Several thousand motorcyclists demonstrated on Saturday in France by driving at low speed to “continue the fight” against the establishment of a technical control for motorized two-wheelers.
They were some 1,600 in Bordeaux, about 750 in Lyon according to the prefecture (2,000 according to the organizers) and 180 in Rennes to respond to the call of the French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC), behind the slogan: “Take care of our roads, we take care of our motorcycles. “This measure will only serve to make us pay for something that we are already doing before hitting the road”, estimates Marianne Grand, coordinator of the Bordeaux demonstration which brought together “between 1,500 and 2,000 bikers” (1,650 according to the prefecture ).
According to her, the German company Dekra, European leader in motor vehicle inspection, “has been lobbying for this measure for two years with the government in order to bail out their pockets”. “This control is for business,” adds Didier Niger, 55, who came from Charente with a friend.
A simplified technical control?
“A good rider always controls his bike, that’s the basis,” he says. “To reduce the number of accidents, they should rather improve the state of the roads or lower the VAT on safety equipment, such as airbag vests which cost 650 euros…” In Lyon as in Bordeaux, the snail operation supervised by the police caused slowdowns and small traffic jams, without incident.
According to Paul, deputy coordinator of the FFMC for the Rhône, “the share of technical defects on motorcycles only plays a role in 0.3% of accidents” while “road infrastructure is significantly involved”. The establishment of a technical control has been requested since 2014 by the European Union to protect the safety of motorcyclists but also the environment.
The government had issued a decree to this effect in 2021, before suspending it, then repealing it last July. Seized by the associations Respire, Ras le Scoot and Paris without a car, the Council of State had reinstated this controversial measure at the end of October. At the end of November, a government working document envisaged the establishment “by June 2023” of “a simplified technical control” compared to that of cars, at a cost of less than fifty euros.
The FFMC was planning parades in around twenty cities on Saturday, including Brest, Nancy, Clermont-Ferrand and Toulouse. In November, she had already organized demonstrations throughout France.