France: High Speed on the Motorway to Paris
Recently, on a trip back to Paris from the Ardèche region of France, we found ourselves holding on for dear life in the back seat of tiny car that had no business being on the open road. We were cruising along at a blistering 150 kph. Alarmingly, this speed is quite normal on France’s crowded highways—and this despite the fact that the speed limit is generally set at 120 kph.
We made the mistake of commenting on the extreme vitesse. The prideful driver promptly pulled the voiture over and handed us the reigns.
After arriving home safe and sound in Paris, however, the car owner received an infractions notice. Apparently, radar detected us cruising at 76 kph in a 70 kph zone. We were issued a ticket for a measly 6 kph infraction.
On French motorways there are signs informing drivers of approaching radar detections. Within these zones even the tiniest violation results in a fine. Of course, more aggressive and experienced drivers never fail to notice such signage.
Those wishing to rent a car in France should be forewarned. There are no signs indicating approaching irony. But at least the Ardèche was gorgeous. See above.