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France

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'''France''' is a member state of the [[European Union]] as well as the [[Schengen Agreement]]. It is usually a great country for hitchhiking. There are many friendly car and truck drivers. Drivers have to pay toll on motorways (except in [[Bretagne|Brittany]]), and you can get a ride quite easily at some ''barrières de péage'' (toll stations). When hitchhiking on local roads, you might face some difficulties sometimes, though. One of the commonly known barriers for traveling in France is a language - you might wanna learn some basic phrases before you off on the road in France.
There are no hitchhiking prohibitions in France, apart from the restricted access roads. Moreover some expierience experience shows that french people will more often stop in a place where it is not normally allowed than in other countries.
It may also be helpful to write '''S.V.P.''' on your sign with a destination name - it is short for ''s'il vous plaît'' (sih-voo-play) which means ''please'' in French.
'''Péage''' ([http://french.about.com/library/media/wavs/peage.wav]) is a French word for ''[[toll]]''. It is also commonly used as referring to [[toll station]]s.
In France, most of the motorways are toll roads which are the fastest way to hitch across the country. There are two types of toll stations on péages. First, there are big ones where all traffic has to stop to pay a fee (or to get a ticket) - these are ''barrières de péage'' and usually they are excellent spots to get a long-distance ride and make it really easy to hitchhike durring during the night. They are often located near big cities on the autoroute. Another type is a side barrier situated on all exits in the toll part of the motorway. On latter ones traffic is much smaller, therefore one can expect a longer waiting time, although sometimes congested toll stations (the first type) can be a difficult place to hitch from, too.
To reach the ''barrière de péage'', you may need to walk along the motorway; with a help of a proper map check if the distance needed to be walked is not too long. It is actually illegal to walk on a side lane of the motorway (same is valid for some parts of national roads (''voie express'') in France); if police sees you, you will be driven somewhere safe and may be fined for ~90€. Péage toll stations are considered a part of the motorway, and legally you do not have the right to solicit rides there. You may be asked to wait in the parking area which is after each ''barrière de péage''. In practice, this is rarely enforced (maybe 5% of the time), most toll station employees simply want to make sure you're not endangering yourself or others. Having a sign with your destination (or the next city) is recommended and will distinguish you as a serious hitchhiker, and not a vagrant.
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