What the French highway code saysAccording to article R431-1 of the French highway code, in order to ride a motorised two-wheeler* as a driver or passenger, it is compulsory to
- Wear a helmet conforming to the ECE 22-04 / ECE 22-05 / ECE 22-06 standard
- The helmet must be properly fastened (it must not be possible to remove it when fastened)
- Must have a retro-reflective element on each side in accordance with article R431-1 of the highway code, which can be found in article 6.16 "Signage" of the ECE 22-05 standard.
*A scooter, a 3-wheeled motorbike and a 4-wheeled quad are considered as motorised two-wheelers.
Failure to comply with any of the above points may result in a fourth class fine of at least 135€ plus the loss of 3 points on the driving licence.
What is an approved helmet?
Wearing a properly fastened helmet is compulsory for any driver or passenger of a motorised two-wheeler (art. R431-1 of the highway code).
Indeed, head injuries are the main cause of serious handicaps and deaths among motorcyclists.
Whether the helmet is a full-face, cross, modular, crossover or jet/bowl, it must comply with the ECE 22-04 / ECE 22-05 / ECE 22-06 standard.
A new standard for helmet homologation was passed in June 2020. All helmets are in transition to this new standard, they will have until June 2023 to obtain this approval in order to be put on the market. This new approval is the Geneva ECE 22-06. From June 2023 onwards, the various brands will no longer be able to sell helmets with the ECE 22-05 standard.
There are 2 types of labels on the helmet to prove its approval:
- A green label on which the NF standard (NF S 72.305) is printed
- Or, a white label on which the European standard ECE 22-04, ECE 22-0 or ECE 22-06 is printed.
The number after the E indicates the origin of the approval country (2 for France).
On the second line there is a series of numbers starting either with 04 (Regulation 22, amendment 04), 05 (Regulation 22, amendment 05) or 06 (Regulation 22, amendment 06). It is good to know that France refused Regulation 22, Amendment 03 (orange label).
Then come one or more letters (only on ECE 22-05 and ECE 22-06 helmets), here are their meanings:
- J indicates that it is a jet helmet (without chin strap)
- P indicates that this helmet provides the minimum protection for the jaw.
- NP indicates that the chin strap did not pass the chin impact test
- JP indicates dual approval for Jet and Full Face.
The last set of numbers indicates the production serial number.
Unfortunately there is no indication of the level of protection achieved. For this reason, some helmet brands indicate their results in the SHARP test that you can find on the internet. This test rates the protection of helmets on 5 stars (5 being the maximum).
What is an approved sticker for motorbike helmets?
In order to improve our visibility and make ourselves more visible to other road users (particularly in poor visibility at night or in rain and fog), the highway code (art. R431-1 of the highway code) makes it compulsory to affix a sticker on each side of the helmet.
This indication can be found in article 6.16 "Signage" of the ECE 22-05 and 22-06 standard.
The regulations :
To be approved, these stickers must:
- Retro-reflect in white (the daytime colour is not specified, so black is accepted)
- Be at least 18 cm2 each
- Be able to accept a circle of 4 cm in diameter or a rectangle of 12.50 cm² and a minimum width of 2 cm.
- Not to be torn or bent
- Not affect the mechanical behaviour of the helmet
The Highway Code also states that an approved retro-reflective sticker must be present on each side of the helmet.
Aesthetics:Being bikers ourselves, we quickly realised that adding the white retro-reflective stickers that come with our new helmet is never very pleasant.
Despite the fact that it can save our lives, we are still reluctant to put this type of sticker on our beautiful helmet. So we listened to you and created different ranges of stickers so that you can comply with the standard and still have a nice looking helmet. In addition, we offer two colours, white/silver to blend in with a white or light coloured helmet, and black to blend in with a dark or totally black helmet.