The French Gov has finally confirmed how it will implement new regulations for bikers regarding reflective clothing and number plates.

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As of 1st Jan 2013 it will be an offence, punishable through a fine and the loss of points, (in France you lose them, don't gain them) not to ... wear at least 150cm2 of reflective clothing between the waist and the shoulders and not to be using an enlarged number plate. You may remember that this was first mooted as an accident reduction issue, but most accidents involve 125cc bikes and below, and these are exempt from the new rules. Riders in France must already use their headlights all the time and carry reflective stickers on their helmets. You may also remember that the French Government then said the regulations were to ensure other motorists could see if riders were lying in the middle of the road at night...

 

FFMC's Frederic Jeorge said "It will be considered almost as bad as driving without a helmet, even if you are wearing full leather armour, on a bike with the headlights on and knowing that our helmets already have 4 mandatory reflective stickers... Also, it will NOT include the mopeds and 125cc, where's the logic?"

 

March 2013

France: compulsory reflective stickers on all helmets

In early January of this year, we advised all our readers that the current French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, had decided to scrap his predecessor’s ludicrous proposals for all motorcyclists to wear any form of reflective clothing while riding their motorbike or scooter. Unfortunately, there has been for some time another (stupid) piece of legislation forcing all bikers in France, whether residents or visitors, to wear a helmet with reflective stickers on, and this one has not been scrapped. Bikers caught wearing a helmet without stickers may face a 135 euros fine payable on the spot and 3 points taken off their licence. The police have recently been enforcing this rule quite severely in Paris and other locations throughout France.

 

All helmets must have four reflective stickers: one on the front, one at the rear and one on each side. The surface of each sticker must be 18 cm2 and, within each sticker, you must be able to draw a 40 mm diameter circle, or a 12.50 cm2 rectangle with a minimum of 20 mm length

 

Rest assured, when you buy a new helmet in France, compliant stickers usually come with it, however, it is your responsibility to correctly stick them on your helmet. There is one more requirement which is that the stickers should not be removable without damaging the helmet and must remain reflective over time. They must also be water resistant and not interfere with the opening and closing mechanism of the helmet (if applicable). If you live in the United Kingdom (or any other country for that matter) and intend to visit France on motorised two or three wheels, you must by law enter France with compliant reflective stickers on your helmet. It is entirely your choice whether you do or not, but if a nasty policeman in a bad mood spots you with no compliant stickers on your helmet, you may find yourself being given a hard time.

 

As far as we know, France is the only country in the entire world that requires reflective stickers on helmets. We all know very well that the current French socialist president, François Hollande, has no interest other than stealth tax everyone in that country to fund the huge public deficit, so this piece of legislation, which has been in place for some time, is unlikely to be scrapped. This piece of legislation to force all bikers to have reflective stickers on their helmet, which could have been scrapped considering its stupidity, is a typical example of the current French government’s practice to grab any “centime” they possibly can by deliberately introducing ridiculous laws which the vast majority of residents and visitors would find useless and ignore. Can you imagine how many bikers the French police may have caught so far not having compliant stickers on their helmet and how much they may have cashed in on behalf of the French government?