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Finland is not introducing periodic motorcycle inspections

Finnish motorcyclists will not be confronted  with a periodic motorcycle inspection, thanks to a national government that understands that mandatory inspections will not necessarily improve motorcyclists’ safety.

Most European countries have a mandatory periodical technical inspection (PTI) for motorcycles, some are going to introduce it in 2022. PTI for all motor vehicles is regulated under Directive 2014/45/EU. Prior to this directive the providers of technical inspections, the industry and the road safety organizations started a strong lobby to include motorcycles.

At the same time FEMA and some of its member organizations started to lobby against such an inclusion. Thanks to our lobby, motorcycles over 125cc were excluded until 1 January 2022. Member states that took alternative measures to enhance motorcycle road safety before 20 May 2017, could avoid the obligation to introduce PTI for > 125cc motorcycles. Ireland, Finland and the Netherlands made use of this possibility.

Recently, Finland saw a public debate about periodic inspections of motorcycles. There have also been estimates that periodic inspections of motorcycles would be introduced in Finland in accordance with the EU Inspection Directive at the beginning of 2022 or in 2023.

Finnish motorcyclists’ association – and member of FEMA – SMOTO asked the Ministry of Transport and Communications three questions on the subject:

  1. Is Finland introducing a periodic inspection of motorcycles on 1 January 2022, mentioned in the public domain on or after 1 January 2023, or does it intend to continue the current practice?
  2. Has Finland introduced ‘effective alternative road safety measures’ within the meaning of the Directive? If so, what measures?
  3. How and what has Finland reported to the Commission on these alternative road safety measures, i.e. the ‘derogations’ from the Directive?

In its reply to SMOTO on 31 August 2021, the Ministry of Transport and Communications stated:

  1. Wim Taal, FEMA’s Communications Officer said: “It is good to see that the Finnish goverment is ready to listen to the true experts, the motorcyclists from SMOTO. As we in FEMA have stated so many times before, 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.” (photograph by Dolf Willigers).

    Finland is not introducing roadworthiness testing for the vehicles in question, i.e. Finland will continue the current practice.

  2. Finland has introduced alternative effective traffic safety measures. A response from the Ministry of Transport and Communications was submitted to the European Commission in March 2019, detailing these alternative measures. Measures mentioned in this reply included a) improving infrastructure, b) reforming the driving license law and c) the moped and motorcycle strategy for 2025. In addition, the safety of mopeds and motorcycles has been addressed in the Road Safety Strategy currently being prepared.
  3. As described above, a reply from the Ministry of Transport and Communications was submitted to the Commission in March 2019, specifying alternative measures.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications also states: “The continuation of the current practice in Finland is supported, for example, by the fact that the motorcycle season is quite short, and motorcycles/mopeds are not used as much in traffic as in Southern Europe, for example.”

SMOTO thanks the automation unit of the Information Department of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for the clear answers. If periodic inspections are ever introduced for motorcycles, it will be as a result of a EU Inspection Directive. In SMOTO’s opinion, Finland’s position is justified and sensible.

Source: SMOTO

Top photograph courtesy of TÜV

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