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

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

Author
Discussion

VAGLover

918 posts

24 months

Sunday 29th September
quotequote all
Macron said:
There is no "safe" limit +1kmh over can see you fined. And they fking love fining Brits. Leave earlier and stop driving like a tt.

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...
You are full of beans today

gtidriver

2,653 posts

133 months

Sunday 29th September
quotequote all
A friend of mine binned all 7 of his tickets that he received, hes had more post and all of them have more than doubled in price. Cheapest was around €40 the highest was €400, this was for speeding in roadworks. The rumour is 3 tries and then the french police instruct ballifts, does anyone know any different??Also its a bit of pot luck, my request for contribution to the french economy came through within a week of me returning home, other people including my friend took nearly 6 months to receive the fines. Are the uk chasing French car drivers for speeding fines yet???

mr pg

1,517 posts

151 months

Sunday 29th September
quotequote all
He may want to avoid getting stopped at all next time he's over there then, as I'm sure it would show up if they checked.

vacant-100

55 posts

25 months

Sunday 29th September
quotequote all
90mph was about the speed of traffic on most of the autoroutes to the pyrenees this summer. Few bits people were pushing 100-110mph, especially the further north you get. Didn't see any Gendarmes with cameras, and none waiting at the peage. Speed cameras were well signposted, except for the low 'hidden' temporary ones in roadwork/speed restriction zones.
90mph will get you anywhere safely with enough time to slow for the cameras.
Highly recommend a SANEF tag so you can go through tolls without having to fuss around with tickets and payments.

Jaguar steve

5,690 posts

156 months

Monday 30th 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.
Some of the 90kph roads have been reduced to 80kph in some departments and some haven't. None are posted at the new lower limit however so unless the road you're on is regularly posted at 90 the limit may or may not be reduced to 80.

I picked up a E45 fine for 84kph on a long straight road near Bordeaux this summer. My bad so paid up on the day the letter arrived.

psgcarey

512 posts

108 months

Monday 30th September
quotequote all
This is from May this year, whether to retain the 80kph limit or revert back to 90 is now up to the individual departments.

https://www.thelocal.fr/20190522/if-your-dpartemen...

ruhall

372 posts

92 months

Monday 30th September
quotequote all
I've been driving in France for well over 20 years, often spending months at a time there.

Traffic speeds have dropped, far fewer cars now travel much over the limit (it used to be common). Cameras are appearing everywhere, as are unmarked cars with cameras in the back, often parked on verges or, on normal roads, just on the side of the road. Some places are even trialling paying members of the public to drive around with speed recording equipment fitted to their private cars (the Rouen area rings a bell). Cameras in roadworks aren't always there to 'protect the workforce', for example I've recently driven through a 10-15km section of roadworks, restricted to 90km/hr and then, after the area of the works have finished there's a clear stretch of road before the derestricton sign. Hidden behind a barrier, approx 50-100m before the derestriction sign, is a new camera. There was one on the opposite carriageway, just inside the 90km/hr sign and before the start of the actual works. Nasty.

Two friends have received tickets (all beautifully typed up in English) in recent months, both have been driving in France for years with no problems until now. I now just accept that my journey times are now longer than they used to be 15 years ago, despite having quicker cars.

So, what's a 'safe' speed on a (dry) autoroute. 130km/hr.

Boring, but you did ask.

bigdom

1,627 posts

91 months

Monday 30th September
quotequote all
vacant-100 said:
90mph was about the speed of traffic on most of the autoroutes to the pyrenees this summer. Few bits people were pushing 100-110mph, especially the further north you get. Didn't see any Gendarmes with cameras, and none waiting at the peage. Speed cameras were well signposted, except for the low 'hidden' temporary ones in roadwork/speed restriction zones.
90mph will get you anywhere safely with enough time to slow for the cameras.
Highly recommend a SANEF tag so you can go through tolls without having to fuss around with tickets and payments.
Agree, travelled down to San Sebastian late August normally on cruise around 160kph. Got bored on a few sections, so a bit higher. Even getting stuck around Bordeaux, easy 8hr journey.

I would say the highest level of Police activity is always down the Lyon side (A6). Down the middle (A75) slightly less. (A10) I’ve always found quiet outside of Le Mans.

SANEF tag is a must, always funny watching the locals not follow you through the 50kph booths.
I use Waze, the locations of police zones and speed cameras are pretty accurate. The opt out the U.K. had on speeding fines ended in 2017, so they can and will chase you.

bolidemichael

1,215 posts

147 months

Monday 30th September
quotequote all
bigdom said:
vacant-100 said:
90mph was about the speed of traffic on most of the autoroutes to the pyrenees this summer. Few bits people were pushing 100-110mph, especially the further north you get. Didn't see any Gendarmes with cameras, and none waiting at the peage. Speed cameras were well signposted, except for the low 'hidden' temporary ones in roadwork/speed restriction zones.
90mph will get you anywhere safely with enough time to slow for the cameras.
Highly recommend a SANEF tag so you can go through tolls without having to fuss around with tickets and payments.
Agree, travelled down to San Sebastian late August normally on cruise around 160kph. Got bored on a few sections, so a bit higher. Even getting stuck around Bordeaux, easy 8hr journey.

I would say the highest level of Police activity is always down the Lyon side (A6). Down the middle (A75) slightly less. (A10) I’ve always found quiet outside of Le Mans.

SANEF tag is a must, always funny watching the locals not follow you through the 50kph booths.
I use Waze, the locations of police zones and speed cameras are pretty accurate. The opt out the U.K. had on speeding fines ended in 2017, so they can and will chase you.
Our Sunday afternoon drive from Caen to San Sebastián was quiet and swift. We kept Waze on for the entire journey as always and we maintained an average speed of 70mph.





Kolbenkopp

Original Poster:

1,787 posts

97 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
Thanks for all the excellent advice and the entertaining anecdotes as well. Much appreciated!

Made it safely From Düsseldorf to the Caen region... Cruise control set to +-150 kph, range in the Golf still is OK at that speed and while yes it is illegal and yes it does not save that much time... Tthe autoroute network is just so suited for higher speeds... Well maintained and very little traffic -- better than the (overcrowded) Autobahn back home really.Will read a bit more before we go back and if it's really +50 kph = € 135 then that it is imo a price worth paying...

The SANEF "Bip&Go" badge is next on the agenda. Everytime we drive in France I think "damn get one of those things". And everytime I remember too late to order one before we set off. They have a version now that also works in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Cheap to buy, costs nothing if not used, tiny service charge (~ €2) if you do. Just need to get to the closest local shop now...

Thanks again chaps et bonne route!


g3org3y

14,064 posts

137 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
Marcellus said:
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.
Seems harsh at just 5km/h over the limit!

Max_Torque said:
I have to say generally, if you are doing proper distances across France, then sitting close to the legal limit (just above) is quicker overall because you are starting to get to speeds where aero drags starts to really count, and hence economy and therefore range plummet as the speed climbs.
In addition, having to actively look out for cameras/police is fatiguing.

Dog Star

10,540 posts

114 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
ruhall said:
I've been driving in France for well over 20 years, often spending months at a time there.

Traffic speeds have dropped, far fewer cars now travel much over the limit (it used to be common). Cameras are appearing everywhere, as are unmarked cars with cameras in the back, often parked on verges or, on normal roads, just on the side of the road. Some places are even trialling paying members of the public to drive around with speed recording equipment fitted to their private cars (the Rouen area rings a bell). Cameras in roadworks aren't always there to 'protect the workforce', for example I've recently driven through a 10-15km section of roadworks, restricted to 90km/hr and then, after the area of the works have finished there's a clear stretch of road before the derestricton sign. Hidden behind a barrier, approx 50-100m before the derestriction sign, is a new camera. There was one on the opposite carriageway, just inside the 90km/hr sign and before the start of the actual works. Nasty.

Two friends have received tickets (all beautifully typed up in English) in recent months, both have been driving in France for years with no problems until now. I now just accept that my journey times are now longer than they used to be 15 years ago, despite having quicker cars.

So, what's a 'safe' speed on a (dry) autoroute. 130km/hr.

Boring, but you did ask.
Absolutely correct - all of this. The speed on French roads has dropped significantly over the past 20 years and the level of enforcement now is a total joke - it's a very rare day in France that I don't see a speed trap and some of the locations for cameras are ludicrous.

It's all very well for some sanctimonious adenoidal twerp on here (you all know who you are) to give it "well stay under the speed limit" and "suck it up", however coming from a country like the UK which has police who really seem to actually care about their job and where the cars they nick aren't (despite what some people say) about the revenue it's annoying. Over here we generally get police who are reasonable and professional enough to give a warning to those they stop if they're being sensible. No such luck over there.

It's come to a strange situation where you can cruise faster on a UK motorway where clear than you can on a French one. And the new 80kmh limit - you're down to mixing it with lycra weirdo cyclist types on a hill! Progress indeed.

Me - I just take my money elsewhere these days.

Marcellus

6,532 posts

165 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
g3org3y said:
Marcellus said:
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.
Seems harsh at just 5km/h over the limit!

Max_Torque said:
I have to say generally, if you are doing proper distances across France, then sitting close to the legal limit (just above) is quicker overall because you are starting to get to speeds where aero drags starts to really count, and hence economy and therefore range plummet as the speed climbs.
In addition, having to actively look out for cameras/police is fatiguing.
I think the background is that they (The French) had a very statistically high death rate on the roads a few years ago when compared to other European countries so the Government decided to really crack down on speeding and drink driving which were the two main causes.

This seems to have been widely accepted and supported by the French population.

Dog Star

10,540 posts

114 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
Marcellus said:
This seems to have been widely accepted and supported by the French population.
The speeding thing, certainly amongst my friends and colleagues, most definitely has not been supported - they take it for what it is; check out the number of covered/vandalised/burned down cameras.

The drink drive thing - a lot of people I know (most in the Somme, so pretty rural) still actively indulge, and back in the late 80s and early 90s when I lived there I drunk and drove - it was accepted behaviour. I even got stopped by the police once and they (I kid you not) told me to "drive slowly". They used to block off the road and stop and breathalise every driver too - only thing was that this would create a big queue, so everyone would just do a U turn and go a different way. I would say that it has made a difference in towns, but out in the sticks I'd say it's still pretty prevalent. It certainly doesn't get people screaming about it and you getting ostracised like it does here.

DJT

183 posts

107 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
Done many miles across France this year, trips to both Alps and Nice. The French seem to observe the limit much more than they used to. The very occasional person comes belting past and it was usually a Belgian. They seems to have no regard for the limits. So, I would say anything above 135kmph and you start to become a target for attention, especially in the North on the run back to the tunnel/ferry. We had roof box on and a full load so this was plenty to make decent progress on what was always quiet roads.

longblackcoat

4,105 posts

129 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
DJT said:
Done many miles across France this year, trips to both Alps and Nice. The French seem to observe the limit much more than they used to. The very occasional person comes belting past and it was usually a Belgian. They seems to have no regard for the limits. So, I would say anything above 135kmph and you start to become a target for attention, especially in the North on the run back to the tunnel/ferry. We had roof box on and a full load so this was plenty to make decent progress on what was always quiet roads.
Yep, I'd agree. I've done four trips to the Alps this year and frankly anything over 140kph is likely to attract a ticket. The other thing to look out for is reduced speed areas; I was done in a 90kph area on the autoroute at 97kph - though the ticket said, bizarrely, that although I was going 105 (IIRC) they'd do me for 97. They do send them through to the UK, and you do have to pay them.

gtidriver

2,653 posts

133 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
longblackcoat said:
Yep, I'd agree. I've done four trips to the Alps this year and frankly anything over 140kph is likely to attract a ticket. The other thing to look out for is reduced speed areas; I was done in a 90kph area on the autoroute at 97kph - though the ticket said, bizarrely, that although I was going 105 (IIRC) they'd do me for 97. They do send them through to the UK, and you do have to pay them.
One of my tickets from last March was for 91kph in a 90kph zone after they rounded it down. A little harsh I thought.

The camera by the tunnel has had its guts replaced but the shell is still vanderlized.

Exige77

3,861 posts

137 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
A group of my like minded continental motoring enthusiast friends just finished a 10 day / 3,000 mile trip.

We where very careful on the motorway, main trunk roads and through towns and villages.

We where a little more enthusiastic on the mountainage.

We only managed to pick up 2 tickets between 13 cars. Both a few Km over the limit after rounding down.

There’s still plenty of space to have fun just remember time / place for everything.

Tom_Spotley_When

413 posts

103 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
longblackcoat said:
Yep, I'd agree. I've done four trips to the Alps this year and frankly anything over 140kph is likely to attract a ticket. The other thing to look out for is reduced speed areas; I was done in a 90kph area on the autoroute at 97kph - though the ticket said, bizarrely, that although I was going 105 (IIRC) they'd do me for 97. They do send them through to the UK, and you do have to pay them.
I got something like that near Reims earlier this year.

I was apparently doing a higher speed but they did me for a lower speed.

Paid my €40 on the app when the fine came through to my home address and I was away.

Johnniem

2,340 posts

169 months

Tuesday 1st October
quotequote all
Double Fault said:
On a return trip to Tignes this year a friend received no less than 3 speeding tickets.
Similarly, from Bordeaux, a mate bagged four tickets (all delivered to his UK address), three of which were less than 10 kph over the autoroute speed limit. Last one was for 90kph in a 50, so fair enough.

130 kph is plenty fast enough. We drove from the coast, south of Narbonne to Calais in 11 hours last year, mostly with cruise control on. Perfectly acceptable.