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France trials signs asking drivers to give cars on hard shoulder space

The new signs will appear on national roads and motorways over the next three years 

New French road signs will encourage drivers to slow down and leave space when a car is stopped on the hard shoulder Pic: C. Nass / Shutterstock

France is to trial new road signs that will warn drivers to pull into the left-hand-side lane when they are approaching cars parked on the hard shoulder.

The signs are a safety measure to protect motorists, mechanics and police who may be standing on the hard shoulder dealing with a stopped or broken down vehicle. 

The trial is set to last for three years. 

There will be three warning signs placed 300 metres apart. The first will inform drivers that they should slow down (réduire la vitesse) as they are approaching a car parked on the hard shoulder (bande d’arrêt d’urgence). 

The second sign will inform the driver to put on their indicator (mettre son clignotant) to signal that they will pull into the left lane and then change lane.

The third sign will inform drivers of the “safety corridor rule” (le corridor de sécurité).

This is the rule that appears in France’s highway code requiring motorists to move to the left lane when approaching a vehicle stopped on the hard shoulder and to reduce their speed.

Motorists caught breaking this rule can face a fine of €135, although most drivers do not know of or follow this rule. 

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