Meeting the French police in Nancy
Meeting the French police in Nancy Reviews
Meeting the French police in Nancy Dec 04, 2009
I was driving on the ring motorway around Nancy heading for Lyon and I was about to have one of my strangest encounters with the law enforcement that I ever had.
It was a wonderful driving day; the temperature was 5 degrees Celsius and the sun was shining on a blue sky. I was driving fast and too fast (I admit it); I followed a Luxembourg registered Audi A6 break in bronze colour and drove just as fast as him probably doing round 115-120 km/h, where we only were allowed to do 90 km/h.
Suddenly I had a white station car behind me with blue blinks on the roof; and he was aiming for me and not the Audi. I drove to the right and the police car followed me; passed me and pointed to the side; while I saw the Audi disappear in the horizon. I drove off the motorway and stopped on the side of the road, where the police wanted me to be.
It was far from the first time I got stopped by the police; so I took my Danish driving licence and told my friend Maxime to take out the car registrations papers and the green insurance card from the glove compartment.
I rolled down the window and smiled best I could; just to have a good start. It was a huge French policeman that came towards me, and he did not look pleased.
He started by yelling at me in wonderful and fluent French; he claimed that I was driving extremely fast; 147km/h and that I would get a fine of at least 475€. I pretended that I did not understand by asking if he spoke English, but I was quite amazed by his statement but I also knew that it all was a game and I would not be easy to fool.
Me not speaking French and driving a Belgian licensed car put him a little bit off, but he regained very fast and started in the best English he could; trying to give me a moral song and dance act and surprisingly raising the bar for the fine to 575€. He asked me how I would pay by Visa or Mastercard. I told him that I would be able to pay in cash if he didn't mind, because on pure coincidence I was carrying a lot of cash that day. At the same time I said that I wanted the proof picture that I had been driving as fast as he said that I had; knowing that would not be easy for him to make that happen. There was something fishy about this guy!
He took my papers and walked back to his car and got behind his steering wheel. I waited for a while then decided to walk to his car. I asked about the payment while he looked at my driver licence with a picture of me when I was 18. My friend Maxime had walked up to the police car and when he saw my photo he started laughing which was fair but absolutely not the time or the place!
The policeman got very angry and asked if we found this funny? I could honestly say absolutely not and tried to explain about the picture but he didn’t care. He went on looking at the car papers and he saw that the car was not registered to me but my Belgian government employer. He asked about that and I told him.
Then suddenly something very strange happen; he gave me back the papers through his car window and made a movement with his arm and hand which I did not understand and still dont understand.
He took off and my first impression was that I had to follow him, so we hurried back to the car in order to follow him. I didn’t want to be searched after by the entire French police force; they are well known for being very effective and direct; just look at the way they handle crowd control.
I went after him but in some way we had lost him at the first intersection; it was strange; weird and surprising.
This was a very strange encounter with the French police.
Part of the Lyon and Fête des Lumières travel blog
Part of the list Transportation around the world
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