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Look out for new highway code rules

Pedestrians now have priority over vehicles wherever they choose to cross and bicycles can skip some red lights

CYCLISTS and pedestrians have been given new rights over cars in a series of changes to the highway code in France.

The rules, which take immediate effect, mean pedestrians now always have priority over cars when crossing a road. Until now, they had priority only at specially designated crossings.

They need to "show a clear intention to cross" a road - described as "an ostensible step forward or a hand gesture" - and vehicles are required to stop for them.

The only exception is where a designated pedestrian crossing is less than 50m away.

Drivers who ignore the rules face a fine of €135 or could lose four points from their licence.

The new rules also allow bicycles to skip red lights if they are turning right, but only at crossroads where there is a sign to that effect.

It will be up to individual mayors to decide where this should be allowed.

Also introduced in the code change is up to seven hours of obligatory training for scooter-owners who hold a Permis B driving licence, unless they have been using it for at least the past five years.

This last measure comes into force in January and will be accompanied by increased spot checks and on-the-spot fines of €135 for anyone who makes changes to their scooter's speed limiter.

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