All you need to know about a roundabout in france
This topic comes up over and over again - generally with a lot of debate - but I have recently had occaision to take my highway code in france and the whole issue is surprisingly simple.
The french highway code states that a roundabout is simply another piece of one way road (but circular) - so standard priority to the right applies.
(I should stop explaining here cos the rest is now obvious........)
This means: Like any other road junction in france
(oncoming) you don't give way to traffic on the left unless you have a stop or give way sign or line.
(circulating on) you give way to the right unless they are stopped by a give way/stop sign and line.
(Leaving) if you need to lane change from the inside YOU give way as you are coming from the left.
straighten them out in your mind and its all very logical (but perhaps a little nonsensical which is why the priority to the right is being removed slowly from every roundabout in the country) et ben voila!
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OK spin - not often i would argue with you BUT i'm quoting from the french highway code - and every summer there is a post about this.
Having had a couple of near misses over the past 5 years I think it is worth mentioning that you do not automatically have the right of way when on the roundabout. The first time you're almost t-boned by a big black mercedes is convincing, PAD is a little confusing - but if you want really confusing try french parking signs....
I agree with that Miguel- I live in France at the moment and notice no difference from the UK except the Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) and a few other ones (one in Versailles for example).
I rarely see priorite a droite on any kind of road, most seem to be on industrial estates/in small towns. It seems to have been phased out but nonetheless cannot be ignored, especially on two wheels.
A yellow diamond-shaped sign with a white border indicates that the road you are travelling on has priority, when you do not you will see the same sign with a black bar through it-that's the one to be aware of.
I found a couple in the backstreets of Paris, in the vicinity of the Porte de Versailles, when we stayed there last year. Very scary in rush hour. Not quite as scary as trying to cross the Arc roundabout above ground cos you can't find the subway Only had one real moment, on the ringroad, when in the stop-start traffic and trying to change lanes for an exit I forgot the give way to the right thing (which weirdly applies to the slip roads) and almost got side swiped...
All in the car, not sure I'd fancy going into the city on me bike...
Priorité a droite is alive and well in France...
Since summer 2007, the whole of Rochefort town centre (south of La Rochelle) has been designated a pedestrian priority zone. Speed is limited to 30kph and, with the exception of mini roundabouts, all junctions in the zone are now PaD.
Similar situation in Agen (Lot et Garonne) where all side roads entering/crossing the town's main street have PaD.
All part of planned urban traffic calming initiatives - and they really work.
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