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For sometime now the French have outlawed the use of Radar signal detectors, but new French laws introduced on the 5th of January 2012 have stepped up the pressure on riders and motorists alike. They have banned driver aids which incorporate data that gives warnings to riders of speed cameras. This includes fixed camera positions!, the upshot of this is that most Sat Navs will be illegal in France in their current form. My understanding of the new law is that it is not enough just to switch off the warnings or even to put the sat nav in your pocket, the fact that you have in your possession a device capable of receiving this data makes you liable to a fine up to 1500 euros and 6 points on your licence. How they expect Goldwing owners or motorists with built in Sat Navs to comply with this law is beyond me. This appears to be nothing more than another way of extracting money from road users. I use a Garmin Zumo and have purchased life time mapping updates, this includes fixed camera warning information for Europe. Garmin have now altered the warning information it supplies on French roads from 'Safety Camera Warning' to 'Dangerous Zone' thus getting around this ridiculous law which was brought in the face of opposition from Sat Nav manufacturers and motoring organisations.

From 1st January 2013 it will be compulsory to wear a reflective garment when riding a motorcycle with a capacity exceeding 125cc, details of which are still to be confirmed. Failure to do so will result in a 68 euro  fine and 2points on your licence. At the moment you are required to carry a HI Viz vest only, unless you riding in a group of eight or more riders when the lead and tail riders are required to wear a Hi Viz vest.

There is also an alteration to the law concerning non-conforming number plates which applies to all road-users but especially bikers. The penalty for driving with a non-conforming plate increases from 68 € to 135 €. The Ministry of Transport will also introduce a new regulation concerning the size of registration plates carried by motor-bikes with the aim of making motor bikes more identifiable, especially if flashed by a speed camera.

Straying into or even clipping the white line dividing the hard shoulder from the main carriageway on motorways will now result in a 135 euro fine. This may not be a problem on a solo but, for those who tow a trailer its one more thing to worry about.

The number of speed cameras in France will be increased during 2012 by another 400 while other countries are reducing the number. Read more on this subject in the main forum.

Ian.