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MOTORING Don’t come


However, the French rules for driving differ from those here at home and it can be easy to get all in a spin.


One important change that has just come into effect this July is the new speed limit on many of France’s A and B roads.


In response to an alarming rise in road deaths, the speed limit will be reduced from 90km/h (56mph) to 80km/h (50mph) in a bid to save up to 400 lives a year.


The reduction from will affect around 400,000km of departmental roads across the country, particularly those roads without a central reservation ‘separator’, like a rail or barrier, between carriageways.


British drivers will need to get used to driving slower on two-lane highways than they would at


unstuck when driving in France


If you’re planning a trip to Europe by road this year then chances are it will involve some driving in France.


home, even though visitors are likely to mainly use bigger, faster roads during their stay. Such roads have been targeted after figures showed as many as two-thirds of road fatalities occur on those with the 90 km/h limits. In 2016, almost 3,500 people were killed on French highways, with 70,000 injuries.


The changes are to be accompanied by tougher penalties for drivers caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel which could now lead to a driving ban.


British drivers heading to France are also advised that driving without a ‘clean air’ sticker, or Crit’Air vignette – which costs as little as £3.70 – makes them culpable for an on-the-spot fine of up to £117.


The stickers are a legal requirement in some


cities to identify a vehicle’s emissions levels and, in some cases, restrict access in order to improve air quality. They are currently in use in places such as Paris, Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille but it is expected that some 25 areas will take part in the scheme by 2020. The French clean air stickers are part of a


six-category sticker system that identify what emissions your vehicle produces and was introduced to reduce harmful vehicle emissions in areas where the air quality is poorest. You can apply online for a sticker via the official Crit’Air website.


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