will probably be in the fastest 5% at 150+ (unless for example you are coinciding with Parisiens heading to the snow on a Friday pm/Sat am).

The government website with the details:
https://www.securite-routiere.gouv.fr/reglementati...

Touch wood - for me France has still been a place to enjoy driving at a pace you can choose, as long as you keep your eyes open. I've just done a few hundred miles of non-motorway roads through northern France in my Caterham and it was fking ace! biggrin


bolidemichael

1,215 posts

147 months

Saturday 28th September
quotequote all
It's certainly interesting reading the posts on here, as the experiences differ greatly from my own. I have always made good time on the autoroutes, and regularly cruise at around 94mph.

Eyes open, waze on, sensible driving, so far so good. Three separate trips to/through France this year alone, in addition to multiple others over the years and I have always made progress aiming for very simple maths of ~100mph average = get to destination faster and this works well for me!

I have been caught doing 91kph (after adjustment) in a 90kph zone though, twice, so those are really ones on which to be prudent censored