France: ‘wear gloves or pay €68’ | EDITORIAL
The French fashion police are at it again; handing out fines to protect riders from themselves.
This time the compulsion is CE-approved motorcycle gloves, and the fine for not wearing them while riding is 68 Euros. The new law comes in from November 20th this year. French riders will also get a license penalty point if caught.
This time, I have some sympathy for what the French authorities are trying to do here. They are trying to be mother. And mum knows it makes sense to wear protective gloves every time you ride a scooter.
I’ve got vented summer gloves like these MX gloves from Alpinestars, as well as warm winter gloves. You’ll find me wearing hand protection no matter what the weather. In fact, I wear gloves even on the odd occasion that I ride down to the shop in just a t-shirt. Does that even make any sense?
There’s actually a good reason behind that. As any doctor will tell you, the hand is a pretty bloody complex piece of engineering and very hard to rebuild if you wear lumps of it away on tarmac. There aren’t many jobs you don’t use hands for, so it’s best to try and retain the original compliment, if you can.
For the video above – click here
Hand over the cash…
Despite this, I still can’t support compulsion backed by fines.
Simply because all the doo-gooders in the world have forgotten what it is to be young and skint. When I was a kid I rode in gardening gloves, woolly gloves or whatever I could lay my hands on. My scooter was my only transport and if I lost a glove (as occasionally happened) or ripped a pair, that wouldn’t stop me riding. Independent transport was everything.
On top of fines for not having a hi-viz, the French authorities are really arming the police with a host of methods to empty the wallets of scooter and bike riders for relative misdemeanours.
If they don’t like you then they’ll be escorting you to a cash-point for something or other…
The electric push
Where previously there was no powered alternative to motorcycles, electric-assisted cycling is exploding. I don’t think it’s because of the environmental factors. Nor always is it about the cost, because some of the cooler pedalecs are very expensive. It is simply about convenience.
What is the minimum I need to ride a scooter:
- a scooter
- Approved helmet (compulsory)
- Approved gloves (now compulsory in France)
- A one-day test (CBT certificate)
- A fortune for insurance
- Hi-viz (now compulsory in France)
What must I have to ride a pedalec?:
- A pedalec
If you look at it from the point of view of a lazy and economically-challenged teenager, is it any surprise that electric is taking off while moped sales have fallen through the floor.
What the French are doing is not so much reducing hand injuries amongst its riding population as increasing the cost and annoyance factors that put people off riding scooters and motorcycles to begin with.
Is this latest law simply well-intentioned nannying or is there a political motive to stop people riding petrol-powered 2-wheelers..?