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Speed limits in France


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A word of warning to entrants travelling through France: 

I recently come back from two weeks in French Alps, and yesterday got a speeding ticket sent to my home address for exceeding the limit by 5 km/h - 75 km/h in a 70 km/h zone. This was on a quiet rural A/B road which I think used to be 80 km/h. I cannot remember seeing a speed camera but do vaguely remember seeing an unmarked blue van parked in an entrance to a field at the side of the road.

I do not make a habit of exceeding the speed limit (especially in France) as I was in a fully loaded 15 year old Discovery, but either I did not realise it was a 70 limit or my eyes were enjoying the scenery & road and I was not paying enough attention to the speedometer. 

It appears there is little or no discretion applied to exceeding the limits by even the smallest amount in France so be careful and get your navigator to keep an eye on the speedometer on the SAT NAV rather than rely on your Triumph's dial which are often 10% out which is certainly the case on the Triumph I will be using on the 10CR next month!


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It might seem they were very severe but the way it works here is they take the spped recorded by the radar and then :-

For a fixed radar they deduct 5km/h for a speed upto 100 km/h, above this thet deduct 5%. This is the speed used for the fine.

For a mobile radar they deduct 10km/h upto 100km/h, above this they deduct 10%.


Fixed radar

Speed measured at 95km/h the speed 'retenue' is 90 ( 95-5)

Speed measured 140km/h the speed 'retenue' is 133 (140-5%)

The amount of the fine, and points deducted, is less if the excess speed is less than 20km/h over the limit. i.e. speed limit 80km/h speed retenue 99km/h, fine = 45 Euros if you pay within 15 days of the notification if not than 68 Euros, if not paid within 45 days it is 180 Euros.

This info is taken off the back of a form from July that I have in my possession, guess how.

My holiday budget for trips to Spain includes 1 fine per trip. I always seem to get one on the return leg once back in France. This year's was a zone on a motorway with sections of roadworks. Limit was 90 I was flashed ( I even saw the flash) by a temporary radar at 97, speed 'retenue' 92, 45 euros and 1 point.

Happy holidays to all. . . 🤑



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Quoted from thescrapman-

This time last

 year when the 80 to 70 change occurred you had to know that when it said 80 it meant 70, I wonder if they are still updating the signage, so you had noticed a 80 and witntheb5kph drop mentioned you were bang on the posted limit, if not the actual limit

Sorry to be a pest, but - the change was from 90 to 80. The 80 signs were put up in place of the 90 version. There are quite a few sections of roads that are 70, they tend to be where the roads is twisty and there are several exits / junctions or where you enter what is classed as a built up area i.e. the panel with a place name on but as there aren't many/any properties on the road side they up the limit to 70.

The all knowing powers that be are beiginning to rethink it and it seems likely that they will do the sensible thing and allow each Departement (county) to determine which sections will be 90 and which 80.

Locally it won't make any difference we will all continue to do as we did before & after the change - drive at 100. 🤫

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Quoted from Tim Hunt-

Sorry to be a pest myself but doesn't a place name panel automatically indicate a 50kph limit which rises to the previously prevailing  one, probably 80kph, when you pass the place name sign with a diagonal red line through it? 


Yes, basically.

There are zones when there is a 70 sign at the same time as the entering a built up area which means the limit is 70 rather than 50. Then there are the growing number of 30 zones, usually in conjunction with speed bumps of some sort.

Once past the sign with the diagonal line the speed limit returns to the national limit i.e. 80 unless there is another sign with a different limit on.


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