There is no evidence that the technical state of motorcycles plays a significant role in accidents, but still some members of the European parliament want to periodically inspect every bike in Europe, thinking it will improve road safety.
In 2014 the Periodic Roadworthiness Tests Directive (2014/45/EU) came into force. This directive regulates the technical inspection of cars and motorcycles. As a result of the hard fight that FEMA and some of its member organizations, supported by some MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) had in 2012 and 2013, motorcycles were excluded until 2022.
In 2014 the European Parliament by a large majority voted in favour of the compromise proposal from the European Commission on a European regulation for the periodic technical inspection (PTI) of motor vehicles. This compromise included that the PTI for motorcycles was postponed until 2022. If a member state managed to find another solution to enhance the road safety for motorcyclists and reported this to the European Commission before 20 May 2017, this country would be excluded from Mandatory Periodic Technical Inspection (PTI). Three countries managed to do so: Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands. Some other countries have or will have PTI for motorcycles, but not (yet) for mopeds.
On 25 January 2021 the Transport Committee of the European Parliament discussed a report about the implementation on the road safety aspects of the Roadworthiness Package, of which the Periodic Roadworthiness Tests Directive is part. Many MEPs asked for mandatory periodic technical inspection for all powered two- and three-wheelers, although we also heard doubt about the effectivity of this measure. During the presentation of the report by rapporteur Benoît Lutgen, he himself expressed his doubts if a mandatory periodic technical inspection would be the best way to enhance motorcycle road safety.
Because FEMA has no doubts and are still of the opinion that mandatory periodical technical inspections have very little impact on road safety for motorcyclists, certainly less than other measures could have, we decided to write a letter to all members of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament. In this letter we explained why we think that the introduction of a mandatory European periodic technical inspection for all powered two- and three-wheelers is a bad idea. This letter was sent on 27 January 2021. Of course, we will keep following this issue and we will continue our fight against a mandatory European PTI for motorcycles.
‘Training of road users, behavioural aspects, infrastructure and enforcement of existing traffic rules play a much bigger role in road safety than periodical technical inspections ever will’
The periodic technical inspection of motorcycles is a very old discussion in which various parties argue that this would benefit road safety. However, not only is there no evidence that the technical state of motorcycles plays a significant role in accidents, available reports on motorcycle accidents all point in the opposite direction: the technical state of motorcycles plays only a very marginal role in accidents. Training of road users, behavioural aspects, infrastructure and enforcement of existing traffic rules play a much bigger role in road safety than periodical technical inspections ever will.
Written by Dolf Willigers
Top photograph by Andrea Piacquadio
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