Priority to the Right

A brief run down on the priority to the right law in France.  Basically in designated areas traffic entering your route from the right can have priority over you.  It goes without saying, ignore this rule and come up against Jean-Claude entering your assumed “right of way” in his 2CV or 4X4, YOU will come off worse and be breaking the law of the road to boot.

First sign to be aware of is this one, the yellow diamond with a white border and a black line passing through it diagonally and means you are no longer on a priority road and is normally next to the village or town sign which incidentally also doubles up as the 50kph speed limit.

End of priority

End of priority

Next is this one and probably one of the most important signs you will come across in France.  This sign indicates PRIORITY TO THE RIGHT at the next junction, even though it is a cross which we think of as cross roads it can equally be a ‘T’ junction.

This sign indicated the next junction is a PRIORITY TO THE RIGHT

This sign indicated the next junction is a PRIORITY TO THE RIGHT

So you approach the junction, often blind, slow down, prepare to stop and check for oncoming traffic, that’s it!  Job done!

This is a Priority to the Right Junction.

This is a Priority to the Right Junction.

The car pulling out from the right has priority over you!

The car pulling out from the right has priority over you!

Lastly, normally on exiting the village you will see this sign, a yellow diamond with a white border, this means end of priority to the right, your road has priority….. also note the village sign with a diagonal black line through it, you are leaving the village’s 50kph zone.

This sign means end of Priority to the Right!

This sign means end of Priority to the Right!

Next point and just as important is this rule exists in towns and cities.  Each junction is to be judged on its own merits.  Look for a give way or stop signs on the junction, easier to spot these signs than the paint on the road as that is often worn away and more difficult to see.  Other things to look out for are amber flashing lights suspended over or the approach to junctions, they normally indicate danger, priority to the right or something else.

One more treat in store is a ‘priority to the right’ roundabout.  Not so many of these about for one obvious reason, they don’t work.  Think about it, if it was busy, traffic already on the roundabout must give way to vehicles entering the roundabout on their right hand side, so ultimately the roundabout will block itself up.

Black car on the roundabout stops to allow car entering on his right hand side as he has the priority over traffic already on the roundabout.

Black car on the roundabout stops to allow car entering on his right hand side, the silver car has priority over the black car already on the roundabout.

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Another car follows so the black car still has to wait.

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