No French blindspot sticker, no fine for first 3 months

AFTRI is Transport and Logistics Netherlands's (TLN) French counterpart. It's confirmed that haulers won't be fined for missing blind spot stickers. But only for the first three months of 2021. During this grace period, carriers will, at most, be made aware of the sticker's absence. No fines will be issued, reports AFTRI.

TLN had already requested that the European Commission postpone this obligation until further notice. The measure is unclear, unworkable, and seems illegal. TLN, along with the IRU, had raised this issue with the EC, but to no avail. The Dutch Government has also been informed of this new legislation. To comply with French laws, trucking companies have to display these stickers on their vehicles in all kinds of creative ways. The European Commission has yet to give its opinion on the measure. Until further notice, this legislation is compulsory for all carriers driving to France.

Not clear
A legal article was published this month. It contains nothing about the 'urban areas' where this compulsory sticker is needed. That was, however, stated in the information published last year. It said carriers would be exempt if they were merely driving through, not around in, an urban area. TLN has asked the French authorities for clarification on this point. The organization will communicate this as soon as they know more.

Grace period
Now, a decree has been published. It explains the following. If a vehicle's blind spots have been marked before 31 March 2021, but the stickers used don't comply with French dimensions or aren't at the correct height, a 12-month grace period still applies.

Practical information
You can find information (in Dutch) on this page. It's about the French blindspot stickers' size and color. TLN's international messaging service has an unofficial translation. That's of the leaflet drawn up by the FNTR, a French road haulage association. It contains the exact location of where the sticker is to be affixed. It includes additional information on how certain carriers can still comply with the sticker requirement.

According to French authorities, Tautliners, for example, must laminate these stickers and use strong glue. It must be weather and water-resistant. The stickers can't remain on dirty or dusty silicone tarpaulins. The glue will adhere to the fabric instead of the tarpaulin. The same applies to damaged or uneven (woven or dented) tarpaulins. The glue then doesn't stick well. Other possibilities are paints or coating. Regularly (un)folding the tarpaulin can affect the stickers' durability.

Traffic safety is paramount. But, TLN isn't in favor of this French measure. The obligation to place blindspot stickers is unworkable and unrealistic for many hauliers. TLN also wonders whether this demand from French authorities conflicts with European legislation and regulations. According to an EU regulation, vehicles complying with the European Type Approval (ETG) are authorized in every European Member State. Nothing further is required.

Source: TLN

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