Laws on french Cycling

karonmccarthysadd

New Member
Location
kent
Hiya, im new to the site and the world of cycling generally! My husband and I are going on a cycling holiday to france in august and are a bit unclear about the rules on cycling abroad. I know we are meant to carry a high vis but dont know when we're meant to wear it etc.
Can anyone help please?!
 
Its been discussed a few time on this forum, link :-)
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
Hover Fly said:
Very important:
The old rule of "priority to the right" still applies if there is no road sign (yellow diamond, also see link below) at the crossing. This means that you must give way to traffic arriving from the right hand side. This can be a dangerous trap for people.
http://www1.securiteroutiere.gouv.fr/signaux/famille.asp?sFamille=9&sSFamille=18
In theory. In practice, most people do the sensible thing and give way from small roads - and most junctions are marked as such. Only once in 1150 miles did we come across an instance of someone asserting their priority from the right; and that was at a complex unmarked junction in a town where all the roads were about the same size.
 

PaulB

Legendary Member
Location
Colne
karonmccarthysadd said:
My husband and I are going on a cycling holiday to france in august and are a bit unclear about the rules on cycling abroad.
I think in France, it's compulsory. They are the best, most tolerant, knowledgeable people on Cycling in Europe, I hear. You'll love it.
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
srw said:
In theory. In practice, most people do the sensible thing and give way from small roads - and most junctions are marked as such.
Don't rely on it though, especially in rural areas. Old habits die hard and some of the old boys tend to not let trivial little things like intersections bother them... especially after lunch. And there are many many unmarked junctions on rural roads.

Seriously though, it's safest to assume nothing when approaching a turning or intersection. I've had drivers sail across ahead of me without a care in the world.

Re high viz, it's only compulsory to wear it at night and outside of towns.
 

djmc

Über Member
Location
Quimper
Round here in Britanny, priorité à droit seems to be being re-introduced in towns where earlier there were traffic lights or road markings. I think that this was done to slow down the traffic. It seems to be much commoner in towns than in open country. High visibility clothing is only required in poor light conditions or in darkness.

In general road surfaces are excellent, much better than the UK, but often abysmal in towns. I think money for roads comes out of the local budget rather than that for the départment, but in any case roads in towns seem much worse. To some extent I think that this is deliberate. Pont l'Abbe has dreadful road surfaces and a lot of the priorities have been changed. It seems that this is done to reduce traffic speeds in town.
 
Hover Fly said:
Very important:
The old rule of "priority to the right" still applies if there is no road sign ...http://www1.securiteroutiere.gouv.fr/signaux/famille.asp?sFamille=9&sSFamille=18
Hangonaminute... you yield to the right even though traffic drives on the right?
Here at roundabouts you yield to the right but traffic keeps left?

Is this the same elsewhere in Europe?
 

djmc

Über Member
Location
Quimper
Roundabouts in France work in the same way as the UK mutatatis mutandis that is traffic already on the roundabout has priority. In practice it means that priority is to the left.

On roads where there is no marked priority, then one should give way to traffic coming onto the road from the right.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
karonmccarthysadd said:
I know we are meant to carry a high vis but dont know when we're meant to wear it etc.
Can anyone help please?!
I think (and hope) the requirement to carry a hi vis is actually only in a motor vehicle (along with warning triangle, bulbs etc). I don't think any of us carried any hi-vis on our trip, as we had no intention of riding in the dark out of town.

If I'm wrong, I've just been a renegade for a fortnight.:tongue:
 

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
No, you don't have to carry one.

I'll say again, you only need to wear one during hours of darkness when outside of towns.

...that is, at night in rural areas

......you don't need to wear one at all, any time of day, ever within the town limits

.........you only have to wear one when it gets dark and you're cycling outside of an urban area

Have we got it now :tongue:
 

Fnaar

Smutmaster General
Location
Thumberland
If you're cycling along the prom in St Tropez, and you are male, you have to wear a mankini. Probably. And have wrinkly shoulders.
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
Enjoy it. My experience on a bike in France is that drivers allow you more room than in the UK, are more courteous to cyclists than in the UK, are more tolerant of being slowed down or inconvenienced by cyclists than in the UK.

Except in Paris.
 

Jezston

Über Member
Location
London
Davidc said:
Except in Paris.
The above should be added to anyone providing any info about anything in France.

To be fair, drivers in Paris are actually fairly considerate towards cyclists, relatively speaking. They just all drive like effing mentalists. You won't get anyone beeping at you to get out of their way or agressively close passing you like you might in the UK. You may however get hit head on by an old banger driving the wrong way down a cycle lane.
 
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