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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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Old 20 Mar 2013
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Reflecting Helmet Stickers are required by visiting motocyclists in France

Some time ago ( 2000) the UN directive for the homologation of helmets was signed to an agreed spec by all nations. Annexed to this was a voluntary requirement to attach reflecting stickers to the helmet. France was the only country to sign up to this, but it is mandated in France that all helmets must carry these stickers, and that any helmet not carrying them is considered NOT homologated.

There have been some concerned questions about whether this law effects visiting riders, so in my capacity as legal moderator on a French based English speaking biker forum, I asked the question to the FFMC ( Federation Francaise de Motards en Colere). Their legal co-ordinator wrote back to me yesterday to confirm that France does apply this law to all riders in and visiting France, although to their knowledge no visiting rider has yet been cautioned or fined.

The reason this is relevant now is that since the scrapping of the retro reflective material law at the beginning of the year, the Parisian Gendarmerie have been very active with the Helmet homologation requirements, and helmets not considered correct ( ie without stickers) can get you a €135 on the spot fine.

This is a link to the recent reminder by the FFMC (in French) about the law, and it also gives the detail of the required size of reflective stickers.

http://www.ffmc.asso.fr/spip.php?article2487
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Old 20 Mar 2013
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more rubish stuff !

So assuming this is actually happening and all "visitors" decide to go down the route of "stickering" their helmets, where would one obtain such stickers? ( P&O ferries will no doubt be flogging them in the cue to board along with high vis and red triangles, first aid kits, bulbs )

Another point to consider; how does this affect the shell of the helmet, I have always been told and read in paperwork enclosed with new helmets, " Don't stick stickers on"

If I stick stickers on a UK/EU "approved" helmet because it needs to be French "approved" or at least match French "approved" - does this mean that it is now not UK/EU "approved" because it has stickers on which the manufacturer does not approve of which in turn leads to warranty being void as well as the manufacturer quite likely saying it no longer meets level of approval with stickers fitted ???????
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Old 20 Mar 2013
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As a matter of course I've always affixed 3M reflective tape to all my helmets. It's the highest and most visible part of a motorcycle/rider, so to me it makes a lot of sense.

I don't agree with the nanny government attitude, but as far as helmet viability I don't see an issue. The reflective tape has not hampered my helmet in the slightest regard.
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Old 20 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by brclarke View Post
As a matter of course I've always affixed 3M reflective tape to all my helmets. It's the highest and most visible part of a motorcycle/rider, so to me it makes a lot of sense.


Dipped headlights illuminate the lowest level of the road ahead first. So reflective material placed at the lowest point on your motorcycle will be effective at a greater distance that that placed on a helmet...
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Old 21 Mar 2013
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So if you have a hi Viz top coat, like mine. But not helmet sticker. What's the score?
John933
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Old 21 Mar 2013
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One of the reasons that Claude Gueant introduced the retro reflective material law in 2012 ( now scrapped),as an adjunct to the 2000 helmet law, was to help highlight the presence of a rider who might be down off his/her bike in the road after an accident/fall. A lot of riders have been killed by passing traffic in poor visibility or at night as they have not been easily seen due to the usual dark clothing favoured by bikers. Gueant's law was scrapped by Manuel Valls on 1st Jan this year because it was unworkable and the FFMC campaign proved it is was useless. It is almost certain that the recently reconvened CNSR ( Conseil National de Securite Routiere) are redoubling their efforts to reduce the number of fatalities caused by such accidents by clamping down on the helmet reflective sticker law.

Reflective stickers can be bought almost anywhere very cheaply. ebay is a good source.

It is improbable that a visitng biker will get pulled up over this, but one should be aware that this local law has now come to the fore again, and my posting is merely information which if acted on could save you €135 or several tanks full of fuel.
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Old 21 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by John933 View Post
So if you have a hi Viz top coat, like mine. But not helmet sticker. What's the score?
John933
This is about Helmets, nothing to do with clothing. If your helmet hasn't got reflective stickers on it, then in France it would be considered not Homologated.
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Old 21 Mar 2013
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The Marushin helmet I bought in France a few years back came with four retro-reflective stickers in the same packet as the instructions which, yes you've guessed it, told me that sticking stickers on my helmet would invalidate the warranty.
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Old 24 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by Warin View Post

Dipped headlights illuminate the lowest level of the road ahead first. So reflective material placed at the lowest point on your motorcycle will be effective at a greater distance that that placed on a helmet...
Perhaps - but when I'm out on the road at night, reflective decals on a helmet still are extremely noticeable at a considerable distance...
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Old 25 Mar 2013
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Thanks for this topic.
I will be travelling to Spain/France later this year, and was hoping to treat myself to a new helmet before the trip.
I will be contacting Schuberth direct to enquire about the reflective stickers on the helmet and their position on the issue.
I will report back to this topic when I get a response.
Taken from the Schuberth www on the S2 helmet
Reflex pads


The silver-coloured appliqués of reflective material which are in included in the nape zone of every SCHUBERTH helmet ensure that the motorcyclist can be seen better, especially in twilight or at night.
  • Improved visibility = Enhanced safety
  • Enhancement of the passive safety
  • Early recognition by other road users
Would this be enough to satisfy the law in France??
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Old 25 Mar 2013
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Dipped headlights illuminate the lowest level of the road ahead first. So reflective material placed at the lowest point on your motorcycle will be effective at a greater distance that that placed on a helmet...
Wot he said... and there is a good dose of paranoia/H&S thrown in.
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Old 27 Mar 2013
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I have this morning ( Wed 27th March 2013), spoken to a Legal advisor at the French Ministry of the Interior and discussed this law which is only in force in France, with specific reference to visiting riders. This is the response.

Code de la Route regulation R 431-1 annexe 22 05, states that all helmets sold or used on French territory must be homologated. In France homologation requires that reflective stickers must be attached.

As the code de la route regulations apply to everyone on French territory ''without exception'', then it follows that Annexe 22 05 also applies to visitors.

He did go and check to see if there are any exceptions or exemptions written into the law, and there aren't.

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Old 27 Mar 2013
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I reckon if your helmet says no stickers then it is a cheapo polycarb one which should go straight in the bin.

I have an advrider.com "Ride the World" reflective sticker on the back of my lid- would that do?
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Old 27 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by reggie3cl View Post
I reckon if your helmet says no stickers then it is a cheapo polycarb one which should go straight in the bin.

I have an advrider.com "Ride the World" reflective sticker on the back of my lid- would that do?

Unfortunately not. Four stickers required, one back and front and one on each side. Oblong ones O.K. as long as they are big enough or 40mm diam round ones. Any colour will do as long as they are reflective.

http://www.ffmc.asso.fr/spip.php?article2487

That is a link to the FFMC website that has recently posted a reminder about the requirement, and the detail of the required size of the stickers is included. It is in French, but not difficult to understand.
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Old 5 Apr 2013
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Stickers

Pongo,

That was a hard sell and an unpopular post for any number of reasons. Thanks for taking the time and going to the trouble. I hate the thought of all the crap that's come to be over the years and sometimes it's very hard to take it seriously. Most of the time it's ignore-able .. but the fines are seemingly more frequent now. In particular on coastal sides and generally closer to uk portal regions. 135 euros is better in my pocket than theirs' so cheers for the tip.

Moss

Last edited by venture; 5 Apr 2013 at 13:49. Reason: Spelling
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