Seven French cities to test out yellow lights at pedestrian crossings

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Seven French cities to test out yellow lights at pedestrian crossings
A road sign marking a pedestrians area. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)

Several French cities will experiment with a 'yellow light' for pedestrians, in the hopes of increasing road safety.


In the hopes of improving safety for pedestrians in cities across France, seven cities will experiment with adding a 'yellow light' signal to crossings.

The cities that will test out the new 'caution' traffic light are Metz, Nancy, Nantes, Nice, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Versailles.

Published in France's statute book, the Journal Officiel, on Friday, the experiment will help to give pedestrians a better idea of the "clearance time" needed to cross the road before the light turns to red. 

While intended to help with pedestrian safety, the goal will also be to better inform motorists of how long it takes people on foot to cross the road. 

Motorists can lose up to six points on their licences for failure to give way to a pedestrian who is on a crossing, or a pedestrian at a crossing who clearly intends to cross.

READ MORE: Driving in France: What are the offences that cost you penalty points on your French licence?

The signal experiment will take two forms - in some places, the yellow light will appear as a steady traffic light, and in others, it will be flashing. When the yellow light appears - regardless of whether it is steady or blinking - pedestrians will not be able to enter the crossing, but those already attempting to cross the street will be able to finish doing so.

Ultimately, it is meant to help inform pedestrians already crossing the street that time is limited.


Some cities in France, like Strasbourg, Vannes, and Neuilly-sur-Seine, have already begun experimenting with other 'warning' or 'caution' road signs for pedestrians, including countdowns until the signal turns red.

READ MORE: Why you really do have to stop at the 'Stop' sign in France

In 2022, 484 pedestrians were killed in road accidents across France, according to the national observatory for road safety.


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