Thursday, June 25, 2009

Xenon Headlight Use Frowned Upon in Paris

General warning to all expats in France and travelers. For several weeks, the préfecture de police of Paris, without having given formal notice of their intention or reasoning, have been verbally controlling two-wheeled vehicles equipped with xenon headlamps. Even though the vehicle code is relatively clear on the subject (modifying the original lighting, without the agreement of the DRIRE, puts in question the legal compliance of the vehicle and subjects the driver liable to a fine), the sale of 'homologated' Xenon kits and their installation by official dealers creates confusion for motorcycle consumers who are being persuaded to improve their security in installing this equipment.

Tests realized by Moto Magazine do not necessarily reflect the same opinion on the matter of security. The reviewers recognized that "xenon offers a stronger, wider and denser lighting, giving a superior visual beam in comparison to a halogen bulb" but to the "detriment of the user". In their view, "using xenon as low beams can be annoying to other drivers as the light source can be to strong." Xenon doesn't necessarily allow you see any better, but to be better seen at the same time possibly blinding others…

In any case, before resorting to handing out tickets, it would seem better to inform the drivers that are installing these units more through a lack of understanding than by a deliberate will to infringe upon the law. Riders be forewarned.

Source: FFMC