French bikers back on the streets in protest

MAG Ireland congratulates our colleagues in the FFMC (the French equivalent of MAG) who have staged a series of massive demos across France in protest against domestic road safety proposals which include such items as being forced to carry a breathalyser, the introduction of mandatory retro-reflective material for bikers, larger number plates and a ban on any device which has information on the location of speed camera sites (such as sat navs, smart phones etc.) amongst others.

The FFMC used the upcoming French presidential elections as a context to remind their politicians that “Bikers are Voters”, and that a real road safety policy is one in which drivers are made aware of their responsibilities to share the road safely with motorcycles.  The theme of the demo was “We want ANOTHER road safety policy” which, says FFMC, must take account of the 60% increase in the use of motorcycles and mopeds over the past decade, and which does not blame riders for the failures of other road uses.

Some 85,000 riders took part in the demos which were run countrywide on Saturday 24th and in Paris on Sunday 25th. The Paris demo made stops at each of the main presidential candidates’ offices to give them the FFMC manifesto and a list of demands for a proper road safety policy which includes training for drivers to make them motorcycle aware, and a demand that the French Government stop pushing punitive and unproven methods such as mandatory retro-reflective material for riders.

Further information at the following links (In French):

Photos thanks to FFMC/ (click to enlarge):

FFMC March 2012 Demo

FFMC March 2012 Demo

FFMC March 2012 Demo

Footnote:  MAG Ireland reminds Irish riders intending to travel to France that it is now mandatory to carry a breathalyser, even for visitors. These are available at ferry ports for a few Euros each.

Update: After we published this post, Paul M from JtheB’s Biking Weekends in Normandy, France ( got in touch to tell us that our footnote above is incorrect.Paul says “Actually the new rule doesn’t come into play until 1st July and (contrary to what almost everyone is reporting) there is currently nothing in the new law as it stands that means that non French registered vehicles/drivers (ie tourists) have to abide by this rule. We’re still waiting to see if the authorities actually amend this anomaly…”

MAG Ireland extends our thanks to Paul for taking the time to pass on the local knowledge.

Update #2: Paul from JtheB’s has been back in touch to tell us that the law has in fact been amended to include visitors. Thanks again for the updates Paul.

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