Of course the road signs in France make sense, but they are different than the road signs in the United States. Upon suggestion I have collected them for display. (Every European is now terrified to think of Americans out on their roads). Study up Fans.
Oh, the choices ...
Read an additional blog post by PedalDancer.com about:
Understanding Autoroutes and Toll Booths in France
- In 100 meters you will enter a traffic circle. This traffic circle has 5 options to exit, important landmarks at each exit are labeled.
- For the Peage (blue toll road symbol) and the Airport (plane symbol) - take the first exit off of the circle
- For the tourist site Grange de Meslay continue in the straight direction on the opposite side of the traffic circle. Note: your car GPS system will tell you to "take the third exit" rather than saying go straight.
These are the basic How To drive road signs in France
The basic danger signs in France
Red means danger
Accept that you will not be able to read all signs in one quick fly by
To interpret written road signs (French - English)
- There is no “right on red” in France. Cars entering highways from the right have priority unless marked otherwise.
- It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving in France.
- My brother always warns danger comes from behind in France, and he is correct. Look behind you frequently and always before changing lanes. Drivers will come upon you very fast from the rear.
- don't hog the fast lane. The left (fast) lane is for overtaking only, not for traveling in.If you hog the fast lane, you may also be reminded to move over with a flash of headlights from the car behind trying to pass. Stay as far right as possible at all times, even the middle lane is used for passing.
- every car must contain an emergency triangle and vest. These items must remain in the main part of the car and not in the trunk.
- don't pull up too far into the intersection, be sure to stop at the line next to the signal. If you out of habit pull to the intersection you will no longer be able to see the signal and become a nuisance to the drivers behind you.
Priorité à Droite - right-of-way to cars entering from the right
This is a totally different concept for American drivers so read carefully. Cars entering roadways from the right have the priority in France, even if you are moving in your vehicle and they are not and you are on a larger road. All cars on the right have priority unless it is signed otherwise (yellow triangle). In America if we come to an intersection and both cars are stopped, the car and the right has priority. But in France all cars entering on the right have the right-of-way, and cars continuing straight must yield. I believe that survival of the fittest has prevailed over time in France, and cars will not blindly enter from the right when it is not safe. But understand that they can, and you will be at fault if there is an accident.
Almost all round-abouts (traffic circles) will be marked “cedez le passage” which means entering traffic yields to the traffic already in the circle (cars entering on the right do not have right-of-way in traffic circles). At traffic circles look left for approaching cars and do not enter the traffic circle unless it is clear to your left. Keep your left blinker on while in the circle, and turn the right signal on when exiting.
*if you see a round sign, with a red border around a bike it means NO BIKES
(it may not have a line through it. Do NOT enter that road on a bike)
Do not enter
Watch out for road furniture on your bike (stay to the right)
Some of the most common signs I saw while riding a bike in springtime - Gravel and construction.
Sprint any time you see one of these! (City Limit sign, a tradition in cycling!)
(with the number of the road above the sign, but I think it should be the points you earn for the win)
Fore more facts and information about driving in France please read: Driving Guide to France