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Romanian motorcyclists fined for not having a fire extinguisher

In Romania the highway code does not distinguish between cars and motorcycles. As a result, a motorcycle must carry a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and two reflective triangles.

Until recently, the police ignored these provisions and did not impose fines on motorcycle and moped owners. This has changed and the motorcycle community has been outraged by several cases in which fines have been imposed for the lack of the extinguisher and the set of reflective triangles. However, the law is clear and requires the presence of these elements, which makes the fines given by the police to be correct from the perspective of law enforcement. So, it is up to the traffic police to decide whether or not to enforce the law.

Almost 8,000 signatures were collected in 7 days by the online petition initiated by MotoADN, the Romanian motorcyclists’ association – and a member of FEMA – to eliminate the obligation to carry a fire extinguisher, reflective triangles and a medical kit on motorcycles and mopeds.

97% of respondents support the elimination of the obligation to have a fire extinguisher and reflective triangles on motorcycles and mopeds. 88% also support the elimination of the obligation to have a first aid kit for motorcycles and mopeds (in fact, this is the only element mentioned in the law that some motorcyclists take with them when they go out in traffic, if they have side bags or other storage spaces). 65% consider that it would not be necessary to introduce the obligation of motorcyclists to wear a reflective vest.

There are technical and road safety arguments to remove the extinguisher and reflective triangles:

Fire extinguisher – unlike cars, motorcycles are equipped with a power switch, but also power supply. Moreover, in the event of an impact, the existence of a pressure device on a motorcycle poses a real danger to those involved in the accident. This makes the existence of a fire extinguisher unjustifiable.

Reflective triangles – The motorcycle and moped are small enough to be moved off-road when they are defective or involved in minor accidents. As a result, it does not require the use of reflective triangles. In the event of a serious accident, when it is forbidden to move the motorcycle from the scene of the accident, the police must intervene, and thus can secure the place, more effectively than by using reflective triangles.

First Aid Kit – In the event of an accident with personal injury, the motorcyclist’s protective equipment causes minor injuries, such as scratches, cuts, to appear only in combination with other more serious problems, which require the intervention of a rescue service. The medical kit is thus useless or can even be dangerous if used by non-specialized personnel in such situations.

Răzvan Pavel, president of MotoADN, says: “We believe that this provision is a legislative loophole that needs to be remedied. Through this petition we wanted to make the voice of the Romanian motorcycle community heard, because the message must go further. We therefore request the Romanian Parliament, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Interior to exclude motorcycles and mopeds from the application of the provisions of Article 8 of the Emergency Ordinance no. 195/2002 on traffic on public roads.”

Source: MotoADN

Top photograph courtesy of Poliția Română

This article is subject to FEMA’s copyright