It’s only taken the best part of thirty years but finally the French have realised that not only do all motorcycle riders ride in between the lanes of stationary traffic but there really isn't much that can be done to stop them.
So from February 2016 motorbike riders around Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Lyon will be able to LEGALLY ride between stationary lines of traffic.
Virtually every motorbike rider in France does this anyway and I have to be honest and admit that I didn’t even know it was illegal in the first place. I don’t pretend to know everything about driving in France and in truth there are many that know a lot more than me and I know even less about motorcycling through France as I’ve never done it.
I always assumed this was legal to start with as it is just routinely done.
The New Rules
The French authorities have decided to trial a 4 year long experiment from February 2016 and this will be on all of the Ile-de-France region plus the Gironde, Rhône and Bouches-du-Rhône departments. The powers that be will assess the results of the study annually but I can’t see this not coming permanently into force.
The idea to make this legal has been argued for by many road safety and motorcycle groups in France for years apparently and they have finally been listened to.
The official rules now state that riding in-between the lanes of traffic will be allowed only on dual-carriageways and motorways in places where the speed limit is 70kph or more when all lanes are at a standstill. All motorcycle riders should when doing this stay in the two lanes on the left and not ride faster than 50kph.
See the other new rules for 2016 regarding Hi Viz jackets and Motorcycle Helmet reflectors on our Motorcycling in France page here, and you can see and buy all the items you need to avoid on the spot fines on this page about Legal Requirements for riding in France.
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Author: Dave G
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