Priorité à Droite (priority to the right) in France

Written by on March 11, 2013 in Rules and Regulations

Priorite a droite France

This famous feature of French driving protocol is still causing confusion today even though it isn’t as common as it was.  Basically when you are driving in France, look out for a sign with a black cross in a white triangle with a red outline – traffic from the right entering into your road doesn’t have to stop, you do…..even if you are travelling at speed.  You’ll also find that some right entry roads have very poor visibility so practice caution.  We find that some smaller roads don’t have “give way” lines across them – often this is taken by local French road users as giving priority from the right so beware of this, particularly in rural areas.

priority to the right in France

There are at two main areas where you need to be careful:

Rural areas and small villages.  You will often find that on minor roads priorité à droite is still assumed even if there is no French road sign.  You need to look out for roads without a give way sign, slow down and don’t wait for anyone to thank you. Assume that cars will simply come from the right without stopping on these roads – 99 times out of a hundred this is certainly what happens – cars do not slow down and check when they are coming from a road which has priorité à droite (priority from the right).  The onus is on the car on the left to slow down and check and stop if a car is coming from the right. Inthe event of an accident the car from the left will almost certainly be blamed.

Paris.  In central Paris you will find that the rule is very much still practiced on roundabouts (carousels). You can be halfway round a roundabout and suddenly get cutup by a car joining the roundabout.  Keep your wits about you and pay close attention- take Paris roundabouts slowly and cautiously – better to have an angry French motorist bibbing his hooter (honking their horn) and shouting than having him and his car inserted into the side of your vehicle!

For more rules on driving in France see:

Checklist for driving in France


Rules of the Road– Driving inFrance

Speed limits in France

Motor Ways and Toll roads


Related Articles

European Driving Laws

Driving is a great way to explore a country you’re visiting. Going off the beaten track and discovering a hidden gem not in the guide book is one of the great joys of travel. That unrivalled feeling of freedom to go where you want, when you want. And in Europe we are spoilt for choice […]

Continue Reading

Update to French Driving Rules 2015

New rules come into force as at July 2015 for drivers and cyclists in France. You need to be aware of them since breaking the rules unwittingly won’t save you from being fined or worse, you could have your vehicle confiscated. The full rules can be found at the Government website: French Driving Rules […]

Continue Reading

New Style Driving Licence France

From 16 September 2013 France started to issue a new format driving license. The famous pink paper style licences will be phased out and a new credit card model will instead be circulated. Designed to be more secure and to fight the high level of forgeries of the old style certificate, the new driving licence […]

Continue Reading

Speed limits in France

Make sure you know the speed limits in France, you can be fined or have your vehicle confiscated for breaking the rules. What is the speed limit in France: The normal speed limit on French motorways is 130 km/hr (just over 80 mph) – or 110 km/hr in rain – 50 km per hour in […]

Continue Reading

Driving in France checklist

Foreigners driving in France – whether its their own car or a hire car from France need to know the rules of what documentation and items to carry in the car that are mandatory. Not having the correct documentation or items in the car can mean you are subject to fines if stopped by the […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed