It has finally happened, the worst fear of all funeral directors, that they will soon be forced to wear high visibility jackets. The thin edge of the wedge is here! National protests begin tomorrow, details at the bottom of this post.
The French government intends to make all bikers wear high-visibility/reflective clothing and the Irish Government is also bringing in new rules that bikers wear full-sleeved high visibility jackets. Both are pushing for this to become EU wide. With no thought to professional uses, such as motorcycle funerals, a blanket rule will be put in place and any funeral director remaining beside the coffin by sitting pillion on a motorcycle hearse will be forced to wear a brightly coloured high visibility jacket. At Motorcycle Funerals Limited we are taking the position that the best place for their high visibility jackets on funerals is in the crematory! It is distasteful to think that I will be expected to tell a 93 year old who wants to sit beside his late wife of seventy years on her final journey or to the seven year old who wants to share a moment with his grandma they can’t without donning a high visibility jacket.
Just as worrying is the proposed blanket ban on all motorcycle modifications. My friend Bob the Bear, who raises thousands for charities along with Ivan will soon be sent to the zoo! Bob, who wears a helmet under his very bear head, will be beheaded and who knows what fate Brussels has in store for his Turbo Bear! I made this short video at the National Funeral Exhibition 2011. Please watch it and ask yourself, should the EU really get away with consigning these three bears to the WWF endangered species list?
As well as the blanket ban on all motorcycle modifications the EU wants to remove all vehicles over seven years old from built up areas. My bike, which I bought brand new in 2002, has great fuel consumption and has been fully serviced ever since. Despite that it would be banned from all towns and cities. Do car drivers really believe this seven-year rule will not eventually be imposed upon them too? Under the new legislation you could even face a fine for fitting better suspension and brakes! Finally, a complete absurdity from an emissions point of view. The EU wants to ban filtering through traffic. In other words have tens of thousands of motorbikes simply sitting there giving off fumes rather than making progress.
In British culture most motorcyclists lean forward cafe racer style so high visibility jackets can’t be seen from the front anyway, but no doubt some jobs-worth in Brussels will suggest painting the coffin in high visibility colours as well. Either way funeral directors will be next on the hit list for sure, so this is just the thin edge of the wedge!