French Bikers Protest

UK France reports that yesterday’s – 18th June 2011 – French riders protests organised by the FFMC – the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (The French Federation of Angry Bikers) against their governments plans to introduce a raft of “ridiculous” road safety policies and law enforcement legislation attracted approximately 100,000 riders across France and some of its overseas territories. These included the island of Reunion (located off Madagascar and Mauritius) with almost 2,000 bikers, the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean and also some bikers gathered on the island of New Caledonia (located off Australia and New Zealand).

The UK France goes on to report that, “Each town and city was brought to a complete standstill for hours with the local population being totally unable to move around.

Paris alone saw more than 15,000 bikers blocking the heart of the capital, Lyon (France’s second largest city) saw more than 10,000 bikers, Lille (in the north of the country) counted more than 7,000 angry motorcyclists, Toulouse (in the south-west) was totally blocked by 8,000 bikers, Marseille and Bordeaux (in the south-east and south-west respectively) were also paralysed by 3,000 bikers each.

Thousands of bikers blocked central France with 3,500 of them in Clermont-Ferrand, the whole of Brittany (in the north-west) with more than 3,000 bikers in Brest, Quimper and Rennes.

The east of the country was also brought to a standstill with more than 6,000 bikers protesting in Strasbourg, Mulhouse Reims and Metz.

Smaller towns were also the scene of protests with 600 bikers each in Niort and Dijon, 400 in the beautiful and historic town of Carcassonne, 700 in Perpignan, 900 in Poitiers and 400 in Auxerre, to name a few.”

The protest were against, for riders:

  • The fitting of much larger than normal registration plates
  • Additional training if a rider has an interruption from riding of five years or more of the insurance of the bike
  • Making filtering in congested traffic illegal

The raft of regulations does not only affect motorcyclists, the legislation and action of the French Government includes:

  • All electronic devices, even smart phones and GPS systems, will be banned if they are able to warn of radar speed checks. Sanctions are draconian and might go up to 30.000 Euros or 2 years prison for the sale of such devices, while its usage will be punished by a fine of 1.500 Euros plus the loss of 6 points of the French traffic account system. 4 million speed detection devices have been sold in France over the last few years.
  • The removal of speed trap warning signs.
  • Immediate jail terms for those caught doing more than 30mph (50kph) over the speed limit.

These proposals are seen by the French as a criminalization of ordinary citizens and disproportionate penalties for road offences, as inadequate and unfair in the name of safety, even though the number of road deaths has historically never been lower. “

FFMC has invited the Government to review its road safety policy and take into account the real causes of road accidents.

UK France also says, that, “Claude Guéant (Minister of the Interior) has so far refused to listen but will he now listen to hundreds of thousands of bikers who have clearly proved to him that they have the power to bring the whole country to a complete stop? Let’s not forget that France is less than a year away from the next presidential elections, so will Guéant stand on the safe side and finally listen to the bikers if he is not to lose his position in the next government? The FFMC has clearly stated its intention to organise further similar demonstrations in no later than September if Guéant’s proposals are not abandoned immediately.”

Frederic Jeorg, Board Member National FFMC said, on the FFMC website, “From our side we will continue our collaboration with other associations of road users to suggest ways of improving all truly sustainable road safety. Road safety has to do with road users, not against them.”

View the full report from UK France – Click Here


Google Translate –

If you’re based in France and want to take part of the fight against the Government’s proposed introduction of a compulsory annual environmental and road safety test for motorcycles and their continued policy to ban motorcyclists from filtering through traffic, then contact the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC – French Federation of Angry Bikers).

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  1. Regarding complusory Day Glo could this come to Northern Ireland?
    Irelands Road Safety Authority (RSA) has proposed to introduce regulations for the mandatory wearing of sleeved high visibility upper body clothing for rider and pillion passenger.
    In Northern Ireland the DOE ROAD SAFETY STRATEGY TO 2020 says:
    We will work with and support GB to take forward research to improve motorcycle safety, including conspicuity, and support the European powered two wheeler integrated safety programme. We will take forward appropriate action measures arising from this work.
    We will consider measures to improve the visibility and conspicuity of motorcyclists.

  2. Here’s a link to a discussion that is going on from A Road Safety GB press release​/news/1672.html
    “Following the news that compulsory hi-vis jackets for motorcyclists are among a raft of new traffic laws to be introduced in France, a Road Safety GB motorcycling expert has warned against similar measures being adopted in the UK.”

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