Friday, 25 January 2013

News Update: Bikes still good to go in the Vosges

In a development to the article we ran on Wednesday (“Does France want motorbikes off its roads?”), we are pleased to announce that Mr Alain Perret, Prefect of the Haut-Rhin Département, whose jurisdiction includes the Vosges region, has backed down from his intentions to pass a measure banning motorcycles from using the regions roads at weekends.

Alain Perret, Prefect of the Haut-Rhin

It would appear that Monsieur le Préfet didn’t expect that the announcement of his intentions would cause such immediate and large-scale furore amongst France’s active and vociferous motorcycling community. He was so taken aback by the reaction that earlier today he announced that the controversial measure “is not on the agenda”. However he went on to justify the original measure with the following words:

The primary aim of this joint proposal is to turn the mountain roads of the Vosges into shared and secure thoroughfares for all, a place where everyone has room to contribute to an efficient response for the respect for the environment and for the tranquillity of areas that are particularly crowded during the summer period, as well as addressing the issue of road traffic accidents on these mountain roads. This is a duty for public authorities.

It is in this context that we envisaged the principle of a debate upon the situation, if necessary allowing for the use of measures to raise the awareness of all road users.

As it stands, we are still only considering which measures could be enforced. No measures applying specifically to the mountain roads will be taken without collaboration from all stakeholders. This will take place after technical and legal studies have been carried out. In any case, a prohibition is not on the agenda.

However, motorcyclists’ associations will be monitoring the situation to ensure that such legislation is not put in place behind everyone’s backs.

Photograph © L'Alsace

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