Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Either Way, Put on the Brakes
Quick. Don't think. What is this?
If you answered "a French stop sign," you are so wrong. Well okay you are right if you meant "French" as in "French language." But if you meant "a stop sign in France," you lose. This is a stop sign I saw in Québec when we were there last month. A stop sign in France has the the same shape and the same color scheme but the letters read "STOP." Yes, for real.
I attempted to document this, setting out with my camera in my bag as I did my usual errands, knowing full well that I have seen many such signs during our sojourn here in France. Only it turns out, there aren't any stop signs in Paris or at least in my neck of the woods. There are traffic lights galore and white markings on the road indicating that cars must "arrêt à l'intersection dans les conditions définies à l'article R.415-6 du code de la routiere." (This information courtesy of the Ministère de l’Écologie, de l’Énergie, du Développement durable et de la Mer -- how's that for a mouthful?) But no red signs with the word "STOP." Which perhaps explains something about traffic in Paris and why I'm just as happy to be on foot.