How long will it be before air-pollution Nazis around the world follow the lead of the Paris mayor who wants to ban old motorcycles?
In an effort to curb air pollution in the crowded city, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is seeking to restrict the bikes registered before 2000 in major areas of the French capital between 8am and 8pm.
Harsher bans throughout the country are now being considered by some French politicians.
However, the French are well known for protesting and some 15,000 riders on 10,0000 bikes blocked the capital’s outer ring road recently to make a stand against the bans.
They were joined by tens of thousands of riders in 34 other French cities.
The protests were organised by Biker France and the Federation Francaise des Motards en Colere which is French for “French Federation of biker gangs in Anger”.
Biker France claimed “the PTW (powered two-wheeler) is a solution, not pollution”.
FFMC spokesman Jean-Marc Belotti says they find the policy “unacceptable”.
He says motorcyclists and scooterists are told they “are a minority that has a lot of accidents; and now we are a minority that pollutes”.
“That’s enough! I recall that we drive on gasoline and not diesel,” he says referring to the recent controversy around VW cheating on its diesel engine emission levels.
He points out that in France there are 40,000 premature deaths due to fine particles from diesel engines.
There has been no call by politicians to ban VW diesel cars from cities.