|International Traffic Symbols
International Traffic Symbols, Driving in Europe
Driving in France, will be governed by international driving symbols that are similar to those in Canada and Mexico.
Driving in France is similar to driving in Mexico, and Canada, including the giving of the right of way to the car in the rotary except where noted by dark lines or arrows. (this varies in France)
The rotary will become a most welcome sight while driving in France and Italy because the rotary will have signs clearly marking directions to cities and towns.
When in doubt about a direction, you can go to the inside and circle the rotary as many times as it takes to get your bearings.
Study the rotary nuance, however, the car in the rotary does not always have sole right of way.
Speed limits in France are in Kilometers per hour and are clearly marked with international symbols along most roads in France and Italy, often with flashing lights.
130 Kilometers per hour on a clear day 110 in the rain. Accurately this is 80.77 mph when clear, 68.35 in the rain and by the rule of thumb described at left it comes out to 86 when clear and 72 when raining, close enough.
Kilometers to Miles
International driving symbols will use KM rather than miles.
A handy rule of thumb to quickly convert kilometers to miles is to take the overall distance, 90 kilometers for example, divide by three and add two of the thirds. This will give you 60 miles in this case. 90 divided by 3 =30 x 2= 60, approximately converting 90 km to 60 miles. Although inaccurate for long distances, this can be quickly done in your head and will be near enough for short distances.
Highway driving is just like highway travel in the US with toll tickets, rest areas, food and gas stops all being very similar. Keep small change handy in coins for the automatic toll gates.
Learning the words for a few of the important highway signs can help when driving in France, the word for right, Droit, left, Gouche, paid parking, Payant, and a few others can help but a use of the language is not needed for a successful road trip in France or Italy where familiarity with the international road symbols would help. A map legend will have explanations of the symbols and road sign logos now used commonly worldwide.
International Traffic Symbols are primarily graphic shapes that are easily understood.
International Traffic Symbols on Europe's highways are similar to those in Mexico with the use of graphic shapes rather than language, less similar to those in the US.
International Traffic Symbols, France
Driving in France for Americans or Canadians will not require a driving test but except for France, non European Union visitors should carry an International Driving Permit
No Passing for commercial vehicles
with yield to traffic in rotary
The no parking symbol.
The cities in France will have paid parking, usually an automated system with a machine that vends a ticket for placing on the windshield or a ticket that you take on entering and insert and pay on leaving
Highway speed Limit, reduced in rain and fog from the usual 130 KM per hour for clear day speeds on France's toll roads.
International Traffic Symbols in Europe use graphics rather than language
In Europe, a common shape for a warning ahead is the triangle. The top one pictured left is Italy's symbol for a stop light ahead. Various countries us different colored backgrounds and a simple graphic within.
This differs from the US Canada, and Mexico where the diamond shape is used for a warning ahead and in the US where the warning may be in English without a graphic.
|Warning ahead Diamond,
US, Canada, Mexico
|Warning ahead triangle, Europe
Here the exit speed limit is 70 km per hour
Here the international driving symbol shows an exit speed limit of 90 km per hour
The stop sign shape common in US is used internationally for stop, yellow for caution, and green for go at traffic lights.
International Traffic Symbols for Driving in Europe display graphic symbols rather than language. The International Traffic Symbols are not standardized throughout Europe but many of the symbols are common to several countries
International Traffic Symbols for Driving in Europe use graphic symbols rather than language except in pointing out cities by name.
The US driver will note that difference. The International Traffic Symbols are not standardized throughout Europe but a few symbols like the circle for the speed limit are common
International Traffic Symbols in Europe include the speed limit in KM per hour