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French motorbike and scooter ‘technical checks’ stuck in slow lane

Contrôle technique checks were originally due to start in January 2022 but were delayed

Contrôle technique was originally due to start in January 2022 by EU directive Pic: Ann Kosolapova / Shutterstock

Bikers and scooter riders may face MOT-type checks after years of being exempt after green groups won a supreme court ruling nullifying the exemption.

However, there is little sign the contrôle technique will start soon – and if plans do go ahead, biker groups have said they will take to the streets to protest.

It was originally due to start in January 2022 by EU directive.The government ordered a delay until 2023 but the transport minister did not sign a décret legalising it. Anti-pollution groups asked the Conseil d’Etat to rule if a delay was justified.

The groups said suspension “was harmful in terms of road safety and protection against air and noise pollution”. They said there was no exemption in law and the government had not, as the EU asked, set up sufficient alternative control measures.

The court agreed, saying there was no reason to delay beyond October 1 this year.

‘Angry biker’ pressure group FFMC said the ruling merely showed that, legally, the minister did not sign the décret.

Didier Renoux, FFMC délégué général, said: “We are now waiting for the new minister to sign the décret and to put in place, and inform the EU of, the alternative measures it asked for.”

These measures include laws on two-wheel users wearing gloves, improved training to make drivers aware of bikes, making two-wheel users aware of blind-spots on large vehicles, setting up noise radars to stop loud exhausts, and aid to buy a non-polluting electric vehicle.

He added: “We are still ready to take whatever action is needed to stop these futile tests.

“Insurance figures show less than 0.4% of two-wheeler accidents were linked to vehicle faults – in accidents with another vehicle, two-thirds were not the fault of the two-wheel user.”

Even if ministers say the CT must go ahead, they must still decide what is to be tested and allow test firms to equip centres and train staff – all taking time before October 1.

The leading test firms said this was too little time; they had no equipment, trained staff, or detail on tests / if current headlamp and pollution test units apply. 

Also test centres already operate at capacity with cars, let alone tens of thousands of bikes.

Related articles:

Motorbikes in France will need a contrôle technique from October 1

Drivers in France urged to advance car CT checks as garages swamped

Sign replacement, new devices: Speed camera news for drivers in France

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