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The Traveller's Magazine
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Thinking about a holiday in France by train? If you’ve ever been put off by rude passengers with bad manners, don’t worry. France has introduced the Politeness Police, on a French train near you.

SNCF, France’s state-owned rail system is buckling down on a long-time problem: bad manners on trains. Their solution? Implementing an elite squad of highly trained Politeness Police. The number one complaint from passengers about SNCF’s services is rudeness, but not from the company’s staff but rather from fellow passengers.

Rudeness complaints up 25% this year

There has been an increase in this type of complaint of an astonishing 25% this year alone! What’s up, France? Official complains have included accounts of passengers spitting on each other, insulting ticket inspectors, putting feet on seats, speaking unnecessarily loud on mobile phones, pulling the emergency stop for no reason, vandalising train interiors and playing music out loud.

SNCF says,

We aim to tackle offensive or irritating everyday behaviour of people who make life a misery for other passengers.

The train company has trained thousands of staff members to be so-called “conflict specialists”, ready to patrol train stations and trains on the look out for mis-behaving passengers. Their ammunition? Fines. These staff members will hand out fines to passengers for doing anything annoying from putting their feet on seats to talking obnoxiously loud on their mobile phone. It won’t be all fines though, the Politeness Police will also try to engage passengers in conversation about simple respect for other passengers.

Don’t let rude passengers put you off a train trip through France a moment longer. The Politeness Police are on the job!

Imgs: faungg / Flickr cc.

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