EU Demos Abound

Numerous European demos were held this weekend and last week with the events taking place across France including at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Other major demos took place in Belgium outside the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels. A demo run was also organised by MAG Netherlands in co-ordination with MAG Belgium with support from NMCU (Norwegian riders organisation) and various other rider organisations that are attached to the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations.

The French riders group FFMC (Fédération Française des Motards en Colère – French Federation of Angry Bikers – mobilised the riders across France and in Belgium. The FBMC, a separate riders’ organisation in Belgium also demonstrated in Brussels.

In the meantime, in Ireland, a demo was held by MAG Ireland in the centre of Dublin against the European Commission’s proposal.

What were the demonstrations all about?

They were against a European Commission proposal to introduce mandatory road worthiness testing for motorcycles across Europe. This would also affect eleven countries that don’t have roadworthiness testing for motorcycles and see changes such as annual testing for older vehicles. At present the test in these countries, (like our yearly Mot), is every two years.

There are fears that a “new” road worthiness test would see more rigorous testing and a big fear that modifying motorcycles would be a thing of the past or that every part riders fit to their machine would then require to be tested.

Of course at the moment this is guesswork and the rhetoric of megaphone diplomacy to stir riders’ concerns about the issue.

Meanwhile At An Earlier Demo

Meanwhile French motorcycle magazine – Moto Magazine – reports that on Thursday 20th September, a dozen FFMC activists blocked the entrance of headquarters of DEKRA.

DEKRA is the leading inspection, certification services and claims management in the fields of Automotive, Transport and Industry.

We are informed that the “activists” blocked the entrance and with the involvement of a dump truck, poured 1 ton of gravel in front of the doors! Moto Magazine reports that, “At the same time, activists equipped with oil, eggs and flour, covered the front of the building, under the gaze of stunned employees.

So why DEKRA and why this action?

DEKRA is the organisation that wrote a report that basically said that there is a safety issue as regards motorcycles and their road worthiness. The report was used by the European Commission to justify in a proposal the mandatory introduction of road worthiness testing for motorcycles across Europe.

FFMC appear to have used this as an opportunity to take direct action, to mobilize and get its members active against DEKRA and to highlight the issues that they have with the European Commission proposal.

Jean-Marc Belotti, coordinator of the antenna FFMC Paris-Petite-Couronne (FFMC PPC) is quoted as saying, “European technical control of the future will affect motorcyclists, scooterists, but also motorists, who will have to do every year, instead of two today.

FFMC say this is only the beginning of their actions.

Environmental

You may remember that it had been reported that the EU wanted to introduce a ban on motorcycles in cities if they were produced before 2004.

We reported that this was a hysterical claim tied in with the rhetoric regarding the “anti-tampering” regulation proposal mixed in with a dose of compulsory hi-viz wearing from the EU, when in fact this was only in France and for all vehicle.

Moto Magazine reports (remember this is a new French Government) that, “the French Environment minister sends no-motorcycle zones to the compost heap.”

“Good news for drivers’ and riders’ rights’ organisation FFMC and 40 Million drivers: the French Environment minister, Delphine Batho, has decided to scrap the “Priority Air Action Zones” (ZAPA) system on September 20th, following a meeting with the remaining candidate cities.”

However Moto Magazine add that, “France is expected to introduce policies to reduce polluting emissions in urban areas: the European Commission has launched a legal procedure against France at the European Court of Justice on account of insufficient results in reducing thin particles, with many cities exceeding the allowed thresholds.”

Adding that, “Let’s hope that this time around, the voice of users’ associations will be heard.”

Links and Information

Find the original articles online at Moto Magazine

Click Here

Click Here

View pictures and reports of the demos on the demo Facebook page – Click Here

Read and Comment on Right To Ride EU – Click Here

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