This visual list of the most common French road signs will help you stay safe while driving in France. French road sign pictures are displayed next to their corresponding American road sign with meanings in English.
Compared to the United States, traffic signs in France use symbols rather than words to convey their message. Get familiar with French (and European!) symbols on traffic signs to become a better driver.
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French road signs – Interdictions
Interdiction road signs in France have a circle shape and their color is usually red and white.
The French Stop sign is almost identical to the American Stop sign.
- Arrêts et stationnement interdits
- No stopping and no parking until the next intersection.
- Cédez le passage à la circulation venant en sens inverse
- Yield to traffic coming the opposite way.
French speed limits
When French speed limit signs are located underneath the entrance sign of a city or a village, the speed limit applies to the whole city or village.
French road signs – Obligations
Obligation road signs in France have a circle shape but, unlike interdictions, their color is usually blue.
- Obligation de tourner à droite avant le panneau
- Mandatory right turn before the road sign.
- Entrée d’aire piétonne
- Pedestrian only area entrance.
French road signs – Warnings
Warning road signs in France have a triangle shape and their color is usually red and white. In the United States, yellow traffic signs are used for warning whereas yellow signs in France are for temporary signs.
In cooler regions, the French slippery road sign is paired with a Verglas fréquent sign to remind drivers to watch for ice..
Check out the different types of roundabouts in France and learn how to master them.
Did you know?
The yield traffic sign in the United States was initially yellow like the other warning signs. It was changed to red in 1971 to make it more noticeable and similar to the stop sign.
French road signs – Right-of-way
The following French road signs have no American counterpart but they’re widely used and therefore you need to know them. When there is no road sign, traffic entering the roadway from the right always has priority.
- Cédez le passage aux véhicules arrivant par votre droite
- At the next intersection, yield to vehicles coming from your right.
- Priorité ponctuelle
- At the next intersection, you have priority over traffic coming from your right and from your left.
- Route prioritaire
- This is a priority road. You have priority over traffic coming from your right and from your left.
The yellow diamond traffic sign indicating a priority road is very frequent on French roads.
French road signs – Indications
France road signs with a rectangular shape are not regulatory signs but they provide indications instead.
The following French traffic sign is used in narrow road sections.
French freeway signs are blue whereas they’re green in the United States.
- Paiement par abonnement
- E-payment only. You can purchase an Ulys e-toll device for €2/month.
- Halte péage
- Stop for toll booth.
Radar road signs
French radars are signaled with any of these road signs. By law, radars don’t have to be indicated so don’t assume that no sign means no radar.
Radars road signs translation in English: For your own safety, speed frequently enforced by radar.
The latest radar signs don’t have any text but they show the speed limit at the top of the sign.
Areas or zones
Whereas a traffic sign is valid until another sign changes the rule, French road signage also uses the concept of zone. A zone usually includes multiple streets.
- Entrée de zone de circulation restreinte
- Low emission zone.
Read about restricted zones in Air quality certificate in France.
- Entrée de zone 30
- Zone limited to 30km/h (18mph).
- Entrée de zone d’obligation d’équipements en pneus hiver
- Zone with mandatory snow tyres during winter.
Winter road equipments are mandatory in 48 French departments with mountain areas (Alps, Corsica, Massif Central region, Jura mountains, Pyrenees and Vosges). Winter law is enforced from November 1st to March 31st. Enforced dates are typically displayed underneath the mandatory winter equipment sign.
- Voie verte
- Green zone, non-motorized vehicles only.
- Zone de rencontre
- Meeting zone entrance.
A meeting zone (zone de rencontre) is meant to be a shared space open to everyone. Pedestrians can walk on the road, bikes can go in both directions and motor vehicles cannot go over 20 km/h (around 12mph).
French road markings
You must follow speed limit pavement markings in France, even when there is no speed limit traffic sign.
End of zone signs
You know you’re exiting a restricted zone when you see one of the following road signs.
- Fin de zone
- End of low emission zone.
- Fin de zone 30
- End of speed limit to 30 km/h (18mph).
- Fin de zone d’obligation d’équipements en pneus hiver
- End of mandatory snow tyres during winter.
- Fin de zone verte
- End of green zone (non-motorized vehicles only).
- Fin de Zone de rencontre
- End of meeting zone.
Temporary road signs
French temporary road signs have a yellow background.
French sentences on the road
You might encounter these sentences while driving in France. Check out their meanings before taking the wheel.
- Allumez vos feux
- Turn on your lights
- Fin d’allumage des feux
- Turn off your lights
- Un train peut en cacher un autre
- One train may hide another
- Risque de verglas
- Icy road
- Roulez au pas
- Drive very slowly
- Route barrée
- Closed road
- Suivre déviation
- Follow detour
- Vérifiez votre distance de sécurité
- Keep a safe distance
- Vous n’avez pas la priorité
- You don’t have right of way
French sentences on freeways
Message boards on French freeways can be pretty wordy. Get familiar with some of the most frequent sentences.
- Accident, ralentissez
- Car accident, slow down
- Attention travaux à 10 km, vitesse réduite
- Work zone in 10km, reduced speed limit ahead
- Au péage, prudence, piétons
- At the toll booth, watch out for pedestrians
- Bouchon à 1 km, prudence
- Traffic jam in 1km, caution
- Des chantiers, des hommes, je ralentis
- Work zones, men at work, I slow down
- Distance respectée = sécurité
- Keeping a safe distance = security
- Hommes en jaunes sur les voies, je ralentis
- Men in yellow on the road, I slow down
- Je respecte les vitesses
- I follow speed limits
- Par temps de pluie, vitesse 110km/h
- Speed limit reduced to 110km/h when raining
- Ralentissement à 2 km, restez vigilants
- Slower traffic in 2km, proceed with caution
- Vent violent, soyez prudent
- Caution, high winds
Download my American and French road signs pdf file.
Now that you’ve learned the main French road signs and their meanings, read about driving in France vs driving in the U.S. in Americans driving in France.