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Motorcycle riders rights are being affected again. From 20th November 2016 a new law in France makes it compulsory for motorcycle riders and passengers to to wear gloves. Failure to do so is punishable with fines and licence endorsement.
Many riders might argue that they have no problem with this new law, as it is a sensible precaution that might save a serious injury and they always wear gloves anyway. But, there is a huge difference in choosing to wear gloves and being forced to. If this is seen as a success by the politicians in France, it could lead to further laws to force riders to wear all sorts of protective clothing, such as armoured jackets, full motorcycle trousers and even the dreaded hi-vis.
This is important because it is yet another example of politicians trying to rule our lives and take away our right to choose how we live. For many of us, riding a motorcycle is often about freedom and the great feeling that gives us. Do we really want a politician to take some of that freedom away from us by telling us riders what we have to wear? No, we need to retain the personal choice about how we dress. Those that want to wear AGATT (All The Gear All The Time) can still do so, but please don’t make people all like sheep who have to do the same thing. That isn’t what motorcycling is about.
Currently, this is a French regulation and has not been adopted across the much larger European Union area. Brexit might mean that if if adopted Europe-wide it might not affect those living and riding in the UK, but as of now, you have to wear approved gloves if riding in France. Sigh.