Default rule of the road in France and Belgium. At any junction not defined otherwise by traffic lights, stop signs, etc., traffic arriving from the right takes priority. In contemporary use this now applies only in city streets and country lanes; it is no longer applied on roundabouts (where it gave priority to vehicles entering the roundabout rather than those already on it). The following notes apply specifically to Belgium where it appears to be outlasting the French tradition.

  • The standard "junction ahead" warning sign (a small black x in a red triangle) indicates that the junction is covered by this rule.
  • The "yellow diamond" sign, which indicates that the road you are on has priority. only covers you for the next junction; it has to be repeated to count for subsequent turnings.
  • You only have this priority while you keep moving. Stopping always equates to giving way. This helpful rule gives people an added incentive for pulling out in front of you, of course, countered only by the disincentive that if you hit them, it will be on the driver's side
  • You only get priority if you are entering from a hard-surfaced public roadway (not from private premises, petrol stations, or unmade tracks, even if surfaced for the last few metres before the junction.

So remember to cover the brakes every time you see anything coming from your right ... or buy shares in companies selling headlight glass and replacement body panels in Brussels. And just in case, the emergency number is 100 or 112 ...

SharQ notes that this is in fact a default rule in most countries of Europe that drive on the right; it is known by its French name in British English mainly because France is the foreign country most familiar to British motorists. However it appears from empirical observation that Belgium is the country with the highest density of unsigned junctions at which this rule applies.

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