Completely puzzled as to what happened. According to the screen the web page, along with my posting, had crashed.
Originally Posted by wagolynn
Some years ago, with our campervan, we had stopped overnight in a kind of layby at the start of the peage near to Bethune.
Next morning, I found that it would be necessary to turn around to avoid the peage, or to even get to the ticket barrier. It seemed obvious that I could not simply continue forward onto the peage without a ticket. But the 'controller refused to allow me to turn around, and was generally unhelpful. I tried leaping around in front of the machine to trip the issuing mechanism, to no avail; and getting out of the way when a vehicle came through. Finally, exhausted, I went back to the camper and made coffees; whilst her indoors rocked with laughter at my antics.
Then a little Peugeot, with an amber beacon on the roof, stopped close to the controller's office. I started to head towards the 'suit' leaving the Peugeot, when 'controller' darted from his office and handed me the required ticket. With a growl of "cochon" I snatched the ticket and we were once more on our way.
Our first stop from the ferry, and our first time in France. Didn't put us off, though. Just one Frenchman doesn't make a bad summer!
Sorry to be a pain but can anybody answer my question in post no 6. Does the machine issuing the permits to use the toll road automatically calculate the ave speed and then issue a speeding fine when the car leaves the toll road or is it more a case ogf bad luck , as obviously if it was is the former a toilet stop at the servioces ona long trip would be advisable as this would reduce the ave speed.
Very sorry for the delay in replying [I've been abroad for months, and haven't logged in for ages!!]
Originally Posted by BensGrandad
Briefly, no - you'd have to be unluck to be caught speeding via a peage. The French haven't become quite as paranoid about speeding as the British, nor have they yet come to regard the motorist as a bottomless source of revenue as we have.
If you don't speed stupidly you should be ok - BUT a favorite past-time of the Gendarmerie is waiting for GB registered cars racing back to a channel port because they are late [especially if they are overloaded - which is very obvious].
Moral - don't P*** them off because penalties often have to be paid IN CASH or you are going nowhere.
[PS they are NOT fines, only courts can issue fines]
The French police, I understand, will pass on any speed camera evidence of violation by GB drivers to the UK police; who, I am told, readily follow up prosecution, etc.
French police are also vigilant of drivers not observing STOP signs, by hiding around corners watching for offenders. I have seen them 'on guard' on a few occasions.
At a STOP sign, your wheels must come to a complete stop; or else!!!!
Don't get paranoid about toll roads and average speeds. At the Peage you collect a ticket, best for the driver to get out of car alongside machine, and walk round to collect the ticket. Going too close to the side could damage your car. You can pay by card or cash and do not need correct money, as the machines now give change. If you pay by card make sure you advise your company before travelling that you are going abroad. As for average speed checks; it is virtualy impossible to prove you have exceeded the speed limit unless you drive at more than 90 m.p.h. throughout your journey. There will be periods when you are forced to drive slower because of traffic, roadworks and possibly even short stops at the many rest areas. Just keep a mental note of your actions, and adjust your speed accordingly.
Sorry for the late reply to this post, so I hope you get it OK. As I dont think any of the other answers really got to nub of your question.
I quite understand your confusion, i have been driveing in France now since before they even had motorways, and I can assure you, I still find it difficult.
The best advice is that as you approach the peage SLOW right down. The booths are all different. First look for one that has a green light. then as someone else said look for a manned booth, this has a pictogram of a man but the problem is that the window is opaque, so you cant see him/her but if the green light is on it will be manned. If it is fixed price stretch of the mororway and you have the correct change you can use the self pay booths, they have a pictogram of a basket and some coins. You just throw your coins in and the barrer lifts, (No Change given)
Avoid the ones at the side which take pre paid telephone payments i think?
Whatever you do try to avoid getting in the wrong line and even worse entering it once in line it is difficult if not impossible to reverse.
But as I said slow down and work out your line on the approach and it usually works out ok. if in doubt put your hazard lights on and if necessary stop in sufficient time to get in the line of your choice, but if pulling across several lines watch out for fast approaching traffic, the locals dont hang about.
And yes if on your own it is quicker and easier to get out and walk round, i always do.
Originally Posted by Cantorisalto1