While it can be tempting at times, are we really allowed to ride on the bus lanes? What are the rules?
It has happened to us all one day to ogle on a Bus Lane deserted, which would have saved us a few precious minutes while we were stuck in traffic. More and more widespread, especially in large cities such as Paris, in order to avoid buses wasting time in traffic jams, these lanes are in theory reserved for them. Also called a bus lane, this portion of the road is generally marked out by lines on the ground or by posts, but can also be delimited by small walls in some cases. In order not to create confusion with other road users, these specific routes are also indicated by a blue sign representing a bus, as well as by markings on the ground where the word BUS appears in capital letters. Thus, there is little chance of making a mistake and of circulating on this road by mistake, thus hampering the traffic of the latter.
But then, do we have the right to circulate there, as motorists? The answer is no. Indeed, thearticle R412-7 of the Highway Code stipulates that ” when, on the roadway, a traffic lane reserved for certain categories of vehicles is marked out, drivers of other categories of vehicles must not use this lane “. Indeed, these corridors have been designed to reduce the risk of delays for buses, which would then have a significant impact on the entire public transport network. On the other hand, the Highway Code qualifies, stressing that it is possible as a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian to cross this lane to turn or to return home, while however leaving the priority to the buses which circulate there. On the other hand, it is strictly forbidden to stop or park there, again so as not to block users who use this road.
What exceptions and sanctions?
However, there are exceptions which allow certain users to use these reserved lanes. The taxis, cyclists and intervention vehicles various people therefore have the right to circulate in the bus lanes. Be careful, because taxis must be clearly identified as such, and working, while VTCs and motorcycle taxis are not allowed to use these lanes. For their part, vehicles of general interest must use their special warning devices, while cyclists must ensure that the sign representing an un-barred bicycle is present at the start of the lane.
In some cities, failure to comply with bus lane can be verbalized by camera, without any intervention by the police. Anyway, in the event of unauthorized traffic on this road is liable to a 4th class fine equivalent to 135 € but does not entail any withdrawal of point on the driving license. Parking is considered inconvenient, and is punishable by a fixed fine of € 35, as well as impounding the vehicle.
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