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I. Parts of the public highway

Chapter 2: The public highway

Parts of the public highway


Refers to the part of the public road designed for vehicle traffic in general.

The traffic lane

Designates any part of a roadway divided in the longitudinal direction by:

one or more lines of white color, either continuous or discontinuous.
These lines can be made more apparent by retro-reflective devices.

Provisional marks which consist of:

either in continuous or discontinuous lines of orange color;
either in continuous or discontinuous lines made up of orange-colored nails.


Designates the part of the public road raised or not in relation to the roadway, which is specifically designed for pedestrian traffic, covered with hard materials.

The crossing sidewalk

It is a sidewalk that crosses the roadway.

The fact that a projecting (raised) sidewalk crosses the roadway does not change its nature. This remains a space specifically designed for pedestrian circulation.


Designates the part of the public road reserved for the circulation of bicycles and two-wheeled mopeds class A by the signs D7, D9 or two parallel discontinuous white lines.

The cycle path is not part of the roadway.



Suggested cycle lane

Designates the part of the roadway located to the right of it.

It is recognizable with a different colored coating or markings made up of bicycle symbols.

It indicates to cyclists the position to adopt on the road and draws the attention of drivers to their possible presence on this part of the road.

Motorists can travel there.

The level shoulder

Designates a distinct (different) space from the sidewalk and the cycle path between the roadway and a ditch, an embankment, property lines and located at the same level as the roadway

This is the space where you can park.

L’accotement en saillie

Désigne un espace surélevé par rapport au niveau de la chaussée, distinct du trottoir et de la piste cyclable, compris entre la chaussée et un fossé, un talus ou des limites de propriétés.

L’accotement en saillie est généralement revêtu d’un matériau meuble difficilement praticable par les piétons.

Son revêtement n’est pas le même que pour le trottoir, c’est soit de la terre ou de l’herbe.

The emergency lane

This is the part of the public road located on the right on motorways and motor roads.

It is separated from the traffic lanes by a wide, continuous white line.

It is located to the right of the solid white line on the outer edge of the right-hand lane.

Only vehicles that have broken down or have been involved in an accident can be there.

Priority vehicles and tow trucks can travel there when they are on mission.

Apart from these cases, you cannot drive there, stop or park.

The central reservation

Refers to any type of development installed longitudinally (along the length) to separate roadways, with the exception of road markings.

The directional island

Designates a development located on the roadway intended to channel vehicle traffic and constituted either by marking, or by raising the roadway, or by a combination of the two.

We will always go around it to the right unless an indication signal authorizes us to pass to the left.

The central lane roadway

A “central lane roadway” (CVC) is a road composed of a central lane intended for motorized traffic, framed by two side lanes dedicated to active modes. The width of the central lane does not allow the crossing of two vehicles. They are authorized to use the side lanes when crossing and overtaking, without endangering the pedestrians and cyclists there.

Central lane roadway: part of the public road delimited by two discontinuous parallel white lines on each side of the roadway, made up of two pairs of short lines, which delimit the fictitious edges of the CVC:

Side strip: the strip located along the central lane roadway. The side strip is not part of the roadway.

Stopping is authorized in the absence of a shoulder.

Parking is prohibited.

Meeting places of several public roads

The crossroad

Designates the meeting place of two or more public roads.

Dangerous place where you must approach with extra caution to avoid any risk of accident.

When approaching a crossroads:

Take the information upstream and comply with the regulations
Qualified agent
Light signals
Road signs
Right priority rule

In case of congestion:

Before entering an intersection, consider traffic.
Even if the lights authorize you to enter the intersection but it is heavily congested, you will make sure to wait below (before) so as not to obstruct or block the intersection.

The roundabout

Designates a road where traffic flows in one direction around a central material device, indicated by signs D5 and whose access roads are provided with signs B1 or B5.




The place

Refers to any open space where one or more public roads lead and in which the layout of the premises is such that it is possible to organize traffic and other activities jointly.

The square is a public road distinct from those leading to it.


The agglomeration

Designates a space which includes built buildings and whose accesses are indicated by signals F1, and exits by signals F3.

The street

Refers to a public road in an urban area, bordered in whole or in part by buildings and giving access to local activities, characterized by the sharing of space between the different users. Roads, located in a 30 zone or in a residential or meeting zone, are streets.

The trail

Designates a narrow public road which only allows the movement of pedestrians and vehicles not requiring a wider space than that necessary for pedestrians.

The dirt road

Designates a public road wider than a path and which is not designed for vehicle traffic in general.

The dirt road retains its nature if it only has the appearance of a roadway at its junction with another public road.

When coming off a trail or dirt road you never have priority.

Parts of the public road for rail vehicles

Rails integrated into the roadway

Motor vehicle drivers travel on the same track as rail vehicles.

The special passable site

Designates the part of the public road reserved for the circulation of public transport vehicles, recognizable by road markings (continuous white lines) and the beginning of which is indicated by the signal F18.

The special passable site is not part of the roadway.

When can you travel there?

to get around an obstacle
to turn left
to park on a shoulder to the right of the special passable site
to enter your garage if it is on the right of the special passable site

Apart from these cases, it is prohibited to travel there.

Le site propre

Désigne un espace sur lequel seuls les véhicules sur rails peuvent circuler.

On peut le couper au carrefour pour tourner.

I test my knowledge with questions

Chapitre 1: La réglementation