France Traffic Signs
Most traffic signs in France are (virtually) the same as traffic signs in many other EU countries. Here, in particular, French road signs are shown that may differ from those in your home country or differ from familiar road signs in terms of appearance or significance.
French border. After this sign the traffic rules and laws of France apply.
Give priority to the intersection. The text Cédez le passage means: Give priority. You should give priority to this board, but if nothing comes to it, you do not have to stop first.
On the intersection, give priority to vehicles coming from the right.
Roundabout. This sign warns you are approaching a roundabout and indicates that you should give priority to drivers who are already at the roundabout.
You do not have priority. This text is often shown under the traffic sign Roundabout and means that you have to give drivers priority on the roundabout.
Dead-end road with an exit for cyclists and pedestrians. At the end of this road, motorized vehicles can not continue, but cyclists and pedestrians do. There is also a similar sign with only a white pedestrian.
End of maximum speed.
Maximum speed on a highway when it is dry and when it rains. On a highway (autoroute) the general maximum speed is 130 km / h, but if it rains a lower maximum speed of 110 km / h.
Minimum speed. Unlike in many other countries, a minimum speed may apply to certain motorways and tunnels in France. If you drive slower than the indicated speed, you can get a fine.
End of minimum speed.
City area. After this sign the maximum speed is 50 km / h, unless otherwise indicated.
End of city area. After this sign the maximum speed is 80 km / h, unless otherwise indicated.
There are also traffic signs indicating a road type and implicitly indicating a maximum speed. The same road signs with a red diagonal line indicate the end of a road type.
End of highway.
Motorway. On a motorway you can drive a maximum of 110 km / h unless indicated otherwise by signs.
Residential area. Pedestrians always have priority on a yard (zone de rencontre) and may even use the road if a footpath is present. A maximum speed of 20 km / h applies here.
Direction sign autoroutes. Blue road signs with white letters are used on car routes (highways).
Signpost other roads. On standard roads (Routes Nationales, Routes Départementales and Chemins Vicinaux) white signposts with black letters are used.
Direction sign alternative routes. This indicates routes to important places as alternative routes for the toll roads.
Signpost of traffic-free route. With yellow (or older green) signposts with the text Bis, traffic-free alternative routes by the French traffic information service Bison Futé, the so-called Itinéaires Bis, are indicated.
Signpost end of traffic free route. Fin d’itinéaires Bis means End Bis route.
Closed for motor vehicles, with the exception of mopeds.
Closed for motorcycles.
Closed for motorcycles. The text Interdit aux literally means: Prohibited for. Instead of motocyclists (motorcycles), other road users can also be designated here.
U-turn and turn
Forbidden to turn at the next intersection.
Prohibited from turning left at the next intersection. A similar sign with an arrow pointing to the right indicates that turning to the right at the next intersection is forbidden.
Tolls are levied on most motorways and at various bridges and tunnels in France. You can pay with cash, at a ticket machine, a credit card or a toll badge.
Toll. This road sign indicates that you are approaching toll booths.
Ticket vending machine for paying toll.
Payment of tolls with a credit card via a vending machine.
Pay toll with cash through a vending machine.
Pay toll with a toll badge. The orange-yellow letter t stands for télépéage, which means as much as paying electronic toll.
Environment / environmental zone
Permanent environmental zone. Zone à circulation restreintel literally means traffic restriction zone. On a lower sign it is stated for whom and when the sign applies.
Sign permanent environmental zone. This sign indicates which vehicles are not allowed to enter the zone and for which categories of these vehicles (with environmental stickers) an exception applies (sauf catégories means excluding the categories).
In the example given here, light commercial vehicles and lorries may not enter the environmental zone from Monday to Friday from 6-19 hours, unless they have one of the illustrated environmental stickers.
End of permanent environmental zone.
Snow chains mandatory on at least two wheels.
Winter tires allowed. If the traffic sign Snow Chains is compulsory with a sign with the text Pneus neige admis winter tires allowed and you are on winter tires, you do not need to apply snow chains.
Road closed road after 100 meters.
Closed road. This sign indicates that a road or mountain pass is closed. The white fields indicate which road or pass.
This road is open for vehicles with snow chain.
Traffic tunnel. This traffic sign also implicitly indicates that turning, stopping and parking is prohibited in the tunnel (except in case of emergency) and that it is mandatory to provide lighting.
Light your lights. This board is often located at the entrance to a tunnel, but can also be used in other situations, and indicates that it is mandatory to provide lighting.
Emergency stop lane
Emergency stop lane on the right. There are similar signs for an emergency stop lane on the left and a lane between two roads. This sign is used to indicate a branch of a road on a steep slope where vehicles that can no longer brake can safely make an emergency stop. This strip usually runs up slightly and ends in a large gravel tank.
Two lanes are being merged. There are various variations of this sign.
Bus line in opposite of the direction of traffic. There are various variations of this sign.
Bicycle lane in opposite of the direction of traffic. There are various variations of this sign.
Road section where there can be overtaken, or a road with separate lanes without crossings. There are variations of this sign.
By far the most warning signs in France are the same as in many other EU countries, but there may be some signs that do not appear in your home country or look different.
The temporary warning signs are for road works and have a bright yellow background.
Falling rocks. This road sign warns that there is a risk of stones falling from a slope on the roadway.
Sheeps on the road.
Chance of traffic jam.
Standing still and parking
Forbidden to park from the 1st to the 15th. On the side of the road where this sign is placed, you may not park from the 1st to the 15th day of the month. There is a similar sign indicating a parking ban from the 16th to the 31st day of the month.
Forbidden to park for an exit. The text literally means: forbidden to park – exit of vehicles.
Opportunity to park for a limited time with a parking ticket free of charge.
Opportunity for paid parking.
Parking for electric cars. With this sign you can only park with an electric car that you charge (the plug must be in the car). The text Interdit sauf means: Prohibited except for.
Caravan and trailer
Closed for vehicles towing a caravan or trailer of more than 250 kg and having a maximum permissible mass not exceeding 3500 kg.
Vehicles towing a trailer with a permissible maximum mass exceeding 250 kg. This bottom sign indicates that the sign above it applies to the indicated vehicles.
Vehicles towing a caravan or trailer of more than 250 kg and whose total weight, vehicle plus trailer, does not exceed 3500 kg. This bottom sign indicates that the sign above it applies to the indicated vehicles.
Bike and moped
Place on the road
The following road signs indicate paths that are specifically intended for cyclists, light moped riders and / or moped riders.
Mandatory cycle path for drivers of bicycles and mopeds without sidecar or trailer.
Path or lane recommended and reserved for cyclists.
Green road (voie verte), intended exclusively for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorized traffic.
Closed for cyclists.
Closed for moped and light moped riders.
Closed for all motorized traffic.
Turn off at red
Cyclists may turn right when the traffic light is red. They must, however, give priority to all other road users in the correct manner.
Caution: fire hazard. Attention au feu means: Beware of fire.