La Vie à Lyon

Living, learning and loving in Lyon !

Archive for the tag “driving”

Stereotypes in action…

After almost taking out yet another motorbike rider, I feel the need to vent a little! French drivers – arrrruughhh! They’re too fast, they’re too close, they toot the instant the light turns green, their use of blinkers is non-existant and they scoot across to the wrong side of the road if there’s a parking spot available there.

Motorbike riders are the worst though. There’s the normal annoyance where they ride to the front of the line at the traffic lights, but here, if they can’t get past on the road – which is often the case because the streets are very narrow – they just take the footpath to get there. I’ve even seen them then take the pedestrian crossing at the red light and keep on going! They overtake anywhere they like – in a roundabout, around a corner, on my inside or my outside!

The road toll here last year was almost 4000 – 3970, to be exact. Motorbike riders alone made up more than twice Australia’s total road toll (704 / 287). I know there’s three times the people in France, but three times our road toll is nowhere near 3970 (it’s 861…)!

Yes, maybe I exaggerate a little – they’re not all like that – but the road toll is no exaggeration.

Calmement, Frenchies, calmement!


Letters and numbers

France has 22 regions (like states), divided into 96 departments (like shires). We live in the region of Rhône-Alpes, which is divided into 8 departments. Our department is Rhône, the capital city of which is Lyon.

My France fridge puzzle!

Each department is numbered, and cars from each department have that number on their number plates. Rhône is 69.

Rhône Sweet Rhône.

So, as a passenger, I like playing the number plate game! I don’t know all the numbers and departments yet, but it’s interesting to try and find where everyone’s from (well…I think it is)! Cars from different countries within Europe also have a corresponding letter on their number plates. F for France, P for Portugal, for example. E for Spain, but hey – things are spelt differently here!

Old plate.

New plate.


We drive on the right, right?

Driving in France is something, like the keyboard, that takes a while to get used to. Unlike the keyboard however, it’s a whole lot more serious! I’ve had to retrain my reflexes, which isn’t particularly easy. With opening the door instead of changing gears, turning on the wipers instead of the blinkers, and that bloody ‘priority at right’ rule, I feel like an L plater again!

Give way to the right at the next intersection. Even though I’m on the thoroughfare.

Look out France!


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