Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
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I'll start by saying that using the words 'French driving code' and the word 'understandable' together in a sentence, even though I just did, is an oxymoron. The French driving code is anything but understandable or simple for that matter! The French agree with me on this, the ones that I have talked to about it, that is, not all sixty-something million.

No rule is without an exception, for example all danger signs announce a danger 50 (cities or towns) or 150 meters (countryside) ahead, except the signs announcing two-way traffic or falling rocks, which announce a danger from the sign's appearance.

Then there is the rule for no passing; there are two ways to announce no passing: one is a round sign with red edges and two cars in the middle, the left one red; the other has lines on the ground, either broken, thick and close together, or broken and close together but not thick. The round sign means that you can't pass any vehicle with more than two wheels, whereas the line no passing means you can only pass vehicles classified as a slow moving (tractors, big trucks, bikes), but not all vehicles driving slowly. Then, there is the white line that never breaks and it means no passing anything. Understand?

Here's another fun one: the issue of classifications; private ambulances are not in the class of priority vehicles, except when their siren is on. Vehicles that are priority are those that are public, fire, police and ambulances - public, of course.

Not only am I confused, but so are the French, who have rebelled by not following most laws and regulations, most notably the speed limit and no parking on the sidewalk. The no parking on the sidewalk law is the biggest joke of a law that there is, when in France you will find just on every street a car parked on the sidewalk.

I have tried to explain as best I can through photos and road signs the French driving code. If nothing else try to have some fun when learning the French driving code, that's what I did, even through my wife thinks otherwise.






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