The European Commission proposes to include all types of powered two wheelers into a regulation on periodic roadworthiness tests and calls for annual inspection intervals for all vehicles more than six years old. The measure would cost riders over 1.2 Billion Euros extra per year, with no clear benefits for anyone. FEMA criticises the proposal as unnecessary and ineffective and calls for its withdrawal.
On Friday, July 13th, the European Commission published a proposal for a “Regulation on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers1”. In comparison to the previous regulation (Directive 2009/40/EC) powered two wheelers (PTWs) are also included (motorcycles, scooters and mopeds) and the Commission proposes to increase the testing frequency to four years after the date on which the vehicle was first registered, then two years and thereafter annually for all vehicles.
Therefore nine member states2 of the European Union will have to comply by introducing periodic testing for motorcycles for the first time, as well as Norway which is affected as an EEA member. It would imply that riders in Europe have to pay at least 1.7 billion euros3 on a biennial basis. Based on an estimated stock of 70% of PTWs being older than 6 years, the proposed annual testing for these older vehicles would mean an additional 1.2 billion euros per year.
The Commission assumes that technical deficiencies contribute to fatalities proportionately to their contribution to accidents, and estimates that they are "responsible for 6% of all car accidents, translating into 2,000 fatalities and many more injuries yearly [and] 8 % of all motorcycle accidents are linked to technical defects".
FEMA doubts the accuracy of such figures. According to motorcycle in-depth studies technical failures only account for 0.3% of all primary accident contributing factors4. In addition the countries in Europe with periodic testing regimes for PTWs do not show improved accident figures.
"This is nothing less than a tax on poverty for those who cannot afford a new vehicle every three years" says FEMA General Secretary Aline Delhaye. "In terms of time and money, the cost for citizens is going to be astronomical, with no benefits in return. This is not acceptable. FEMA and its member organisations are going to campaign against this proposal."