Thursday, March 24, 2005
See, it's not just me....even they hate themselves
French drivers rude? Mais oui, says survey
PARIS, March 23 (AFP) - Any visitor to France who thinks the country's drivers are pushy, rude and prone to parking wherever their cars might conceivably fit on Wednesday had confirmation from an unlikely source - the drivers themselves.
According to a survey carried out by AGF, an insurance company, and APFC, an association for preventing road-rage, six out of 10 French drivers believe their fellow motorists are impolite and aggressive behind the wheel.
"Civic behaviour, politeness, respect, patience and commonsense are concepts which seem to totally escape the French when they are behind the wheel," APFC said.
The list of galling Gallic transgressions on the road remains long - and dangerous.
Half the respondents felt drivers did not respect pedestrians.
The pollsters pointed out that the pedestrians themselves had a much lower regard for motorists with 87 percent saying that they often or sometimes had difficulty crossing a road. Much of that could be attributed to the peculiar French blindness of crosswalks and a fondness for speeding, even between traffic lights.
More than one driver in three admitted that he or she "regularly parked on the sidewalk".
And one in five of all the respondents - and one in three of the respondents aged 18-24 - also confessed to using a mobile telephone while driving.
APFC, which held the survey before a national Day of Politeness Behind the Steering Wheel to be held Thursday, said the French behaviour contrasted with that in Britain, where motorists were seen to be calm, orderly and considerate.