Thursday, March 27, 2014

We are going to Normandy - What Laws now apply to Motorcyclists ?

Just trying to make sure what we need to comply with when we go over to Normandy, France in May 2014 for our Advanced Motorcycle Training Weekend.......

Thoughts are - Breathalyser Kit x2 - Stickers for Helmet - Spare Bulbs - Disable Speed Camera setting on Sat Nav - Glasses wearers, extra pair.

So onto the tinternet to see what is now required:


R431-1 of the code of the road states that all riders and pillions of motorcycles must wear an approved helmet and that helmet must have retro-reflective elements attached. The text does not exempt foreign riders. We can therefore deduce that British riders are subject to these regulations When they travel in France. 

The standards of approval for helmets are the same in France as the UK. They are described in regulation 22-05 which leaves the choice to each State to impose the retro-reflective elements. France chose to impose these elements. Therefore a helmet without retro-reflective elements is deemed as not approved and justifies a fine of €135.

Looks like searching E Bay for some


1 March 2012 - the French government confirmed that from 1 July 2012 drivers of all motor vehicles and motorcycles (excluding mopeds) must carry a breathalyser. The regulation will be enforced from 1 November 2012 and anyone stopped after that date who fails to produce a breathalyser when requested will receive an on the spot fine of €11.
October 2012 - the French government announced that the implementation of the sanction for drivers not carrying a breathalyser – a fine of €11 – has been postponed from 1 November 2012 to 1 March 2013.
January 2013 - the French government announced that the implementation of the sanction for drivers not carrying a breathalyser – a fine of €11 – has been postponed indefinitely.
So theoretically you are still required to carry a self-test breathalyser when driving in France but there is no current legislation demanding a fine for non-compliance.
The original official announcement stated that one unused, certified breathalyser must be produced showing the French certification mark NF. Carrying two single-use breathalysers will ensure that if one is used or damaged, you will still have a spare to produce. The breathalyser produced has to be in date - single-use breathalysers normally have a validity of twelve months.
In otherwords TAKE THEM

Satnav and speed camera alerts

Since 3 January 2012 French laws have prohibited drivers from carrying any device capable of detecting speed cameras. This includes products or devices able to warn or inform of the location of speed cameras e.g. satnav or gps systems capable of showing speed camera sites as Points of Interest.
The law is primarily aimed at speed camera detectors and sat-navs. It is unlikely that the French police will turn their attention to atlases but there is no guarantee this would be the case.
As well as the ban on  warning devices, the French government is installing around 400 new, unsigned, fixed speed cameras as well as taking down signs indicating the location of existing camera sites.
If you have a satnav capable of displaying French camera locations in France then you must at least disable camera alerts.
To Sum Up:
Riding in France
Just a few key notes regarding some of the more common things you need to be aware of whilst riding in France:
Documents you will need
·         The V5 for your motorbike (proof of ownership is required if stopped).
·         Full driving licence (including the paper section).
·         MOT Certificate (if applicable).
·         Current insurance certificate.
·         Passport.
Items / Notes
·         A full set of spare bulbs is compulsory, (you don’t need spare LED lights).
·         A GB sticker is a legal requirement if you don’t have a GB Euro number plate.
·         You must not use a radar detector in France, this also applies to satnavs with camera sites marked, (you must switch this function off). The penalties are expensive and can lead to a year’s ban.
Speed Limits
·         EU driving licence holders that exceed the speed limit by over 40 km/h can have their licenses confiscated on the spot by the police.
·         Fines are also on-the-spot and between 90 and 135 euros.
Common Speed limits
31 mph (50 km/h) in built-up areas.
55 mph (90 km/h) outside built-up areas, in wet weather 49 mph (80 km/h).
68 mph (110 km/h) on urban motorways and dual carriageways, in wet weather 62 mph (100 km/h).
80 mph (130 km/h) on motorways, in wet weather 68 mph (110 km/h).
49 mph (80km/h) minimum speed-limit on motorways.
Priorite a Droit
"Priorite a Droit" means Priority to the vehicle approaching your path from the right. Especially at roundabouts, towns and built up areas. That means any vehicle approaching from a side road to your right has right of way, the only area where this does not apply is where you see the following signs and even then always treat vehicles approaching from side roads and entering roundabouts with caution. Best advice treat all approaching vehicles with caution.