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Can motorbikes weave in and out?

Is it legal for scooters and motorbikes to weave between lanes of slow or stationary traffic?

RIDING between lanes of traffic is generally tolerated by the police and some insurance companies if it is carried out “responsibly”.

However there is no law specifically allowing it, although road safety advisers to the government, the CNSR, have recommend trials.

It is advisable to do so only with care, as police sometimes hand out fines for offences such as overtaking on the right, not respecting stopping distances or changing lanes without reason.

Risks can be lessened by not doing it where there are any additional restrictions like solid white lines, and keeping a good stopping distance from preceding motorbikes.

The Fédération Française des Motards en Colère, which campaigns for official rules on this, also advises, if possible, sticking to the two lanes furthest to the left; going no more than 20kph faster than other traffic and only doing this when traffic is moving very slowly (or has stopped).

Insurers’ practices may vary. Online insurance brokers www.euro-assurance.com, a subsidiary of the largest French broker ASSU 2000, say your insurance can refuse to pay out in the case of accidents. However, a spokeswoman for AXA said they usually do pay as they consider the practice should be legalised (although the firm states bikers should do it “responsibly”).

Bikers’ site www.motomag.com says specialised motorbike insurers tend to pay out “at least partially, if not in full”, especially if you have comprehensive insurance for dommages tous accidents (which includes incidents where you were at fault).

Photo: S_E ww.fotolia.com

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