Warning triangle and high-vis jackets required

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Dave M

You say "Also from September 1 cyclists will be required to wear high visibility jackets when outside towns, as well as during the night or when visibility is poor." I think your translation is mistaken, and should omit the words "as well as". Comment ?

Craig McGinty

Hi Dave, many thanks for your comment and whilst I try to ensure any translations are correct they are not literally word for word.
I'd turn readers off if all the official websites I wrote about were literally translated from the 'fonctionnaire' speak they use.
All the best,

A Fuller

The sentence in French:
Obligation pour tout cycliste circulant hors agglomération, de nuit ou de jour si visibilité mauvaise , de porter un gilet
rétro-réfléchissant à partir du 1er septembre 2008."

might mean wear a vest outside of towns at night or when visibility is poor.
You wrote outside of towns and at night and when visibility is poor.

I think there is a real difference.

Tim Parker


Martin Budden

OK, I know I'm being a bit silly here, but "porter" means "to carry" as well as "to wear", so the regulations could be interpreted to mean that a cyclist only has to carry a hi-vis gilet.

Andrew Buchan

'Cycle use down' is the headline preceding the one that concerns yet more compulsion over 'how to cycle'. 'Slowly, slowly catchy monkey', for those legislators who don't understand, means - that eventually you will achieve your goal. However, at present more and more potential cyclist are being put off the idea of cyclingHow about, we get them on their cycles first. Having just cycled a thousand mile LE-JOG over a nine day period (www.justgiving.com/end2endlejog)it made me despair when I received a sanctimonious looks from helmet wearing cyclist. A friendly encouraging wave would have been far more effective - instead I now think of him/her as arrogant. Yes - we can all work out that helmets may be of use in certain circumstances as can high vis vests. I wear a helmet when racing around on my road bike, but lets let everyone make up their own mind in their own time. That way we get more cyclist, less cars and eventually more safety by all sorts of means.

Colin Clarke

This is a liberty, any cyclist not wearing the prescribed vest in poor lighting conditions outside of towns will/could be held partially or totally responsible for accidents.

Pedestrians sustaining injuries in poor lighting conditions may not be held responsible, the requirement leading to discrimination in accident compensation cases.

This sets the example for other countries to follow with selective discrimination. Anytime I go to France cycling I would need to carry this vest in case lighting conditions became poor. The speed limits could be set lower for nightime driving or in poor lighting conditions. Drivers could be required to pass strict eyesight tests for night driving conditions. Bicycle lighting standards could be improved. Motor car lights do not cover their braking distance in mnay situation and this means drivers are effectively speeding. Drivers should slow down rather than make cyclists wear vests. Cyclists would be the only road users not allowed to wear nornal clothing, infringing their human rights compared to other road users.

Could the ECF contest this in the European Court? Injunction, any legal views? Ask for funding support etc. Could members of the European Parliament state their objection?

The alternative approach is for road users to take more care at night or in poor lighting conditions. Encouraging pedestrians and cyclists to wear light coloured clothing at night is worthwhile.

Jon Cotton

This is just so typical of car driving politicians/legislators/bureaucrats, force the vulnerable road users into taking ridicluous precautionary measures whilst doing little or nothing to force the people in charge of their lethal weapons (motor vehicles) to drive in a safe manner. This kind of legislation completely ignores the fact that motor vehicles are the ones causing all the death and destruction on the roads, and seeks to ensure that should you be foolish enough to ride on the roads, then it is your fault if you get hurt or killed by negligent drivers. The motoring lobby is incredibly powerful, and we are seeing these kinds of restrictions being brought in in more and more countries. It is only a matter of time, before they start calling for cylces to be banned on certain roads, and then on all roads - you have been warned!

John Schubert

The bright-clothes laws are well-meaning, but they have huge downsides. A cyclist in dark clothes is easily visible from hundreds of meters away. All road users, particularly motorists, should be attentive enough to see cyclists, animals, trash in the road, and so on. I agree with the other posters that these laws can lead to injustice in the event of a collision that any reasonable road user could have avoided. I've ridden for many decades in dark clothes, and I'm still here. How hard can it be to see someone in dark clothes? All you have to do is look!

Jack J

The translation is incorrect "as well as" and the comma preceeding it are both incorrect and distort the meaning entirely. The correct translation would be that cyclists are required to wear the vest outside of towns only during the hours of darkness or during the day when visibility is poor.

Also "de porter un gilet" definately does not include a meaning 'to carry' as opposed from 'to wear'.


Can anybody please tell me what the situation is with hire cars? Do I have to arrive with these items in my bag or are warning triangles and hi viz jackets supplied with the hire car? Many thanks

Deborah Morley

Re hire cars and hi viz jackets and triangles

i travelled to France last week and phoned the hire car company they stated that this equipment is a legal required, just as a car seat is for a child and you have to provide them yourselves or hire them from the company. so we took our own with us (we bought them off a well know auction site and it only cost us £5) better be safe than sorry!


Thanks Deborah, I shall make sure I include these items on my next trip over it's just that it's a) a pain to remember and b)extra weight. Ah well a small price to pay I guess.

Craig McGinty

Thanks Deborah for leaving an answer, I've also sent a question in to the hire service I work with and will hopefully hear back from them soon.
All the best, Craig

Craig McGinty

Hi, I have heard back from the car hire firm I work with and they said if the equipment is required by law to be in the vehicle then those items will be supplied.
Hope this helps, Craig


Thanks everyone for your help. It's good to know that we don't have to keep taking additional items which add weight and at least it's one less thing for me to forget!!

Neville Dalton

The "official Securite Routiere website" refers to "Les cyclistes (conducteur et passager)" - does this then refer also to motorcyclists and pillions. Not that the reflective jacket is a problem - many of us wear those anyway - but carrying a warning triangle, usually relatively large and heavy, can be a problem for motorcycles. Is it expected that all riders of 'sports', as well as 'touring' motorbikes in France will have to carry a triangle as well? (While it is often possible to get the bike right off the road, it is not always so - in gorges, lanes with barriers etc.)


as a rider of a moterbike does this mean i will have to carry triangle &jacket. space is min in a moterbike? what do other bikers think?

j Hoddy

Definitely in favour of wearing hi-vi jackets if cycling at night in the dark. As a cyclist and car driver, I despair at kids riding round after dark with no lights and dark clothes. Also often cyling in an erratic mannre. It is so dificult to see them and who will get the blame if there is an accident?

Keepleft, MotAdvNSW AUS

Seems mad cow disease still afflicts parts of England. Only lunatics would complain about the pro-active French and Continental EU safety measure.

In any case, the UNECE 27R hazard-warning triangle, & the DIN EN471 safety vest, is up for eventual world adoption, see page 63 - Part 5.3 of this Pdf update to "The UN Convention on Road Traffic". Heck, even China does this now, India increasingly adopts the same spec triangle, each exports its cars with same;


See also;-

Stay off the funny stuff folks!

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