In another bizarre example of “more laws make our lives better” thinking, the website autoevolution is reporting that Alain Perret, prefect of Lower-Rhine region in France, wants to ban the access of motorcycles in the high mountain passes of the Vosgi during weekends. The only high passes remaining unaffected by such law initiative are Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Bonhomme and Bussang.
For those of you not up on your French politics, a “French Prefect” is a little like an American congressman only he or she isn’t elected, they’re appointed as local or regional representatives to the national government. According to Wikipedia, Prefects may issue administrative orders in areas falling within the competency of the national government, including general safety. For instance, they may prohibit the use of certain roads without special tyres in times of snow. The prohibition on smoking or leaving the motor running while filling the fuel tank of a motor vehicle is another example of a matter typically decided by a prefectoral administrative order.
The French Motorcycling Federation and the Federation Francaise des Motards en Colere (translated as French Federation of Angry Bikers) have already filed a complaint against the proposed law.
In 2010, the group turned out 40,000 bikers to protest a proposed ban on lane splitting and in December 2012 the Federation took to the streets and painted warnings on French roadways near speed cameras, so it will be interesting to see what the group does if this asinine law is actually imposed.
One thing’s for sure, French motorcyclists are not afraid of a little political activism.