Traffic rules

On some points the French traffic rules deviate from those in the Netherlands: the maximum speed on the toll roads is 130 km. (in case of rain 110 km) per hour, on the other motorways 110 km. per hour (at rain 100 km), on the so many country roads 80 km. (effective 01-07-2018, was 90 km) and within the built-up area 50 km. per hour.

Gendarmerie and police may take someone’s driving license on the spot if he or she is caught violating the local speed limit by 40 km. per hour.

Traffic from the right at equivalent crossings always has priority, including cyclists.



In the event of collisions, a statement must be filled in and sent to the insurance company. Such a form to be completed by both parties is very similar to the well-known Dutch claim form with its two columns A and B. Please note the following:

enter the fixed data in advance
stay calm and let the counterparty choose the column
check that both parties have noted the number of crosses in the lower box; this prevents that something can be added later (punishable, declaration becomes worthless)
also note the minor injuries; in case of complications, this can be important later with a view to insurance. Do not forget the signing of the counterparty
if possible, make a copy before sending in your own copy
the opposing party will leave without having entered or signed it properly: write down his registration number and fill in the form himself stating that the other party has driven on. Also mention the names of any witnesses
the counterpart refuses to fill in the statement, then enter his registration number and insurance number (green sticker behind the windshield)
do not forget to also fill in the back of the form
the paper must be sent to the insurance company by registered mail within 5 days.



Traffic violations can, in addition to fines and fines, also cost points. Every year, some 3 million penalty points are issued in France and over 100,000 licenses are withdrawn, of which more than 13,000 are final. The system: you start with 12 points (the driving license with a provisional driving license with 6 points) and if they are ‘on’, your driving license is in principle no longer valid for six years. The government has decided to award a test driving license with a maximum of 6 points for a period of three years; two years for young people who have passed their exams through supervised test driving. If you drive neatly for three years, the total number is 12. If you make violations punished with points during the ‘probation’ period, the remaining points will not be doubled.

Examples of loss of points: driving with drinks 6 points, by red driving or 40 km. drive faster than the permitted speed 4 points, cross an uninterrupted white line or drive without belt 3 points, mobile phone with telephone in hand 2 points. One can lose a maximum of 6 points in one go and even 8 in case of a criminal offense. If the 12 points are used up you have a real problem. The mayor of your village will be informed and the employer will also receive a message. And in later arrests the gendarmerie can always see that there have been problems with the result that the control will be more extensive than with traffic users with a ‘clean’ driving license.
After six months, the offender is examined psychologically and medically and has to do the theory exam again. If he had (almost never a side) his driving license shorter than three years, the practical exam must also be repeated. Traffic offenders who have lost points can earn new ones by driving neatly in three years and no longer committing offenses. The counter is then reset to 12. An internship can also follow the sensibilité of two days (this is allowed once every two years), with which new points can be obtained: 4 if you have less than 8 points and from 8 points the student can increase the point to 11. Sometimes offenders can also be sentenced to following such an internship.
Incidentally, it appears that more than half of the distributed penalty points are not actually recorded. The most important cause of this: the ladies and gentlemen of the Hermandad are not always able to operate the computer that has to process and enter the points, in one in five cases the points are withdrawn (complain or protest) and also the quite often that the official reports have not been made properly. All details of Permis à points and the height of fines for traffic violations can be found on the FFAC website (Fédération des Automobile-Clubs et des Usagers de la Route).

De meest begane overtredingen, de strafpunten en de boetes:


boetes in €
Rijden met alcohol 0,5 tot 0,8 promille


€ 135
Rijden met meer dan 0,8 promille


tot maximaal € 4500
Rijden zonder veiligheidsgordel


€ 135
Rijden zonder veiligheidshelm


€ 135
Niet handsfree telefoneren


€ 35
Snelheidsovertreding <20 km.


€ 135 (€ 90 bij betaling binnen 2 weken)
Snelheidsovertreding tussen 20 en 30 km.


€ 135 (€ 90 bij betaling binnen 2 weken)
Snelheidsovertreding tussen 30 en 40 km.


€ 135 (€ 90 bij betaling binnen 2 weken)
Snelheidsovertreding tussen 40 en 50 km.


€ 135 (€ 90 bij betaling binnen 2 weken)
Snelheidsovertreding >50 km.


tot maximaal € 1500
Herhaling van deze overtreding


tot maximaal € 3750

In addition to the aforementioned fines, the judge can withdraw the driving license for a period of three years for extreme alcohol use and impose a prison of no more than two years. Those who drive too fast (within three years after the first violation) can also lose their driving license for three years and risk a three-month prison sentence. That is not especially fun in France.

In France fines (amendments) for traffic offenses (infractions) have been divided into five classes, increasing to the seriousness of the violation. The fines can be paid directly to the agent or by sticking a seal (timbre fiscal) on the receipt. The stamps are for example on sale at the desks de tabac. A check can also be sent within 3 days (14 days if the violation was detected by a speed camera). If you pay later, the fine to be paid will be considerably higher, € 135 after 45 days and € 375 if you have waited longer to pay.
France uses five categories of offenses:

  1. Wrong parking and not being able to show the car papers (penalty € 11 for payment within 30 days, payment after 30 days € 33). Parking in a place for disabled people will result in a fine of € 135.
  2. Unnecessarily long horns, not wearing the safety belts, annoying parking, refuse to pay toll, slower than 80 kilometers per hour on the left lane (penalty € 22 if paid locally or within 3 days, € 35 within 30 days and € 75 after 30 days)
  3. Defects on the car such as lighting, exhaust, wrong dimensions number plates (penalty € 45 if paid locally, € 68 within 30 days and € 180 after 30 days)
  4. Serious violations, such as speeding, driving through the red light or not stopping at a stop sign, dangerous overtaking, crossing the uninterrupted middle line, giving no priority, parking on a bus lane, driving on the safety strip of a motorway, smooth tires , drink-driving, no seatbelt (fine € 90 if paid locally, € 135 within 45 days and € 375 after 45 days). The judge can also impose a suspension of the driving license. You can only drive at agreed times.
  5. Causing accidents with injuries (incapacitated for up to three months), uninsured driving or driving without a driving license (fines are determined by the court).

The French legislator understands crimes (délits) during traffic:

  • Driving with an alcohol level in blood of 0.5 or more (measured by blood tests)
  • Driving so dangerously that the lives of others are endangered;
  • Driving with a driving license that has been withdrawn;
  • Driving through an accident;
  • The exceeding of the speed limit by at least 50 km per hour in the year after having been checked for this violation;
  • Refusing to search the car;
  • Causing a fatal accident;
  • Driving with false license plates;
  • Refusing to hand in the driving license when it has been withdrawn.