1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

what are the laws on cycling in France...

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by buggi, 29 Mar 2008.

  1. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    Location:
    Solihull
    ... because they do a much better job of keeping cyclists safe. and why is there not a campaign to scrap all cycle lanes in Britain (which just turn all drivers against us because they are shite and we don't use them) and introduce the laws they have in France (don't they have a law about giving so much room to overtake?) and enforce them properly.

    in all the 3 days i cycled through France i didn't have one near miss... even in Paris round the Arc de Triomphe.

    i mean, what's the point of being part of the EU if we can't use it?
     
  2. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    I don't think it's laws, I think it's an attitude thing
     
  3. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    Location:
    Solihull
    yea, but i think there is an actual law on the gap you have to leave rather than leaving it up to the discretion of a driver. then if you hit a cyclist and you haven't left room you're prosecuted.

    what i'm saying is, we don't have specific laws to protect us. if we did then the attitude of drivers might change. at the moment they just see us not using cycle lanes and think we are obnoxious twats, and even if we are using them, they still don't pull out and give us anymore room.

    i'm think in france you are automatically deemed to be at fault if you hit a cyclist because you are supposed to be giving them x amount of room. they should introduce that here, and scrap the cycle lanes which are crap anyway and only encourage cars to come in closer.

    when i was cycling in France an artic lorry practically ran another vehicle off the road, just so he could give us the lawful overtaking space. Result :cry:
     
  4. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    Location:
    Solihull
    like for instance a mate at work said to me, it says in the highway code you only have to give them the same room as a small car. i had to point out to her this meant that you had to "pretend" they were a car and add the same distance you would have left between yourself and the car, not just the car's width as if it were parked at the kerb.

    it would help if the law was more specific and said you have to leave 2 metres between your car and the cyclist.
     
  5. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    Location:
    Southsea
    The only close shaves I have had in France were from Brit plated cars. Indeed as you get the woosh of a close car, it comes as no surprise when you get a view of the plate. However, I have just come back from a week in Girona and the drivers are not as good as the French, but on average better than the Brits.
     
  6. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    Based on my experience of cycling in France, the major difference between here & there is attitude towards cyclists from motorists & pedestrians alike. It's just much more *positive* and cyclists are seen as *normal* and cycling as something *normal* either as leisure, commuting, sport, whatever. There just doesn't seem to be the overt hatred of cyclists that is too often seen over here.
     
  7. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    My understanding of the 'fault' thing is that in some European countries there is an assumed liability in collisions between motor/cyclist, in that the assumed liability lies with the motorist in terms of insurance. BUT if it is the result of cyclist error, the motorist is NOT liable. So it's not an automatic assumption of fault that cannot be challenged and allow a cyclist to get away with being an idiot. Unlike over here, where the balance is entirely the other way, where if a motorist hits a cyclist, it's bl**dy difficult to get it taken seriously... well, you know what I mean.
     
  8. Odyssey

    Odyssey New Member

    I would have thought that there already was some kind of law relating to this. But there's laws on the speed limits too and how many people stick to them considering how simple they are to enforce? And you're talking about a law regarding events that will rarely be seen by someone of authority.

    It's definately an attitude thing.
     
  9. yello

    yello Guru

    I reckon it is too. There are cyclists a plenty out here, it's the national sport, and I guess drivers are used to them. It is freaky having cars slow down and give you plenty of space as they come past (they don't always slow down but they do give plenty of space!). Even freakier when they wait behind you on climbs... I still expect car horns and revving engines but it just doesn't happen.

    I don't think it has anything to do with respect for the law (there's a following distance law too but that really is ignored!) but it is respect for cyclists.
     
  10. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    Location:
    Solihull
    yea, i think that's right Waffly.

    i know what you mean. it's really weird to hear a little toot of a horn just to "let you know they are there" before they give you a really wide berth, rather than to blast their horn and run you off the road.

    and yes, i suppose the national sport theme comes into play. i mean, lets face if if a premiership footballer was dribbling his ball down the kerb you can bet your life cars wouldn't pass as close as they do to us.
     
  11. atbman

    atbman Über Member

    I believe the overtaking gap is supposed to be a minimum of 2.0m, hich means that, unless you can show that the rider was trying to commit suicide by hurling themselves in front of you, you cannot have been obeying the law.

    Plus, as other forumers have said, cyclists are not regarded as "the other" as by many in the UK
     
  12. CotterPin

    CotterPin Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    Just come back from cycling in Belgium which has an extensive network of cycle lanes. My main observations were that motorists gave you greater consideration when turning right over the cycle path into a side street (even across sliproads onto motorways).

    However when cycling along country lanes where there were no cycle paths they did not seem to give me any more consideration (passing slowly and wide) than I seem to get in Britain.

    My feeling was that they are okay when they expect to see you on a bike lane but they seemed to have trouble dealing with you when in the same roadspace.

    Obviously there may be differences between Belgium and France (especially as I was in the Flemish speaking part).
     
  13. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    Location:
    Southsea
    I have returned from the Tour of Flanders Sportive (270km). The vast majority of the early miles were on the flat through towns and urban suburbia and on cycle paths separated from the main highway. It was quite strange on roundabouts, where the cycle path has the priority. You traverse around a roundabout on an external cycle path but all vehicles joining and entering the roundabout must give way to the cycle. It was strange but worked. At one point, we missed the path and ended up on the road. A Belgian cyclist reminded us, that we should be on the path. So, cycle paths can work.
     
  14. CotterPin

    CotterPin Senior Member

    Location:
    London
    I did the 140km version of the Tour of Flanders Sportive, Gavin. Much respect for you guys doing the full version.

    Yes - they can work where they are. And like you, we were told we should be on the path. But as mentioned in my earlier message when the bike lanes aren't there...

    Also the standards of bike design were often quite poor - you were bang in the dooring zone most of the time, for example. It maybe that because motorists are more used to cyclists then they do not need to be built to the same exacting standards that we have over here*

    *Cue for hollow laugh - but the design standards certainly in London are very high. It's the reality that lets it down
     
  15. Pete

    Pete Guest

    I've had fair amount of courtesy down in 'my' part of rural France, but then there isn't that much traffic anyway! There is some cycling 'infrastructure' - mostly similar to what we have in UK but I haven't seen anything worthy of the 'Warrington' website yet! One road leading into the nearest large town has had shared-use lines painted in on both pavements, alas! What makes it worse is that the pavement undulates sharply up and down wherever it crosses a private driveway. These paths are signed with blue circular cyclepath signs (not rectangular) - I don't know whether that makes them mandatory. Anyway I haven't cycled along that road yet. Perhaps I ought to lurk there until a French roadie comes along and watch what he does...