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MPs debate law to end 'wild rodeos' on streets

The Connexion, Jun 7

A new law aimed at tackling so-called 'wild rodeos' in which motorbike, minimoto and quad-bike riders take part in dangerous street races is to be debated in Parliament next month.

The bill, sponsored by MPs from President Emmanuel Macron's LREM party proposes to make such meetings illegal. Currently, anyone taking part can be charged under a raft of traffic laws, such as speeding, not wearing a helmet, or using unroadworthy vehicles - but the new law would make unapproved street racing illegal.

According to Interior Ministry figures, police recorded almost 8,700 such events in towns and cities, while more than 6,600 took place in rural areas - an increase of 20% in a single year.

If the bill passes in to law, anyone caught could face a year in prison and a fine of €15,000, rising to five years in prison and a €75,000 fine if they are caught racing while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

But, while police unions welcome the new law, representatives have warned that officers called to any urban rodeo risk getting involved in potentially dangerous high-speed chases. "In principle, this new offence is good, but it does not resolve the difficulties of catching offenders and the risks that result from it," a representative of the Alliance union said.

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