Hi-Viz. EU Commission tells France they got it wrong

In an interesting twist, the EU Commission seem to have re-opened the hi-viz debate.

On 19th July, in response to a question about hi-viz in France which was put to the EU Commission by British MEP Roger Helmer, Siim Kallas (Commission Vice President) answered on behalf of the Commission outlining the current EU harmonised standards on PPE (personal protective equipment).

He explained that Directive 89/686/EEC included minimum hi-viz standards for personal use (EN1150) and for professional use (EN471), which are higher.

Directives don’t carry the same legislative weight as Regulations, but if something within a Directive is to be applied, it must meet the minimum standard and the minimum standard in this case is actually 1,000cm2 of hi-viz material, not the 150cm2 the French have ruled. That’s six times more hi-viz!

To quote Mr Kallas

“It thus appears that the French rule is based on a mistaken reference to the requirements of the relevant harmonised standards. The Commission will contact the French authorities with a view to correcting this mistake.”

This really leaves the French two options. Either, they shelve the idea altogether, or riders in France will be wrapped up like Turkeys after Christmas.

As always, we’ll keep you posted on developments