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You Don’t Need A Big Motorcycle To Do 137 In France, Just A Good Lawyer

  Posted at 08:38:25 AM
  File under  News Travel France
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Paris, France

For the regular readers of this site, you'll know that the battle between the Police and us riders has reached a crisis point. Fixed radars are being installed at an alarming rate, while mobile patrols are increasing throughout France (as I found out the hard way).

Therefore, it's nice to report on one case were the motorcyclist got off....This biker was caught doing 137 kph in a 90 kph zone. The Gendarme was using Sagem's EuroLaser, a handheld laser that is used a lot in France.

To the motorcyclist's advantage was a smart lawyer. The lawyer went out and got himself the EuroLaser instruction manual, and found out that it says, IN BIG LETTERS, to only aim for the vehicle license plate, since it is the only flat surface. Any other surface is rounded, and the EuroLaser does not work well. In fact, Sagem say that it's only 75% accurate if you use it on a motorcycle from the front. And guess what.... the biker was snapped from the front.

So the judge threw out the ticket, and the biker was saved.

Bikers: 1 Police: 985421

But there's a lesson learnt here. When caught on your motrocycle, don't always assume that it's a done deal. So here's a list of the radars used in France (and I'd assume you'll find several of these in your country) and their weak points:

Radar Name Range/
Mesta 206 50 Fixed, on a tripod, and used only in a straight line.
Doesn't work when the vehicle is accelerating or braking, close to high tensions lines (electricity) or in the rain.
This model is being phased out.
Mesta 208 50 Heavy braking on your motorcycle will destabilize it. Doesn't work well if there are several vehicles on the road, and is not allowed to be used close to high tension electricity lines
EuroLasers 350 Needs to be on a tripod if the distance is over 100 meters. They need to be used against a flat surface, typically the license plate.
Speed limit is 250 kph.
Magda 350 Doesn't work well if there are several vehicles on the road. Although the unit is big, it can be attached to a police car.
Multanova 40 Doesn't work well with heavy accelerations or braking, and with multiple cars. It's speed limit is 250 kph
Cerva 50 Unit sits in a car, or can be used mobile, but only front facing. Only a problem if the car calls in a patrol to stop you.
Multa Laser 600 Problems with motorcycles moving away, in fog and at night.
Doesn't work accurate when motorcycle is small (aerodynamic).
LaserPatrol 600 Mostly used in town.
UltraLyte 350 Very light, and can be used anywhere.
Laser 500 Most of these are front facing, but some are rear facing. If it's rear facing, you've had it !
This is the latest technology used by the Police.

Studies have shown, that for hand-held radars, Police will more quickly aim at you if you're riding a red motorcycle, wearing red clothes. You're better off on a black motorcycle wearing dark clothes!

Good luck.

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