Published on 14.04.2020

Good to know

The highway code states the rules of behaviour for all road users.
Some articles are aimed specifically at cyclists. They set out their rights and obligations and those of vehicle drivers with respect to them.

What is a cycle?

A cycle is a vehicle with at least two wheels that is solely powered by the muscle energy from persons on the vehicle, specifically with the aid of foot or hand pedals. Electric cycles (up to a maximum in-built speed of 25 km/h and an electric motor not exceeding 0.5 kW) and assisted pedal cycle (maximum power of 0.25 kW, interrupted when the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h) are generally included with cycles, as are scooters. But the Pedelec45 is not included with cycles but mopeds, and other rules apply for insurance, equipment and road access.

Le Pedelec45 n’est en revanche pas assimilé aux cycles mais aux cyclomoteurs et d’autres règles s’appliquent en matière d’assurance, d’équipement ou d’accès à l’infrastructure.


Where can cycles go?

Cycles can go on the road, tracks, cycle paths and routes (compulsory or recommended) and in any zone where a sign specifically permits them to do so: 

That said, unless a sign indicates the contrary, they are not allowed to be in pedestrian zones, on pavements, motorways, motor vehicle roads or roads with a special sign: 

But age exceptions are made for pavements and pedestrian zones: children up to 12 can play there provided they do not impede or endanger other users. Children’s bikes, scooters and roller skates are considered as toys.
Cyclists have priority at cycle and cycle/pedestrian crossings. Cyclists must dismount and walk at pedestrian crossings. Cyclists do not have priority at fords, especially when located outside urban areas and as marked (a vertical corridor demarcated by broken white lines).

Can cyclists ride side by side?

A maximum of two cyclists can ride side by side outside urban areas. They have to go back into single file:  on bends, when nearing the top of a hill and approaching and riding over level crossings; between dusk and dawn; in urban areas where the maximum permitted speed is 50 km/h or above, when being overtaken or expect to be overtaken; where they cause too much unnecessary disturbance to other users.

What do you have to have on a cycle?

As a rule, a bike has to have a bell, brakes, a yellow or white front light, wheel and pedal reflectors and a red reflector and red light at the back. Helmets are not compulsory for cyclists but are highly recommended, as is safety clothing and any accessory improving your visibility.



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