Should approved gloves be mandatory?

Aldi leather gloves Aldi annual sale approved

The French Government has started enforcing laws making approved gloves mandatory for all scooter, motorcycle and ATV riders and pillions, leading to concerns about the rule spreading to other countries.

The fine for not wearing gloves, even if just dashing down to the local boucherie for a croissant and cafe au lait, is €68 ( about $A110, $US84). If you pay within 15 days, the fine is reduced to €45 ($A72, $US55).

France seems to lead the world in draconian anti-motorcycle measures, banning old motorcycles from Paris, requiring riders to wear fluoro and even banning riders from wearing earphones.

French riders protest a proposed ban on old motorcycles approved
French riders protest the ban on old motorcycles

French motorcycle advocacy groups say the glove law is draconian, doesn’t affect any lives and doesn’t impact on other road users.

They have called for riders to be encouraged to wear gloves, not forced to wear them.

Voluntary ratings system

We wonder how long before Australian authorities follow the French mandatory rule.

Senior researcher for motorcycle safety, Liz de Rome, says the European standard for motorcycle gloves which required certified compliance with abrasion resistance performance began in 2002 (EN 13594:2002) and was revised in 2015.

Liz De Rome - motorcycle safety gear focus - approved
Liz De Rome

“What has changed is that, although it was mandatory, it was not enforced by any of the European governments. The French government has just started to enforce it,” she says.

Voluntary standards

Liz, who is working on the Australian five-star rating system for rider gear, says their ratings system is “progressing well”.

She didn’t have any details on when it would be complete, but the rating system would be a consumer guide only and not part of a mandatory requirement.

Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard says the five-star ratings system would not lead to mandatory requirements like France.

AMC president Shaun Lennard approved
AMC president Shaun Lennard

“It’s all voluntary. We’re only hoping that it will lead to consumer-driven demand (for products with a high star rating), which in turn manufacturers will want to be part of,” he says.

Hand injuriescrash Accident motorcycle road safety approved

Wearing thick gloves reduces hand injures in 95% of motorcycle crashes, according to the Brussels Motorcycle Accident In Depth Study.

While wearing gloves is recommended, it is not the most vulnerable part of your body in a crash.

You would think that if you fell off your bike the first thing you would do is put your hands out to cushion the fall and therefore receive hand injuries.

However, a study by leading US public health institute the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that motorcycle crash non-fatal injuries to the riders’ feet or legs are twice as likely as to the hands or arms.

9 Comments

  1. TOTALLY disagree with anything mandatory, just gives the cops something more to hassle you about. However NEVER ride without gloves as the few offs I have had in my forty plus years of riding have always ended up with scuff marks or worse on the gloves. Better on these that on my hands.
    As to those who want to ride without protection that’s their choice but believe that they should pay full costs for any skin related injuries sustained

  2. Whilst we all like to think we know best and it will never happen to us, accidents do happen and any extra protection we can get will leave us in a better position to live out the rest of our lives. I have been riding for well over forty years but still willing to learn and let’s face it, sometimes we need protecting from ourselves.
    I’m sure that when seatbelts were made mandatory there were people out there saying “its draconian” , “a stupid precedent” etc, etc.
    My daughter is an intensive care nurse and recently urged me not to ride without gloves giving an example of a rider who had come off and put their hands out to stop themselves. This poor sole eventually lost a hand. I am confident that any half smart person who saw the out come would never ride again without safety gear.

    Mark, if you want to let me know how I can send you this image I am more than happy to as a public service.

  3. I see people riding everyday wearing shorts, t-shirt’s runners even thongs. It both angers and confuses me. I ‘ve ridin for well over 40 years and hate this nanny state bull. But have these idiots never seen what It does to flesh and bone being ground down the road for many metres? I don’t like being told what to do so mp’s can screw us for yet more money but every time we as bikers wilfully do drum shit, it merely gives burocrat more justification. And you can’t ride with no legs or hands.

  4. Yes I agree with all of yo, but we have to agree to pay for the hospital bills and reheducations, you can’t have it both ways. If it was not for the law I would still ride with TShirts and tongues. 🙂 When I go to the state i love to ride with no helmet, It won’t be long before we have to get dress like the Michelin guy….

  5. I believe that wearing approved gloves should be encouraged but not be made mandatory. I always wear gloves except the other day I was riding with a local riding group & had put my gloves in my panniers while we socialised prior to heading off, when we headed off I realised after a kilometre that I had forgotten to put my gloves back on, I put them on when we regrouped after a while. Under these laws I would be fined for a momentary lapse of memory, is that fair?

  6. Not really a fan of the Government regulating everything. I believe that it is our responsibility to protect ourselves but if you choose, for any reason, to ride without gloves then you should be allowed to.
    Also, in this case it to raise revenue from fines.

    Personally, I would say no to the question and matching the laws from countries where the traffic is different is a stupid move.

  7. A dangerous and stupid precedent to follow.
    I actually don’t like riding without gloves even on a hot day but I’ve been forced to on occasion due to losing them or having them fall apart after getting wet. I’ve had supposed wet weather, winter gloves give up the ghost with the liner ripping out as I removed them and tearing open and they weren’t cheap ones either.

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