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Are there rules of conduct? We know that the rules of conduct are strict for motorists, but what about cyclists ? Is respect for the highway code the same? Are there any safety rules to apply?


The Highway Code

The cyclist must respect the highway code. The rules for cycling are therefore the same as those for motorists: stopping time at a stop sign, respecting the red light, etc. In the event of an offence, the cyclist risks a fine for not respecting the signs. For example, if a cyclist rides in the wrong direction, he incurs a fine of 135 euros. The cyclist must use the lanes reserved for road users and ride on the roadway and on the lanes provided for bicycles, the latter no longer being compulsory since 1999. And it is not because one is a cyclist, that you are allowed to drive on the sidewalks.

Alcohol and narcotics

Motorists or cyclists, all vehicle drivers may be subject to an alcohol test. If a cyclist is checked with a blood alcohol level of less than 0.40 mg per liter of exhaled air, he risks a fine of 90 euros. Beyond 0.40 mg per liter of exhaled air, it is a misdemeanor and he can be sentenced to a heavy fine and a suspended prison sentence. The criminal judge may even, as an additional penalty, pronounce the suspension of the driving licence.
Driving under the influence of narcotics is an offense judged by the criminal court: the cyclist risks a heavy fine and a suspended prison sentence. These penalties are increased if the cyclist rides his bicycle under the combined effect of alcohol and narcotics.

Withdrawal point

The withdrawal of points is not a penal sanction, it is the administrative consequence which results from the observation of an infringement of the highway code liable to a withdrawal of points. But this withdrawal of points can only occur to the detriment of the driver’s license of its holder if the latter has committed this offense while using a vehicle for which the license is required. This is not the case with the cyclist. The latter who would commit an offense liable to deduction of points would only be liable to a fine. The cyclist can therefore be fined for non-compliance with the highway code but, in any case, we have the right to deduct points from his possible driving licence. On the other hand, if no  withdrawal  of points is possible for the cyclist,


It is also forbidden to telephone while riding a bicycle, in the same way as while driving a car. The hands-free kit would be tolerated but it is strongly advised to stay focused on your driving and that of other vehicles.
If the judge considers that the cyclist has behaved dangerously, he can pronounce, as an additional penalty, a suspension of the driving licence.

Safety rules

There are safety rules for cyclists to follow. You need to be visible to other drivers, especially at night. Regulations require bicycles to be fitted with front and rear lights and reflectors. They must be: red at the back, orange on the sides, white at the front and present on the pedals. When a cyclist rides outside built-up areas, he must wear a high-visibility vest.
There is also equipment that is not mandatory, but strongly recommended, such as wearing a helmet or a hazard spreader. A cyclist can be fined if he does not respect the safety rules imposed on cyclists.

Attention! In Nice in particular, it is forbidden for cyclists to cross the tram line outside the pedestrian crossings. The tram controllers are able to fine you up to 90 euros if they notice the violation, if you refuse to pay at the time, they call the police or send you the fine to your home but increased!

DAMY Law Firm