Road Rider Blog


You want fluoro? You can have your fluoro.

Here’s a rundown of the state of the new French law requiring all (but not really all, see below) motorcyclists to wear fluoro orange or yellow, from a French blogger on

“Recently a lot of foreign publications have been writing about the upcoming law in France, making it mandatory for motorcycle riders to wear hi-visibility (Hi-Viz) vests…
“Last year, the government announced that it was going to make the wearing of Hi-Viz vests mandatory. This meant we would have had to put a yellow or orange (the only colors permitted) vest over our leathers. Maybe nice in the winter, but in the summer, for those that wear meshed vests, or vests with air inlets, it would just mean that we would get boiling hot.
“After several protest rides, paralyzing parts of France, the government regained a bit of their senses, and 2 weeks ago announced the new law (R431-1-1 and R431-2-2). It’s not good, but better than what they were going to do in the first place.
“Reflective Material Starting 2013 (so next year), it will be mandatory to have Hi-Viz, reflective, material on your vest. The total size of the reflective material has to be 150 cm2. It does not have to be one piece; it can be several pieces, as long as the sum of the pieces is 150 cm2. So if you wear one or two Hi-Viz armbands, you’re fine.
“Already, by law, motorcycle helmets in France need to have reflective stickers on the back. These stickers are not part of the 150 cm2 sum.
“Who Has To Wear This? Motorcycles and scooters with more than 125 cc, or more than 15 kW/h power. Also trikes will require to wear them. This means that mopeds (the ones that have a lot of accidents) do NOT have to wear them. Also 125cc vehicles are exempt. Strange but true.
“When You Have To Wear Them? At all times, day, night, summer and winter.
“Do Foreigners Need Them? Yes.
“Pillions Pillion MUST wear the same reflective material.
“Fines If after January 1st, 2013 you get caught riding your motorcycle without the above reflective material, or if it’s smaller than 150cm2, you will get fined €68, and 2 points will be deducted from your license.
“So now we see the real reason the government is installing this new law…. money.”

I suppose it’s reassuring that there are other nations where knee-jerk reactions are preferred to effective safety legislation, where patchwork (pun intended) solutions replace thought-out policies and where punishing the victim is considered appropriate.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if fluoro actually worked? I’ve never seen any credible (peer-reviewed) research that so much as suggested it.
Beware, if the safetycrats can do it in France they can do it here.
Peter “The Bear” Thoeming