A decree issued on Wednesday had ordered the biennial tests for motorbikes that had been on the road for at least four years from 2023, in a delayed move to bring France into line with EU legislation.
Since 1992, cars in France have had to go through a contrôle technique test every two years once they have been on the road for four years – and similar mandatory roadworthiness checks for motorbikes and motor scooters in France were to come into force from next year.
A decree published in the Journal Officiel on Wednesday, August 11th, stated that motorised two-wheel vehicles with an engine capacity of 50cc or more would face their own test from January 1st, 2023. The regulation, as per the decree, would also apply to equivalent motorised tricycles, quads and véhicules sans permis.
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Macron’s move to rescind his own government’s decree comes after four weekends of protests over the extension of rules requiring adults to carry a ‘health pass’ to enter bars and restaurants, entertainment and sports venues, or travel on trains, buses and planes.
Wednesday’s decree publication had prompted anger among bikers’ associations, which have shown their willingness in the past to stage large-scale protests.
It is the second time in a matter of months that the plans have been shelved. In the spring, thousands of motorcyclists had demonstrated across France against the proposed implementation of the contrôle technique, demanding that the government work to win an exemption from the European directive.
At the time, the French government decided to work with one of the main motorbike associations on arguments it can use for why France should not be forced to impose them.
“The ministry agreed with the federations to meet after the (summer) holidays for a broad exchange over the different issues,” a ministry spokeswoman told AFP.
Jean-Marc Belotti of the Federation of Angry Motorcyclists said he was satisfied with the u-turn. “We’ll see if we can provide solutions in terms of road safety,” he added.
Some road safety groups had welcomed the move, saying it was particularly needed in an age where motorbikes and scooters were being used in the booming home food delivery sector.
But biker groups say crashes are more often the result of inattention, late reactions or speeding rather than technical issues.
An estimated 2.5 million people hold motorbike licences in France – and another 1.5 million use scooters and other motorised two-wheelers which do not require a full motorcycle permit.