Traffic on the roads around Monaco, especially to and from Nice, may experience problems on November 17th and especially around the toll booths. Have you noticed the increase in the price of petrol? If you are driving an electric car, probably not. But most people have not yet made the transition to electric transport. So they are vulnerable to swings in the price of petrol and today’s price at the pump is enraging many motorists.
Nowadays, with social media sites like Facebook and others, anger travels faster than a Ferrari racing down the Grand Prix track. This is playing itself out on the internet with an increasing number of activists inviting each other and communities to take to the roads later this November and impede traffic. It’s a “strike” of sorts against rises in prices.
So residents of Monaco beware as November 17th approaches. There are plans afoot to bring the traffic on highways across France to a standstill in protest – or at least to reduce the flow of traffic to a snail’s pace. November 17th is likely not a good day if you have plans to travel on the A8.
Specifically, scouring the media and press reports on activists’ plans, thousands are targeting Frejus and the Var. Some have already jumped the gun with lorries causing stoppages in Haute-Savoie. This wave of protest could easily grip the whole of France. It is against the law to deliberately block or slow down traffic on the autoroute. The instigators can face the possibility of up to two years in jail and hefty fines of 4.500 euros. Technically it is also against the law to organize a demonstration on public roads without giving the Mairie advance notice. It can get you a 7.500 euro fine or up to 6 months in jail. There appears to be no formal notice of a planned demonstration yet delivered in the Alpes Maritimes. So the organisers would be in default. In the old days organizing a meeting in a hall or at a bar and passing out leaflets to plan disruption on the roads could get you into serious trouble. Now people hide behind disguised email addresses as they whip up the community to flock to the roads to protest petrol price rises.
Rumour has it there are also plans to disguise number plates so that owners’ of cars blocking the autoroute cannot later be apprehended. Hiding registration numbers is also illegal and attracts a fine of 135 euros and 1 to 6 points penalty on your driving licence.
For residents of Monaco, whether the planned protest is illegal or not is a moot point – traveling on the A8 on November 17th may well be a headache. Keep an eye out on social media for any planned ‘auto-route strikes” by activists as November 17th approaches, and especially in the Monaco-Nice corridor.
And, if you are traveling on the autoroutes anywhere in France, expect the same potential disruption. Blame it on petrol prices!