Riding in France this year? Read on ………

As sure as I am that little Gnomes live at the bottom of my garden, it seems that with each passing year there are two things that will happen in France come the start of the holiday season. Air-traffic controllers will go on strike and a new or resurrected motoring law will be ‘policed’ with a view to catching out the unwary foreign motorist. If it isn’t Breathalysers, Day-Glow tabards, wearing gloves or reflective stickers on your helmet then you can guarantee it’ll be something else. This year it’s the ‘Crit’Air’ (emissions zone) sticker. Ever heard of it?

Nor had I until last week ….. but without it you’re in for a fine if you go into the center of Paris, Leon or Grenoble – the fine is currently €68 and applies to motorcycles foreign and domestic as well as cars,  trucks pay a whopping €138 fine. To get the sticker costs €4.80 and that includes postage. You need to visit the website and fill in details and supply a scanned copy (jpg, PDF etc.) of your registration document. Once payment was made I had a receipt within the hour and a certificate that allows me to enter these zones (without a fine) 24hrs later, meanwhile the sticker itself is presumably winging its way to me in the post.

Two points seem to come to mind here. This may seem irrelevant to you if you have no intention of entering any of these cities – that’s fine – however the word seems to be that this will spread to other towns/cities fairly quickly. Secondly, I really don’t like having to provide the French with my personal and bike details  ……. On what databases will this data end up and who will have access to it? Just makes me uncomfortable is all, then again handing over good hard-earned cash as a road-side ‘fine’ makes me even more uncomfortable! 😀