High-visibility Vests Become Mandatory for Riders in France

High-visibility riding gear 1 photo
Photo: Youtube capture
It's been eight years since carrying a reflective, high-visibility vest became mandatory for drivers in France. The country faced several funny law proposals aimed at introducing such a requirement for motorcycle and scooter riders, but it looks like things finally came to fruition.
As of the first of January, 2016, motorcycle and scooter riders will be required to have a high-visibility vest stored on the motorcycle and wear it when working on the bike at the side of the road, or when stopped due to an emergency situation.

Compared to previous law initiatives that mentioned various surfaces on a rider's jacket to be covered in reflective material or even make riding gear (other than helmets) mandatory, this new law is much clearer.

It's not about the cost of the vest, but storing it on the bike

High-vis vests can be bought from pretty much anywhere, from convenience stores to supermarkets and gas stations and their cost is negligible. Still, certain riders will have a rather hard time finding a secure place to store these vests on their bikes.

Those who ride scooters with underseat storage or motorcycles with a topcase/saddlebags will simply throw a reflective vest in there and get over it. But there also are riders on bikes with little to no room for storing even small items, and they will not be exactly happy with the new law.

Failure to carry such a vest attracts a €11 ($12) fine, but if the cops find you repairing your bike at the side of the road without wearing the high-vis garment, the fine can go as high as €135 ($150). Certain voices claim that riders are more exposed as they fret around the bike to put on the vest, but this seems a bit far out.

Frankly, we believe this is the best compromise between the need to increase roadside safety and imagining stupid laws, with the addition that the French legislators seem to have a particularly strong penchant for dumb motorcycle laws...
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