Road safety – Compulsory technical control … for cyclists! –

Compulsory technical control … for cyclists !

Road safety - Compulsory technical control ... for cyclists! -

François Fillon chaired this morning an Interministerial Road Safety Committee (IRB) which resulted in 14 measures, four of which concern motorized two-wheelers … with also much more tricky radar areas. Update on what lies ahead.

Less visible radars

Shamelessly forgetting its "promises" (which, as everyone knows, only bind those who believe in it) according to which automatic radars would not be used to trap users insofar as they would be clearly indicated (read in particular and our), the government is preparing to make them much more difficult to spot…

The 800 new fixed radars whose installation is planned by 2012 will therefore no longer be signaled 400 meters upstream but 1 to 2 km, in areas of "frequent radar checks". The government’s stated objective is "avoid the small brake application followed by the acceleration in front of the fixed speed camera", explains Secretary of State for Transport Dominique Bussereau, even if the real objective is of course to increase the yield of these automatic" tolls ".

In addition, 100 so-called "section" radars will be put in place from 2011, which will monitor the average speed between two points a few kilometers apart in "sensitive areas", assures the government (read).

The next logical step, faced with the apathy of motorists and the surprisingly large weight of "victims’ associations": purely and simply remove the signs announcing speed cameras, as Dominique Bussereau has already suggested (read) … when … stay tuned !


"In 2009, motorized two-wheelers represented 28% of people killed on the roads in France", noted the members of the Interministerial Road Safety Committee (IRB) meeting this morning in Matignon under the leadership of Prime Minister François Fillon.

The ten steps taken to "prevent risky behavior", valid for all road users (see box below) are coupled with four additional measures specific to these dangerous handlebar freaks. Four, three, two, one … Go !

Less dangerous road furniture

Let’s start with the one that could – oh miracle! – arouse the satisfaction of bikers: "the use of less rigid materials for signage, road lighting or traffic light supports will, in the event of an accident, cushion the impact and reduce the severity of the consequences".

Now aware that users of motorized two-wheelers are particularly vulnerable, the IRB therefore seeks to adapt its road furniture via "weakened" or "road safety" supports..

Deformable or detachable, these new kind of supports would limit personal injury in the event of a possible impact: pre-sawn lampposts, marshmallow traffic lights, traffic signs placed on the ground ?

"Such media are already used in other countries (Norway, Sweden)", assure the persons in charge of road safety,"but most of them are not yet approved in France". Too bad, because Remi Gaillard is certainly taking a long time to test the rodeo on a rubber stop sign. !

"An experiment is underway in two departments (Seine-Maritime and Allier)", specifies the committee which plans the deployment of such equipment from 2011. Case to be followed: stay connected !

Mandatory 7-hour training for the 125 and MP3 LT

Until now, only holders of the B license since January 1, 2007 had to follow three hours of training to be able, two years after obtaining their license, to drive a light motorcycle….

The other ten measures
of the IRB of February 18, 2010

  • Increase blood alcohol controls: 5,000 additional electronic breathalysers

  • Increase the annual number of drug checks to 100,000 (currently 63,500)

  • 300 € of drug control costs payable by the offender and no longer by the taxpayer

  • Make breathalyzers available in drinking establishments

  • 800 new radars by 2012, announced via "frequent radar checks" signs installed at a distance of 1 to 2 km upstream instead of 400 m today (see box above).

  • 100 "average speed" radars (read)

  • Immediately immobilize the vehicle of a driver who has committed a serious offense

  • 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine of € 75,000 for hit and run

  • Raise awareness among future drivers in high schools

  • Prevent professional road risk
  • Gold "in 2008, 152 people lost their lives on a light motorcycle (50 to 125 cc)", counts the IRB, before concluding:"whatever the category of vehicle (scooter, utility, sports, editor’s note?), novice drivers are more exposed than others to road risks due to their inexperience".

    Again, not a word on the number of kilometers covered during their daily trips, probably much higher than that totaled by owners of large engines who prefer to wait for perfect driving conditions to have fun. !

    From now on, the training will last four more hours, or seven in all: the count is good! It will also be extended to all those wishing to acquire, for the first time, a light motorcycle, whether they obtained their license in 2010 or in 1910….

    It should be noted that future MP3 LT users will no longer fall through the cracks, as said training now also applies to motor tricycles. According to the texts in force on the other hand, no need for them to wait for the two years of car license to put their buttocks on the famous "scooter" Piaggio with three wheels. Not for now, anyway…

    The only exception to this new rule is that motorists who obtained their license before 2007 and already own a light motorcycle will be exempt from training, "since they were able to acquire training from their experience", agrees the committee. And if they are still there, it is because they are indeed managing the situation quite well. !

    Put an end to the unlocking of mopeds

    According to a study carried out in 2007 by the Bureau central automobile expertise for the French Federation of Insurance Companies, "50% of damaged mopeds are unbridled", reports the IRB this morning. One in two accidents would therefore be due to a clamped device: stop clamping, then ?! !

    "In 2008, 313 people killed on the road were drivers or passengers of mopeds or 50 cc scooters", further unpack the members of the IRB, convinced that putting in the gloves of 14-year-olds mobs and scoots capable of catching the 80 km / h is pure heresy.

    After all, wealthy retirees are also forced to drive German sedans at 250 km / h, the poor … Except that in this case, the manufacturers – and not those responsible for our road safety! – are at the origin of this limitation … Well, you will understand: the pressure on the mopeds increases by a notch.

    The police will strengthen controls, much easier to implement on cyclists than on motorcycles. There is no need for a power bench to control the young thug’s 103 SP Sport: a good old mobile radar cleverly stashed in the middle of the straight line, a brave pilot ready to push his 50 cc to the max … and if the 45 km / h are exceeded, bingo, it’s the fine of 135 € (yes, a new feature in 2010 too!)

    This new 4th class offense therefore directly punishes the user of the unbridled cyclo. Objective: to consolidate the fight against the sale of unbridled devices, which aimed primarily – since 2006 – at professionals. The decree should be submitted for adoption this year.

    A communication campaign is also on the agenda, as is support "to the European Commission on the idea of ​​obliging manufacturers to equip their machines with electronic clamping systems so as not to reduce the performance of the vehicle in the authorized speed range, while complicating any unclamping".

    Technical control for cyclists

    Finally, the decision that is likely to make the greatest noise: "introduce a compulsory check for mopeds every two years, focusing on engine clamping, from the second year of entry into service".

    "A delay is necessary for the equipment of the control centers with devices suitable for mopeds and for the training of controllers", warns the IRB. The deadline is therefore set at 2011. But already, naturally emanates from this announcement two questions…

    The first: how long will the technical control of mopeds be limited to checking the clamping alone? Because the IRB’s attention is obviously not limited to the regulatory 45 km / h.

    Admittedly, the committee insists that "50% of damaged mopeds are unbridled". But he also points out – according to the same study – that always among the injured cyclists,"38% have an important element (exhaust, filter, engine, transmission, cylinder) that does not work correctly, and 29% do not comply with the Highway Code (rearview mirror, indicators, safety elements, etc.)".

    It is therefore difficult not to imagine that this simple control of the clamping will quickly turn into an inventory of about twenty points, like that practiced in the automobile. In addition, it would further legitimize "the unit cost estimated between 50 and 60 €"." Zarma, the price of a cartridge of cigarettes, ‘are pissed off! "

    Second question raised by this measure: isn’t this an indirect way of reconsidering, in the long term and depending on the consequences, a technical control for motorcycles ?

    The simple fact that the IRB proposes "extension of the expertise system in the event of a serious accident provided for in the Highway Code"to cyclists proves that duplicating principles and their implementation can be as easy as pie. So," hello motorcycle technical control "? It is certain now. But when? Stay tuned !

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