Politicians and their laws. They need to continuously make new laws, because if they don't, they're out of a well paid job. France is no exception, and the current powers have decreed that all pedestrians are sacred. Like in India with cows, you're not allowed to crash into one with your motorcycle or car.
In France, the sacred cow, the pedestrian, is now protected when crossing the road, even when there's no official crossing. According to the new law, if a pedestrians demonstrates with a gesture that he or she is about to cross the road, as a motorcycle rider (or car driver) you are supposed to stop and let them cross. Failing to do so will earn you a €135 fine and 4 points suspension of your precious driving license (which has a total of 12 points in France).
Just to recap, it's not just when crossing on a pedestrians crossing, it's ANYWHERE on the road. I wonder if this applies to crossing a motorway??
125 cc Law
Also, IMHOIn My Humble Opinion a better law, all car drivers with at least 2 years experience can ride a 125 cc motorcycle or scooter, but only after taking 7 hours of riding school. It used to be that anyone with a car license for 2 years could do so without any training whatsoever, but when they scraped the nth 125cc biker off the pavement, they realized that maybe they should be training these people a little bit.