Monday, June 20, 2011

DEMONSTRATE YOUR LOVE: PARIS

 Nearly 15,000 motorcyclists in Paris swarmed on June 18th to demonstrate against repressive 'safety' laws targeting our favorite mode of transport. The French Federation of Motorcyclists, combined with Moto Magazine, made the call, and the response was enormous.  While it may seem like 15,000 scooters mass at every stoplight in Paris (especially in summer), such a gathering of motorcyclists demanding their rights is unprecedented in the city.
Riders started at the Chateau de Vincennes in the east of the city, and blocked traffic for half an hour by the sheer mass of their numbers, as they rode to the Trocadero, and parked their machines.

While we motorcyclists might find inspiration with so many machines filling the Place Vendome or the Eiffel Tower, the ride seems to have worked as a political tactic, as the government is rewriting the proposed policy of enforced safety vests on all riders, compulsory A4 license plates, the removal of speed camera warning signs, making radar alerts illegal, etc...the gradual process of infantilization in the name of 'Safety', even as the number of road fatalities on bikes has dropped significantly in France.

The 'manifestation' was a reminder that motorcyclists, whether riding hyperbikes or classics, are voters too, and prefer to to manage their own risks, rather than the State attempting to manage for them.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great to see. Thanks!
Paul E.

Leningrado said...

best wishes from Spain

Anonymous said...

Good to see. This would have sounded very different in the U.S., eh?

MC_Kloppedie said...

It's a damn shame.
Here in belgium they just past a law
obligating us to wear gloves, jackets with longs sleeves, pants with long sleeves & boots that protect the ankles.
I have my gear but I imagine The 125 cc scooter riders aren't happy.

cheerz

Anonymous said...

why the don't pass a low removing the driving for ever to any car driver who speak at the phone while driving?

In any case l wear every day long sleeve jacket, gloves, boots and a mask in the helmet here in Greece with temperature most of the times between 30-35c.

Better safe than sorry...

A4 licence plates are just idiotic as for the vests there is some logic in this (to be seen by the other drivers) there but they can as well put a flashing lamp on every helmet...

Anonymous said...

Wow... Great turnout! I hope it changes the laws.
BB

Anonymous said...

How cool is this!!!
El Solitario

Anonymous said...

I hope more Australians are looking at this. What can happen when bike riders are united in protest at nanny state laws that discriminate against riders. Vive la France!
- Ian

Sensei said...

Great job, French bikers! Why hasn't this been on the news???

Anonymous said...

Great demostration!, very brave!. Go on that way. Congratulation!

A biker from Spain.

Hairy Larry said...

Reminds me of when they actually did a study to see about putting seat belts on bikes here in the states...