Thursday, April 25, 2024
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BIKERS FINGERED BY THE FRENCH

Among recent news about personal protective equipment (PPE) for bikers, and possible compulsion, one little-known glove imposition has crept into being on French roads, reports industry veteran Frank Finch. Late last year, it became obligatory in France for riders and pillion passengers on any motorcycle or scooter to wear CE-approved gloves. Failure to do so now results in an on-the-spot fine – and possible penalty points.

Relevant labelling will mention the standard EN:13594 and a CE mark shows that the gloves have been independently tested to be compliant with the PPE Directive 89/686/EEC. The original version of this EN standard was first published in 2002 and had a scope limited to professional use. However, a 2015 revision removed this restriction and it now applies to both professional and non-professional riders. Subsequently, French rozzers have been empowered to enforce compliance on all PTW road users.

Cutting straight to the point, and commercial opportunity, not many gloves currently on sale in the UK are CE-approved. So, if any of your customers are planning to visit France, then it would be worth checking that they have suitable gloves and up-selling to them if they don’t. Leading brands, such as Weise from Fowlers with its Romulus and Remus range, do supply CE-approved gloves.

On a related note, Finch adds that there’s an immediate PPE issue for UK dealers too, appertaining to their workshop staff. Basically, as the law stands, dealers should provide employees who test-ride bikes as part of their duties with CE-approved kit – helmet and clothing. Except it seems that most don’t bother and that potentially leaves them exposed if a staff member was injured in an accident. Most responsible fast-food delivery companies have recognised this and supply their riders with CE-approved clothing, so dealers really need to be aware of their own obligations.

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