The French will cross the street anywhere they like with a simple lifting of the hand. Drivers will have to prioritize them starting January 1.
The new French Highway Code, which will enter into force on 1 January 2011, gives pedestrians greater freedom as they will have priority when crossing any street, even if not on a zebra crossing. With a simple lifting of the hand, pedestrians will show their desire to move, and cars will be forced to stop at this signal. Those who will not follow this law are liable to a fine of 135 euros, and will also be punished with four extra points.
The regulations are excluded when pedestrians are in or near a major traffic lights crossroads and they have to wait for the green light to cross the street.
The idea is the fact that on the one hand, the cars will move much more cautiously and with a much lower speed. On the other hand, according to French authorities, the rule “most vulnerable device must be protected” will prevail in the traffic so that pedestrians will be the ones who will dictate the traffic in the French cities.
In addition to the law concerning pedestrians, the French Highway Code implements new fines for those who modify their scooter engine. Another change is cyclists’ ability to steer right at any intersection, even if the traffic light shows red. Of course, cyclists will still be forced to give priority to pedestrians or cars that have “green” in this situation.
Image source: velomondial.blogspot.com