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Compulsory Cycling Equipment

Compulsory equipment for bicycles and cyclists: what does road safety say?

Are you sure you are fully compliant with the law regarding your bicycle equipment ? If the cycle has become a trendy transport in town, few would be spared in the event of an inspection!

Between the wearing of a helmet, lighting systems or safety vests … What are the accessories required by road safety to be able to pedaling safely and without being stopped? For an upgrade on the subject, read our article on how to avoid infractions when you take out your cycle!

Obligations concerning the bicycle

To ride a bicycle, it must be in good working order and equipped with the minimum required by road safety.

Efficient front and rear brakes

According to article R315-3, your bike must be equipped with two working brakes, front and rear.

If one of the two is faulty or brakes insufficiently, you are putting your life and the lives of other road users in danger. Thanks to its devices, you are able to respect the STOP markings and various untimely stops. If the brakes work when you buy your bike, don't forget to check them every time you ride to avoid unpleasant surprises… When you're going at full speed, for example!

Front and rear lighting

There are different types of lights. Those who allow to see and others to be seen.

With regard to the systems imposed by road safety, the law insists on the devices to be seen. So you have to:

  • Reflectors : These retro-reflective devices must be red at the rear and white or yellow at the front. Others, orange in color, must be attached to the sides (on the spokes of the wheels) and on the pedals.
  • Position lights : Lighting with a non-dazzling yellow or white light installed on the front of the bike and a clearly visible, non-flashing red light for the rear light.

Beware of the bicycle carrying a trailer over 1.30 m wide. The devices, which have become invisible, must be added to the rear.

In the event of an inspection, although the fine can amount to 38 euros, a fixed fine of 11 euros is often applied.

So what type of light should I choose on my bike?

When you need to equip your light cycle, the law insists on glare-free light, but is not very clear on the details.

There are two units to identify the intensity of a bicycle light: lux and lumen. If lumen measures the amount of light emitted, lux indicates illuminance. Thus, the 20 lux bulbs are enough to be seen and provide sufficient lighting in all circumstances.

LED lighting is authorized and efficient, because it is more powerful, durable and ecological.

As for their operation, there are all kinds of them: battery, dynamo and rechargeable.

A horn

The doorbell is the preferred horn on bikes. As long as it works and can be heard up to at least 50 meters. According to article R 313-33, it must contain a bell or bell to identify the ringing noise when a cyclist comes.

Usually round and metallic, do not hesitate to activate it to ensure the quality of the sound before getting in the saddle Because it allows you to express yourself in front of pedestrians and other vehicles that cannot hear you. not to arrive or to warn of a danger.

Recommended accessories for cyclists

An approved helmet for children

Because head injuries remain the leading cause of death among cyclists, wearing a helmet is the only and safest solution to protect yourself in in the event of a fall or impact from a bicycle . Compulsory for children under 12, it is still recommended for adults.

The helmet must conform to the model relating to personal protective equipment . That is to say approved and CE marked , provided with a clip and can be worn attached.

Amount of the infringement for transporting a child without a helmet? Minimum 150 €

The retro-reflective vest

Still called high security vest , the famous CE approved yellow jacket is non-negotiable when pedaling outside built-up areas, in town at night or under low light. Both adults and children must wear it over their clothing in order to be seen by motorists.

To understand the interest and effectiveness of this fluorescent striped jacket, you should know that the retro-reflective strips that compose it do much more than reflect the light from the headlights car. They absorb some of this light to convert it to a more intense yellow color. An almost dazzling effect that cannot be missed at night.

Failure to comply with this obligation is punishable by a fine of 38 € and can go up to 150 €.

Reminder of offenses for poorly equipped cyclists

With the influx of bicycles in urban areas, the cycle control does not escape the gendarmes and police. In order to avoid a minimum of accidents, the latter check the wearing of helmets for children , the condition of the brakes , the correct number and operation of lights and the doorbell. The slightest breach is penalized.

First class fine

  • faults in front and rear lighting or braking incurs a penalty of € 38 or a fixed fine of € 11 with possible immobilization of the bike.
  • The absence of a bell or the reflectors costs 38 € or a fixed fine of 11 €

The fines of 2nd and 4th class

  • Failure to wear a helmet results in a sanction of € 750 (reduced to € 90) or a fixed fine of € 150
  • Forgetting a reflective jacket outside built-up areas at night is punishable by 150 € or a fixed fine of 35 €

Beyond the compulsory equipment , additional accessories are recommended to increase your visibility and your riding comfort on a bicycle. It is thus authorized to add directional lighting, to wear more trendy reflective clothing and to install other systems to secure you.

Discover our entire range of accessories for cyclists and bicycles .

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