21 March 2013

More confusion in France!

So, firstly we had the French Farce regarding the last Government;'s attempt to make motorcyclists more visible shot down and in the end cancelled completely.

Then we had another of their ideas that all motorists should carry two alco-testers with them at all times.  Of course, the supplier couldn't make them quick enough and the date was put back and back and back, and now it's so watered down that it is another case of oeuf sur visage.

But, to make up for it, the often forgotten piece of legislation that requires motorcyclists to have four stickers on their helmet is being enforced.  It was brought in as an option when the EU created its (lower than BSI) standard for helmets. France was the only country that picked up the option.

I'm sure no other law of this nature is applicable to overseas drivers/riders that comply with an ECE regulation, and this is likely to cause problems.

It needs someone to look at this as potentially the rest of Europe needs to have something completely unproven forced on them.

So. Someone. I googled the EU to see what the situation is and in the end I found https://ec.europa.eu/citizensrights/ and a form to ask for assistance.

I sent this:

When the standard for motorcycle helmets ECE 22-05 was introduced for all EU countries only France took the option to mandate that all helmets sold to French consumers should have four reflective stickers attached to the outer shell.

No other countries accepted that option.

It is now being published in the motorcycle press in UK and on the internet that the French authorities are stopping and fining riders and their passengers €135 in the absence of these stickers.

My Shoei Qwest helmet was made for the UK market and complies with ECE 22-05 as mandated in UK law. It does not come with any reflective stickers as required by the French option.

I do not believe that France has the right to impose any fines against citizens of other EU member states on this issue if they are wearing equipment covered by ECE 22-05 in their own country.

I want to check the legality of this.

I have already contacted the riders right organisation, FFMC (www.ffmc.fr) for advice.
Let's see what happens.


Trobairitz said...

Wow, what the crap can they be thinking?

In Oregon you do not have to have a single reflective sticker on a helmet - although many people add their own by choice. The only regulation is that a helmet have a small sticker at the base of the back that reads DOT (Department of Transportation) so that officer's know it is an approved helmet that meets their standards.

Of course people can buy their own stickers on the down low and add them to their little beenies for riding cruisers.

Black Inazuma said...

France apparently is the only country in the entire world that requires reflective stickers on helmets (if stickers missing, whether visitor to France or resident, typically a €135 fine and 3 points on your licence).

Also, if you're on a French autoroute in stationary traffic, with say a 2 metre gap between the outer two lanes of cars which a safe rider could slowly, carefully and safely go down, you must ignore all such temptation and sit on your overheating motorbike behind the other cars and wait, thus adding to the congestion present unless you want to be issued with a €90 fine further down the road.

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