Helmet Laws in France

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Ming the Merciless, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Ming the Merciless

    Ming the Merciless Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    South Devon
    Does anyone have any recent knowledge of the helmet laws in France regarding reflective stickers?

    I've seen various forums and articles that state it is the law but is it actually enforced?

    Does the sticker have to be yellow or can any reflective colour be applied?

    Tried a search on here but didn't find anything relevant.

    Cheers
    #1
  2. Christophe

    Christophe weekend warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Aix-en-Provence, France
    By law in France you need 4 reflective patches on a helmet for the road, silver or white, front back left right, and a clear visor. In reality you'd be very unlucky to get pulled over for this, many French riders ignore these well known rules.
    #2
  3. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,543
    Location:
    West-central France
    This.

    I bought a new helmet a few months ago that did not have the reflectors so the sales guy put them on. When I got home I removed two of the four because they ruined the look of the artistry. :lol3
    #3
  4. Chrisbarnes1

    Chrisbarnes1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    644
    Location:
    Market Deeping, Lincs UK
    It is the law--and about the only one still applying to bikers.

    If you buy a Shark helmet then they include 4 custom cut reflective stickers (up to you to apply)--if you need them then there are several basic versions available at minimal cost on a well known auction site.
    CB
    #4
  5. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,245
    Location:
    A place many ADV Riders fear: The Nation's Capital
    I always wondered why the BMW helmet I bought in France had those reflective stickers.

    I think they were well done and improved the looks of the helmet.
    #5
  6. John933

    John933 GSX 1400

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    203
    Location:
    King's Lynn, Norfolk
    I've just come back from France. Live in the UK. No reflective sticker on my helmet. But I have a day Glow vest and sticker's of the reflective kind on the rear mud guard. Never stopped, Even with police around. It's call us your nut. If you have some somewhere, they are going to let you go. I think....
    John933
    #6
  7. ullukk

    ullukk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Hull, East Yorkshire
    Just done 2 weeks tour of France, basically down west, across south then back up east, i never noticed any other motorcyclist whilst there with reflective helmet stickers on, i did actually buy some stickers before trip but ended up just leaving them in tank bag.
    #7
  8. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,543
    Location:
    West-central France
    The stickers are about the size of your thumb, so easy to overlook.
    #8
  9. Ming the Merciless

    Ming the Merciless Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    South Devon
    Cheers guys.

    Think I'll give it a miss as we will only be in France for the trip down to Switzerland where we are based for a week or so. They're not going to look good on a plain black Arai.......:D

    Anyways - I'd have thought that reflective strips would only be of use at night to reflect headlights etc......but we're not riding after dark, which is why I shall have the dark visor on:D
    #9
  10. Ebeo1

    Ebeo1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    144
    Location:
    Maryland
    I also recently drove through France and was not aware of this law.
    #10
  11. Kevfoley

    Kevfoley LocoRojo

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    Cayman Islands
    I live next door in Luxembourg, we dont have the law, but another one you should be aware of, you need to have a reflective vest in case you breakdown, and two breathalisers in the bike at all times.
    #11
  12. Chrisbarnes1

    Chrisbarnes1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    644
    Location:
    Market Deeping, Lincs UK
    I understand that both the above have now been dropped in France? (bikes only for the vest--and all cases for the breathalyser?)
    CB

    #12
  13. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,543
    Location:
    West-central France
    The vest thing is not required for bikes. Some sage person realized that a lot of bikes just don't have anywhere to put it. The breathalysers are 'required' to be onboard, but there is no sanction if they aren't and the chances of it being an issue are a billion to one.
    #13
  14. sphyrnidus

    sphyrnidus born to ride

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Netherlands
    The reflective stickers do not apply for foreigners riding in France. That said hardly any French riders have them either.
    #14
  15. Stray Dog

    Stray Dog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    France
    Actually that's not correct'
    Full discussion on a French biker forum, Including direct quotes from the French minister of transport.

    http://www.bikeclubfrance.com/viewtopic.php?f=119&t=10394

    Copy pasted from above thread:
    R 431-1 Annexe 22 05 is the code de la route law which is 'en vigeur' in France, and concerns all helmets sold and used by Motorcyclists on French territory. It confirms that all helmets must be homologated, and in France that means that reflective stickers must be included. Code de la route regulations and laws concern everyone who uses France's roads without exception, so that means R431-1 22 05 applies to everyone which includes any foreign visiting Motorcyclist.

    Having said that, I have not seen many riders here with these stickers.
    I think it may be being enforced in Paris, and maybe other major cities.
    But I suggest you would be unlucky to be done for not having them.

    Dog, (Charente France)
    #15
  16. sphyrnidus

    sphyrnidus born to ride

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I'm sure you've got it almost right except for the part where it says about the homologation. It means the French have to ride with in France homologated helmets. It simply does not mean that foreigners have to wear helmets homologated in France. But I'm out of here!
    #16
  17. Zibou

    Zibou Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    154
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've been riding for 2 years in Paris and around on a daily basis with my US Shoei, never been stopped (for the helmet or anything else...)
    it is very unlikely you get fined for missing stickers, only if you get stopped by a real pain in the butt cop... or if you try getting a smart ass with them...

    If you really play by the book, the main issue might be the insurance and specific requirements implied in the coverage policy. If you're riding in France with foreign insurance, no issue, but a french insurance will require wearing a helmet approved by French standards, including the stickers...
    #17
  18. Tome

    Tome Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    London, UK
    I've seen a lot of confusion about this recently. Most recently I've been told it only applies to helmets sold in France, so any foreign riders would be exempt from the rule. Most people I know that have gone there recently have put stickers on because of the AA/RAC website saying it's a must for everyone.
    I also read the reason is so that if you fall off and are in the road headlights should pick up the stickers on your helmet and not run over your head!
    #18
  19. Stray Dog

    Stray Dog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    France
    If you read the link i posted about 4 posts back,
    you'll see a quote from the French minister of transport.
    All info is there

    dog
    #19
  20. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,543
    Location:
    West-central France
    I can not imagine that any police officer or gendarme in France would ever waste their time citing for lacking stickers on a foreign helmet unless you are a complete arshole. The AA/RAC is just covering its backside.

    The second point just has to be a gag.
    #20