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'Stay calm': Advice for drivers in France caught in the 'yellow vest' road blocks

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'Stay calm': Advice for drivers in France caught in the 'yellow vest' road blocks
Photo: AFP
11:34 CET+01:00
The "yellow vest" fuel tax protests around France have continued into a third day in France with road blocks set up at strategic points on roads and motorways across the country. Here's some advice for anyone who gets caught up in the blockades.

Road blocks were put up across France for a third day on Monday, leaving many people driving in France navigating tolls and motorway entrance points lined with protesters.

Already in Saturday's protests, more than 400 people were hurt, 14 seriously, in a day and night of "yellow vest" protests over rising fuel price hikes around France that claimed one life, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Sunday.

Here are some tips for how to navigate France's roads during the "yellow vests" protests without injuring protesters. 

Autoroute INFO which advises drivers on France's motorways advised drivers to remain calm and not to turn around and drive in the opposite direction of traffic in order to avoid a blockade (see tweet below).
 
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Fuel protests LATEST: 'Yellow vests' continue road blockades across FrancePhoto: AFP

 

French motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes also advised drivers to check the latest news regarding protests on the roads you are planning to use and, if it looks like there is a lot of disruption, recommended avoiding the roads altogether. 

Meanwhile motorway operator Sanef has advised drivers "caution when approaching pedestrians and sudden stops in traffic". 

You can follow the latest updates on several Twitter accounts dedicated to motorists in France, including SanefVinci Autoroutes and Autoroute INFO.

On top of that, you can use the map below which shows the locations of the latest blockades on Monday, according to the site blocage17novembre.com which is run by the protest group itself. (Use the zoom function to see if there are any roadblocks in your area.)

 
On Monday protesters, whose anger over rising fuel prices has been directed at President Emmanuel Macron, blocked several fuel depots around the country
including one in Vern-sur-Seiche near Rennes, Pallice near La Rochelle, Fos-sur-Mer near Marseille and Lespinasse near Toulouse.
 
There were also spontaneous road blocks and go-slows set up a roundabouts and motorway exit points across the country.
 
However so far French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has vowed to stick to the government's plan to raise fuel taxes in January.
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Neurolink - 19 Nov 2018 17:55
I was surrounded by these idiots at a roundabout yesterday. They are very intimidating in large numbers setting off flares by your window and pouring their hate and vitriol all about. Though, I bet they would slink off if there was only one or two of them - cowards!
I am not Emmanuel Macron, so go take your protest to the Elysee and leave decent people alone. I hope you all get arrested.
Linda - 19 Nov 2018 19:31
Last Tuesday I had a serous medical emergency which required that my husband drive me one hour to a clinique where a specialist was waiting for me to save my life. It terrifies me to think that we would have been required to drive through at least 3 or 4 of these blockades in oder to reach this clinique. My GP told me that, no, they probably would not let us pass. Of course we would call the wonderful pompiers, but this is not at all acceptable as they are busy with other serious matters. The price of oil has fallen dramatically of late. There's a lot to be concerned about but putting people's lives at stake is not acceptable.
Daniela - 19 Nov 2018 20:04
My experience isn't as bad as LINDA's above, but nevertheless, it did cause some disruption to ourselves and our friends.
We arranged a get together at our house (we live in a village outside Nice) for a Wine Tasting of the new Beaujolais on Sunday. We thought that the roads would be back to normal by then. Well, no....
Our friends bought a few bottles of the new Beaujolais and we bought the cold meats, cheeses and fois gras. Unfortunately, our friends couldn't get to us (from Vallauris, near Antibes), and were stuck in traffic for hours with all the wine without anything to eat. And we were stuck at home with over £100 worth of food, and no wine!! We weren't very happy.
PTB - 19 Nov 2018 20:39
These are not idiots but protesters the kind of which the UK is too short of. In the Uk people sit around moaning, and very few get up and out and protest loudly when political issues impact directly on their lives. I was inconvenienced when I went shopping Saturday and couldn't use the supermarket. but there wer shops open in the local town centre I was able to use. And nurses and other care workers were waived through, as would anybody with a medical emergency. But then of course one would have to speak the language well enough to explain the problem. As for inconveniencing your wine and cheese party, please! The hike in petrol prices affects everyone living in rural France, which are millions, which rely on their own transport to get them around, and to manage their businesses. The elite in government in Paris do not seem to understand this, but then they do not suffer from such moves themselves as they have enough money to cushion them.
Francoise - 20 Nov 2018 14:13
Bravo PTB! The people in France are driven to make protests over important issues which affect their lives, such as can they afford to get to work, pay the bills, pay for food etc especially in poorer rural areas of which there are many in France (but obviously not the villages around Nice and near Antibes! Talk about 1st world problems!). Thank goodness some people have the guts to make themselves heard and try to change things for the better.
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