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France: Hi-Viz Motorcycle Vest Confusion

  Posted at 02:00:00 PM
  File under  France Safety
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
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Confusion reigns after the many announcements from the French government regarding the use of high-visibility clothing for motorcycle and scooter riders with an engine over 125 cc.

Initially, the idea, though badly formulated, was for all bikers to wear a hi-viz vest over the normal motorcycle clothing. That got shot down, thanks to the many protests, and the French government back pedalled, saying they never meant for a vest to be used.

Now, according to the specialists, the idea is to make all French bikers wear reflective armbands. Not much has been communicated as off yet, but what we do know is that you'll need to wear two, one on each arm, and the only two colors allowed is yellow and gray.

Motorcycle Hi Viz Band

The arm bands, allegedly, will have to be 3 centimeters wide, and do not have to be fluorescent, but reflective.

The idea is novel at its best, but it does mean that there are going to be very few motorcycle clothing manufacturers that will incorporate the armbands in their clothing, since other countries do not have this law. So we'll end up having to buy armbands.

Getting caught without one, will cost you two license points and €68 fine. If things go the way they are planned, the law should be effective the 1st of January 2012, but this may change, again, in the months to come.

Personally, I think some reflective measures is good, making motorcycles more visible, specially at night. But I don't think two armbands are going to make much difference. The hi-viz vests is not practical for those, like me, who use jackets with ventilation, since the vest block the air circulation when it's really hot. Maybe a strobe on our helmet will make us visible...

Click for bigger version of Motorcycle Protest Rouen 2012
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Via: L'Equipement

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