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European Commission: ‘No Intelligent Speed Assistance for motorcycles’

On FEMA’s request, the European Commission replied to the rumours of the introduction of speed limiters on motorcycles.

After the news broke in April 2019 that ‘Europe’ wants overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) for cars, we quickly noticed that a large part of the automotive and motorcycle press described the overridable intelligent speed assistance as “speed limiters for cars and motorcycles”. This is not correct.

Ms Róża Thun, the member of the European parliament who steered this legislation through Parliament, clearly stated “We do not introduce a speed limiter, but an intelligent system that will make drivers fully aware when they are speeding”, but some journalists kept insisting that Europe was about to make speed limiters on bikes mandatory.

To clarify this matter once and for all, FEMA wrote an official letter to Matthew Baldwin, the Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport and European coordinator for road safety and sustainable mobility. In our letter we voiced our concerns about possible ISA on motorcycles and we made the point that no technological developments regarding a possible improvement of road safety should be implemented without proper consultation of motorcyclists. We stressed the fact that certainly a measure like ISA should not be implemented without first clearly establishing the need for introduction on motorcycles.

In our letter we also invited the European Commission to confirm that the new regulations do not concern motorcycles and that a possible future regulation will not affect speed either by braking or by reducing engine power and will be tested to guarantee the safety of the motorcyclists.

Matthew Baldwin promptly replied to FEMA’s letter and addressed the motorcyclists’ concerns: “You mention some information circulating in the media to the effect that Intelligent Speed Assistance will be required for motorcycles. This is certainly not true. As you are aware, motorcycles are not within the scope of the General Safety Regulation and the Pedestrian Safety Regulation.”

In his letter, Matthew Baldwin also states: “Even if the Commission were eventually to make a proposal making, ISA systems mandatory for motorcycles, this would require an impact assessment and a cost-benefit analysis. This evaluation would take into account the specificities and needs of these vehicles and the paramount need for the safety of riders.”

Click here for the full letter from FEMA to the European Commission.

Click here for the full answer from the European Commission.

From left to right: Wim Taal (FEMA), Matthew Baldwin and Dolf Willigers (FEMA). (Photography by Wim Taal).