France: Hi-Viz Armband and Breathalyzers Law Suspended

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    Things always happen when governments change. One law made during the last government gets changed with the new one. And that is what happened here.

    Two laws had been created by the previous conservative government, the mandatory wearing of 150 cm2 of high-visibility armband for motorcycle riders and the mandatory breathalyzer kit in your car or motorcycle. Both laws had been heavily criticized by associations and people alike. Even the European Commission intervened saying that the laws were illegal (see related below). And both laws have been suspended.

    Here’s what this is all about.


    Having a small piece of fabric on your arm will not protect you from accidents on your motorcycle. Yes, a high-viz fluorescent jacket will be more visible, a lot more than an armband, but many bikers can not afford to buy a new jacket in today’s economic climate. And if you look at the accident statistics, the majority of car versus motorcycle accidents happen when a car strays into the path of a motorcycle, meaning the driver didn’t look into the mirror. No fluorescent jacket or armband will help prevent this.


    Making it mandatory to carry a breathalyzer in your vehicle was not only a stupid idea, it was quite obvious that people were making money of this idea. Corruption at its best. Anyone person with half a brain will realize that someone who is responsible will probably not drink & drive, and if they had a glass of wine, they are not the problem. It’s the person who drinks a bottle, has 2 grams/liter – they are the ones who will drive drunk, and not bother checking to see if they are drunk.

    It has also become known that the breathalyzers don’t like cold and warm weather. Typically under 5°C and over 25°C means you’ll need to replace the units.

    The Laws Suspended

    Both laws got suspended. What that means is that they are not off the table. It means that a committee is going to get created that will analyze, talk, formulate, create, dissect, and finally propose changes to the laws. In all honesty, it’s obvious that both laws will be killed. But it needs to be official, so give it a year to two. Committees need to earn their keep, they need to show they are important and have a “raison d’etre” – a reason for being.

    So for the time being if you’re planning to ride in France next year, don’t worry about armbands and breathalyzers. You’re safe for the moment. And if you’ve bought breathalyzers already, remember that they’re great at parties… small balloons.



    Silly innit. They would have to give it all away for free or people prob wouldn’t listen. If the French are anything like us Brits anyway


    They were both stupid ideas anyway, a crappy little strip of hi viz isn’t going to stop you getting run over! And I don’t understand the breathalyzer idea. Is it so you can double check the police tests?

    “Yes officer your right! I did drink too much last night”


    Breathalysers and the new French laws are (sadly) subjects I have done quite a few hours of research on. My website here explains a lot more:

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