MOTORCYCLE police in France are to be equipped with new protective gear from next month - including a jacket with built-in airbag.
The new outfit will be handed out to all 2,400 bikers in the national police force. The innovative new jacket inflates on impact, protecting the neck, back, sides and chest.
The airbag jacket is already being worn by gendarmes and customs officers on motorbikes and has now been extended to national police. About 50 police officers are injured in motorcycle accidents each year.
Several other improvements have been made to the uniform. Patrick Charles Darras, assistant director at the police's central procurement unit Saelsi, told Europe 1 radio: "Everything is new in this outfit. The boots are shorter - the public will not see the long riding boots they are used to.
"There are also new all-weather motorcycle trousers, with reinforced protection around the knee."