French bikers face draconian measures

Saturday, June 18th 2011 will see tens of thousands of angry French bikers taking to the streets. Led by the French equivalent of MAG, the FFMC, backed by FEMA and supported by all the European riders rights organisations including MAG Ireland, French bikers will be demonstrating against proposals for compulsory high-viz clothing, jail terms for exceeding a  speed limit by more than 50 kph, the removal of speed camera warning signs, bigger number plates for bikes, confiscation of any device that can warn of speed cameras (Sat nav’s, iPhones, etc.) and a ban on filtering amongst other things.

While the proposals are draconian, many of them would affect all French road users, not just Motorcyclists. For that reason there is strong support amongst motorists, truckers and others for the protests on June 18th and an umbrella group has been formed to channel the ideas and energy of the various organisations in a positive and constructive way.

These demonstrations have a particular resonance for us Irish bikers, in that we too are faced with the threat of compulsory high-viz clothing as voiced in the National Motorcycle Safety Action Plan published by the RSA in 2009. See our position statement here: http://www.magireland.org/2011/positions/position-statement-high-viz/

Infuriatingly, the RSA is apparently ready to ignore the fact that motorcycle fatalities have actually fallen by two thirds between 2001 & 2010. Faced with similar indifference from their own government, the FFMC broke off communications and is now taking to the streets. French bikers are stepping up to the challenge in huge numbers. A Protest in Paris in May brought an estimated 4,000 bikers onto the streets, and Saturday 18th June is set to be the biggest demo ever seen in France.

For further information, see the FEMA page at: http://www.fema-online.eu/index.php?page=demonstrations-in-france