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French road signs

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.

United States


U.S. stop sign
French stop sign

The French Stop sign is almost identical to the American Stop sign.

30mph speed limit U.S. road sign
Speed limit 30mph
50km/h speed limit French road sign
Vitesse limitée à 50 km/h
Do not enter U.S. road sign
Do not enter
Do not enter French road sign
Sens interdit
No pedestrians U.S. road sign
No bicycles
No bike French road sign
Accès interdit
aux cycles
No pedestrians U.S. road sign
No pedestrians
No pedestrians French road sign
Accès interdit
aux piétons
No parking U.S. road sign
No parking
No parking French road sign
Stationnement interdit
Do not pass U.S. road sign
Do not pass
Do not pass French road sign
Interdiction de doubler
No stopping no parking French road sign
Arrêts et stationnement interdits
No stopping and no parking until the next intersection.
Priority to opposite traffic French road sign
Cédez le passage à la circulation venant en sens inverse
Yield to traffic coming the opposite way.
When a French speed limit sign is attached to a city entrance sign, the speed limit applies to the entire city.

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.

United States


Right turn only U.S. road sign
Right turn only
Right turn only French road sign
Direction obligatoire à droite
Right or through U.S. road sign
Right or through
Right or through French road sign
Direction obligatoire
tout droit ou
à droite
Mandatory right turn French road sign
Obligation de tourner à droite avant le panneau
Mandatory right turn before the road sign.
Pedestrian zone French 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.

United States


Signal ahead U.S. road sign
Signal ahead
Signal ahead French road sign
Annonce de
feux tricolores
Stop ahead U.S. road sign
Stop ahead
Stop ahead French road sign
Stop à l’intersection
à 150 mètres
Yield U.S. road sign
Yield French road sign
Cédez le passage
Right curve ahead U.S. road sign
Right curve ahead
Right curve ahead French road sign
Virage à droite
Winding road ahead U.S. road sign
Winding road
right ahead
Winding road ahead French road sign
Succession de
dont le
premier est
à droite
Hill with grade U.S. road sign
Hill with grade
Hill with grade French road sign
Descente dangereuse
Yield ahead U.S. road sign
Yield ahead
Yield ahead French road sign
Cédez le
150 mètres
2-way traffic U.S. road sign
2-way traffic
2-way traffic French road sign
dans les 2 sens
Slippery when wet U.S. road sign
Slippery when wet
Slippery when wet French road sign
Chaussée glissante

In cooler regions, the French slippery road sign is paired with a Verglas fréquent sign to remind drivers to watch for ice..

Watch for ice
Verglas fréquent
Peds crossing U.S. road sign
Pedestrians crossing
Peds crossing French road sign
Passage piétons
Bicycle crossing U.S. road sign
Bicycle crossing
Bicycle crossing French road sign
Débouché de cyclistes
Speed bumps ahead U.S. road sign
Speed bump ahead
Speed bump ahead French road sign
Roundabout U.S. road sign
Roundabout French road sign
Carrefour à
sens giratoire

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.

Priority to the right at the next intersection French road sign
Cédez le passage aux véhicules arrivant par votre droite
At the next intersection, yield to vehicles coming from your right.
Priority road at the next intersection French road sign
Priorité ponctuelle
At the next intersection, you have priority over traffic coming from your right and from your left.
Priority road French traffic sign
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.

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French road signs – Indications

France road signs with a rectangular shape are not regulatory signs but they provide indications instead.

United States


One-way U.S. road sign
One way
One-way French road sign
Circulation à sens unique

The following French traffic sign is used in narrow road sections.

Priority over opposite traffic French road sign
Priorité par rapport à la circulation en sens inverse
Priority over traffic coming from the opposite direction.

Freeway signs

French freeway signs are blue whereas they’re green in the United States.

United States


Freeway entrance U.S. road sign
Freeway entrance
Freeway entrance French road sign
Entrée d’autoroute

e-payment freeway French road sign
Paiement par abonnement
E-payment only. You can purchase an Ulys e-toll device for €2/month.
Stop for toll booth French freeway sign
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.

Radar enforced French road sign
Radar enforced French road sign

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.

Radar enforced French road 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.

Low emission zone entrance French road sign
Entrée de zone de circulation restreinte
Low emission zone.

Read about restricted zones in Air quality certificate in France.

30km/h zone French road sign
Entrée de zone 30
Zone limited to 30km/h (18mph).
Mandatory winter equipement French road sign
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.

Green zone French road sign
Voie verte
Green zone, non-motorized vehicles only.
Meeting zone road sign
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).

50km/h speed limit pavement marking

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.

End of low-emission zone French road sign
Fin de zone
End of low emission zone.
End of 30km/h speed limit French road sign
Fin de zone 30
End of speed limit to 30 km/h (18mph).
End of mandatory winter equipment French road sign
Fin de zone d’obligation d’équipements en pneus hiver
End of mandatory snow tyres during winter.
End of green zone French road sign
Fin de zone verte
End of green zone (non-motorized vehicles only).
End of meeting zone French road sign
Fin de Zone de rencontre
End of meeting zone.

Temporary road signs

French temporary road signs have a yellow background.

United States


Detour U.S. road sign
Detour French road sign
Road narrows U.S. road sign
Road narrows
Road narrows French road sign
de la chaussée
temporary traffic light U.S. road sign
Temporary traffic light
temporary traffic light French road sign
Feux tricolores
Slow traffic U.S. road sign
Slow traffic ahead
Slow traffic French road sign
Workers ahead U.S. road sign
Workers ahead
Workers ahead French road sign

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.

Nathalie Nahmani

About Nathalie Nahmani

Nathalie is the creator of ma French Life. She moved back to France after living in Los Angeles for 20 years. She writes practical articles to help expats in France. Nathalie lives with her family in the French Alps near Grenoble.

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