The history of priority on French roads
1909, the warning sign of a junction ahead was one of the first four road signs. The panel was then circular and dark blue. At that time there was no priority at junctions.
1925, the Highway Code of 1925 was created to facilitate long-distance traffic, with a priority in favour of vehicles on the main routes, which were then the most important roads of the road network. But experience showed that this led to problems of application, and accidents, because a car driver on a minor route did not always know the importance of the road that he would enter.
1926, the International Convention of 24 April 1926, decided that priority should always be given to a vehicle from the right.
1927, the decree of April 12 1927 formalised the rule of priority from the right: "The driver is required at junctions and crossroads, to give way to the driver that comes from the right".
This is the law that applies at present.
It is easy to forget how dangerous it is on French roads
My uncle survived this van crash, he was a French postman. Was it Non respect de la priorité à droite? You can be fined for it. No he skidded on ice on country roads. Both can be dangerous.
I asked my taxi driver one time why she was slowing at a junction, she said that she was looking for the stop sign on the other road!
What is the rule currently for “La priorité à droite”?
The rules for “La priorité à droite” are as follows:
Under the current priority to the right system, priority is given to traffic entering from the right, unless priority signage overrules this.
Priority from the right is the regime that applies in the absence of signaling.
If no sign is found at an intersection or if there is a panel containing a black cross the driver must give way to any vehicle coming from a road on the right.
If a sign is found at an intersection with an arrow, the driver will be given priority at the next intersection. Two features are included, one vertical and thick, representing the road where the driver travels, the other end and horizontal representing the non-priority road that will be crossed.
The priority road sign has a diamond resting on the tip, yellow bordered in white, which is repeated approximately every 5 km. The non-priority roads it crosses have a stop sign or give way sign.
End of priority road (after this sign you have to give way to traffic from the right, unless directed otherwise).
About the Author
This article was written by Len Riddell who runs a website about Calais, the gateway to France and Europe
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The history of priority on French roads 1909, the warning sign of a junction ahead was one of the first four road signs. The panel was then circular and dark blue. At that time...