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Priorite a Droite      Priority to the right

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Before we start, it must be stated that the following is only a guide, it is in no way intended to be construed as facts of law. There is no substitute to knowing the law albeit that this may not be easy to find.

The overriding rule of the road in France is Priorité a droite
which basically means that you must give way to traffic coming from your right. It is an archaic law that dates back to the times of the horse and cart and for some unknown reason has never been repealed. It is true to say however that the French have spent thousands of millions of Euros to indicate that it does not apply in most circumstances. We have tried to explain some of the mysteries surrounding this law, but the old driving proverb is very apt here. "if in doubt put both feet out" i.e. Slow down or stop.
It is not surprising therefore that getting to the bottom of the law was not easy, and even the French Highway Code has virtually nothing on the law. We have asked French policemen, older drivers and those who have just passed there test and they all seem to have different versions of it.

Before you get too worried it is important to note that we could find no example on any major road where this law is applied. It is possible that it may be applied in some very isolated out of the way places, which see little or no traffic, and also in some towns and villages, although even in these places the vast majority of intersections have had appropriate measures taken to reverse the law. Even where they haven't you will find that everyone has come to except that pulling out in front of fast moving traffic is not the thing to do, even if it is your right of way.
THERE IS NO Prioite a Droite on Autoroutes.

So what are the signs regarding Priorite a Droite.

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On major N roads (national routes) and some D roads (department )
The Yellow diamond with a white border indicates that the prioite a droite does not apply to the road ahead.
When this exemption ceases then another sign with the yellow diamond with a diagonal black line through it will be displayed.
When you enter a village or town the sign for that community is
the end of the exemption and normally it will have the yellow
diamond with the black diagonal through it, but not always.
The same applies to side roads where the exemption finishes
Dotted and sold white lines. Although technically not a priority a droite sign.they do in fact indicate that nobody has the right to cross them, and whereas many people have thought that these were just to indicate the side of the road, which of course they do, they also mean that, you have prioity which if you think about it is logical.
If you are driving down a road you cannot cross a dotted line if;
1. A car is coming in the opposite direction as he has priority
2.Cross from the inside lane into the outside lane on a dual carriageway if a vehicle is using it as he has priority.
3. At a giveway sign,roundabout or anywhere else as it is an indication that you are crossing into someone else’s
priority zone.

So this is by far the most common form of indicating an exemption to the law.
This use of the dotted line is widespread althought note that it normally ends at the village or town sign as in the photo to the left and restarts as you leave the community as in the photo above, however like all things in France there are exceptions, although in general the lines continue into the town, often to the first roundabout or traffic lights
The use of white posts with a red band.
This is only used in rural situations and indicates firstly that there is a turning to your right and that that road does not have the Prioity a Droite. This is further backed up by, in the simplest form a similar post just inside the road as in photos opposite. In this example there is no dotted white line,
In the photo below there is a dotted white line and in many cases a sign saying Cedez la Passage (give way)
There is however one sign that does indicate that the side road does have the priority as in the photo below.
By and large these are not common and are being replaced with a give way sign and dotted line to indicate to you more visually that you do not have the priority on the road ahead
As you can see this is not a simple issue and it would certainly have been easier to repeal the old law than to have had to go to so much palarva  to indicate that they really don't want it.

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This information is given solely as a guide and should not be taken as the law. Where as we have taken every possible care to ensure the information is correct we cannot be held responsible for any errors.
The sign to the right indicates that you do have priority and that traffic coming from your right must give way
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