Driving in Paris

Apart from just being a capital city, Paris thrives with life. As the business and cultural capital of France, Paris is an incredibly open city with many ‘grande boulevards’, large monuments and open spaces around. This makes Paris a perfect city to be explored and viewed by road. Sitting and watching roadside cafe it may seem that Paris is a dangerous city to drive, but in reality it is actually a very safe city where drivers are very conscious of one another.

Paris has an intricate network of beltway systems. Most of the boulevards crisscrossing the city are named after Napolenic-era generals. These are basically normal broad avenues with traffic lights. These are collectively known as ‘boulevard des marechaux’. The inner lanes running clockwise are known as ‘peripherique interieur’ and the counter clock wise outer lanes are known as ‘peripherique eterieur’.

Driving in Paris is just like driving elsewhere in France, because the traffic rules are just the same everywhere. You always drive right in Paris and while doing so it is mandatory to wear a front and rear seat belt. While driving, you can only use a hands-free system to speak on your mobile. Remember that it is absolutely compulsory to carry original driving license, car registration papers and insurance documents. Third party insurance is also considered as mandatory.

Keeping driving lights on by day is optional but by night is compulsory. The driver should not have a TV, videogame or a DVD within his line of sight. It is obligatory to have a breathalyser kit in the car. Children under 10 years must travel in the back seat of the car. If the backseat is already occupied by other children below 10 years they must wear a seat belt for children or be strapped in a proper child seat.

By French law, the driver should carry one red warning triangle and one high visibility waistcoat or vest. If there is a breakdown, the driver should wear the jacket before leaving the vehicle and place the red triangle 30 meters from the spot to warn the approaching vehicles. The roads are visibly marked with speed limit signs. The speed limit in a national highway ranges between 130 to 110 km/hr. Some have reduced speed limits to 90 km/hr to reduce pollution. The motor roads in Paris are generally in a good condition. Motorists have to pay toll tax at regular intervals via the ‘peage ‘ or toll system.


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