There are well over two thousand stationary speed cameras on France’s roads and motorways – not a lot by some country’s standards but new cameras are being set up all the time. Your map book may be out of date and won’t in any case, include mobile radars that are favoured by the police.
You will not always see a specific speed-restriction sign at the entrance to a built-up area, particularly at the entrance to small villages. This is very common in rural areas. What you will see is the Village name board at the entrance to the village or town and this is an automatic indication that you are entering a built-up area with a speed limit of 50 km/h, unless otherwise indicated – don’t be caught out in this situation – remember to slow down and avoid a fine.
The AA website advises:
- Under articles L413-2 and R413-15 of the French ‘Code de la Route’ (highway code), it is strictly forbidden to have radar speed camera detectors in cars in France, regardless of whether or not they are in use.
- Penalties can include fines of up to €3,000, confiscation of the device and of the vehicle.
- This legislation does not apply to satellite navigation systems (SatNav or GPS). These can tell motorists only the location of fixed speed cameras, data which is already in the public domain
Speed Limits in France
These are the normal speed limits for driving in France:
- The normal speed limit on French motorways is 130 km/hr (just over 80 mph) – or 110 km/hr in rain – 50 km per hour in fog where visibility is 50m or less
- The normal speed limit on dual carriageways (divided highways) is 110 km/hr (68 mph
- The normal speed limit on main roads is 90 km/hr (outside built-up areas) (56 mph)
- The normal speed limit in built-up areas is 50 km/hr – unless otherwise indicated. (31mph)