French Road Signs

Those with little or no experience at driving in France can certainly have a challenge on their hands, especially whilst driving in busy city areas. Gaining knowledge of French road signs will help to lighten the load a little.

Although many road signs are universally recognised throughout Europe, the French have certain unique road signs. Certain road signs may only have French text so it’s beneficial to understand the basics.

Detailed below are common French road signs that you’re likely to see, along with their textual meaning in French and English. Listed also are key words and phrases that may be found on some French road signs.

A printable PDF version of the French road sign images along with their French and English meaning is available to print and take along with you on your trip to France as too are the phrases that may be located on certain signs.

Stop and give way (Panneau arrêt obligatoire)
Give way to traffic on the major road (Cédez le passage)
Priority road sign (Indication de caractère prioritaire)
End of priority road sign (Fin de caractère prioritaire)


Other danger sign (Panneau temporaire de signalisation de danger)
Loose gravel sign (Panneau projection de gravillons)
Two way traffic straight ahead sign (Circulation dans les deux sens)
Traffic queues likely ahead (Panneau bouchon)

Traffic signals ahead (Panneau feux tricolores)
Railway level crossing without gate or barrier ahead (Passage à niveau sans barrière)
Level crossing with barrier or gate ahead (Panneau passage à niveau muni de barrières)
Crossroads with right-of-way from the right (Panneau priorité à droite)


Customs (Panneau douane)
Road works (Panneau travaux)
Crossroads (junction with a minor cross road) (Panneau priorité ponctuelle)
Road narrows on both sides (Panneau chaussée rétrécie)

Road narrows on right (Chaussée rétrécie par la droite)
Side winds sign (Panneau vent latéral)
Steep hill downwards (Panneau descente dangereuse)
Bend to right (Panneau virage à droite)


Bend to right (Panneau virage à gauche)
Double bend, first to left (Succession de virages)
Slippery road (Panneau chaussée glissante)
Opening or swing bridge ahead (Panneau pont mobile)

Falling or fallen rocks (Risque de chutes de pierres)
No motor vehicles (Accès interdit à tous les véhicules à moteur)
Quayside or river bank (Débouché sur un quai ou une berge)
No motorcycles (Accès interdit aux motocyclettes et motocyclettes légères)


No entry for vehicular traffic (Panneau interdit)
Wild animals (Passage d’animaux sauvages)
No cycling (Panneau accès interdit aux cycles)
No heavy goods vehicles (Accès interdit aux véhicules affectés au transport de marchandises)

Give priority to vehicles from opposite direction (Cédez le passage à la circulation venant en sens inverse)
No overtaking (Interdiction de dépasser tous les véhicules à moteur autres que ceux à deux roues sans side-car)
Maximum speed (km/h) (Panneau limite de vitesse km/h)
No vehicles over height shown (Accès interdit aux véhicules dont la hauteur, chargement compris, est supérieure au nombre indiqué)


No vehicles over length shown (Accès interdit aux véhicules dont la longueur est supérieure au nombre indiqué)
Vehicles carrying dangerous goods prohibited (Accès interdit aux véhicules transportant des marchandises dangereuses)
No U-turn (Interdiction de faire demi-tour sur la route suivie jusqu’à la prochaine intersection)
No waiting (Panneau stationnement interdit)

No stopping (Panneau arrêt et stationnement interdits)
No vehicles carrying goods which could pollute water (Accès interdit aux véhicules transportant des marchandises susceptibles de polluer les eaux)
National speed limit applies (Fin de toutes les interdictions précédemment signalées, imposées aux véhicules en movement)
Turn right (Obligation de tourner à droite avant le panneau)


Turn left (Obligation de tourner à gauche avant le panneau
Turn right ahead (Direction obligatoire à la prochaine intersection: à droite)
Turn left ahead (Direction obligatoire à la prochaine intersection: à gauche)
Keep right (Contournement obligatoire par la droite)
Roundabout sign (Panneau giratoire)
Traffic has priority over oncoming vehicles (Priorité avec le passage à la circulation venant en sens inverse)
Pedestrian crossing (Passage piéton)
Parking (Panneau parking)

Home zone (Entrée d’une zone de rencontre)
Tunnel (Entrée d’un tunnel)
Motorway (Panneau autoroute)
Special road (Route à chaussées séparées)



French road signs and phrases

Though many of the road signs found in France can be recognised by their universal symbols, certain signs may contain text only. Below are French phrases found on road signs across France.

  • À gauche / droite: To the left / right
  • Aire de repos: Test stop
  • Alcootest – Breath test / breathalyser
  • Allumez vos feux: Turn on your headlights
  • Attention au feu: Beware of traffic signal
  • Attention travaux: Beware of road works
  • Autre directions: Other directions
  • Bande d’arrêt d’urgence: Emergency breakdown lane / hard shoulder
  • Barrière de dégel: Trucks not allowed
  • Cédez le passage: Give priority to the other road
  • Centre commercial: Shopping
  • Centre ville: Town centre
  • Chambres d’hôtes:   Bed and Breakfast
  • Chaussée déformée: Bumpy road ahead
  • Chaussée glissante: Slippery (Icy) road
  • Col:  Mountain passes
  • Contrôle radar: Radar / speed trap
  • Déviation: Diversion
  • Essence sans plomb: Unleaded petrol
  • Fermé: Closed
  • Feu rouge: Red traffic light
  • Feu vert: Green traffic light
  • Fin de chantier: End of construction/road works
  • Fin de voie vehicules lents: End of slow vehicle lane
  • Haute tension:  High voltage power line
  • Gazole / Gasoil: Diesel fuel
  • Gendarmerie: Police station
  • Gîte:  Simple bed and breakfast
  • Gratuit:  Free of charge
  • Gravillons:  Loose chippings
  • Interdit aux piétons: No pedestrians
  • Nids de poules:  Potholes
  • Ouvert: Open
  • Parking gratuit: Free parking
  • Parking payant: Parking must be paid for
  • Passage à niveau: Level crossing
  • Passage piétons: Pedestrian crossing
  • Péage: Toll road
  • Plage: Beach
  • Priorité à droite: Give way to the vehicles from the right
  • Priorité aux piétons: Give way to pedestrians
  • Prochaine sortie: Next exit
  • Ralentir/Ralentissez: Reduce speed
  • Rappel: Remember
  • Route barrée: Road closed
  • Sauf en case d’urgence: No stopping
  • Sens interdit: No entry
  • Sens-unique: One-way
  • Serrez à droite: Keep to the right
  • Sortie:  Exit
  • Suivre:  Follow
  • Sortie: Exit
  • Stationnement interdit: No parking
  • Suivre: Follow (follow the signs for)
  • Tout droit: Continue straight ahead
  • Toutes directions: All directions
  • Travaux: Roadworks
  • Véhicules lents: Slow crawler lane
  • Verglas: Ice
  • Vitesse adaptée sécurité: Adapt your speed for safety
  • Voie unique: One-lane road
  • Voitures: Cars
  • Vous n’avez pas la prioritié: You do not have the priority
  • Z.I. or Zone Industriel: Out-of-town industrial area

Crossing white Lines

As with UK road laws, double white lines in France incur a fine if crossed. Continuous white lines must not be crossed as it is illegal in France. France often have harsher traffic laws than those in the UK where fines are typically high.

Print French road signs and phrases

You can download the Pdf version of the French road sign images and explanations and the French road sign phrases to print off and take along with you on your journey.

Guides related to French road signs

1 thought on “French Road Signs”

  1. Donald Ross

    Very helpful. Thank you.

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