RWT Farcical

Update on Road Worthiness Testing

belfastcityhallpic1The EU parliament’s (Internal Market and Consumer Protection) IMCO Committee discussed the Commission’s proposal for harmonised road worthiness testing in Europe yesterday, the most important outcome is that the Committee voted for the proposal to become a Directive (in line with the EU Council’s position) rather than for a Regulation which is the preference of the Commission and more importantly the TRAN Committee.

A Directive means that countries will have far greater leeway in deciding on how this proposal is applied in each member state, including the decision to include or exclude motorcycles, scooters and mopeds.

We also believe that IMCO voted for motorcycles to be out of the scope leaving Member States to decide on national rules which for the likes of Great Britain, independent operators/garages could remain as repair and testing centres too.

So it looks like wisdom has prevailed.

When we have more details, we’ll be putting out a report.

TRAN Committee Amendments

Meanwhile the TRAN committee has published the amendments to the proposal for a regulation, with one especially standing out from Dutch MEP Patricia van der Kammen.

Her amendment is that, “The European Parliament rejects the Commission proposal”, with the justification that, “This proposal possesses no added value. The existing directives are adequate and do not need to be replaced. It is farcical to suggest that EU legislation will improve road safety.”

Other amendments include from MEPs, DominiqueVlasto, Christine De Veyrac, Georgios Koumoutsakos, JimHiggins, Petri Sarvamaa to change the reguloation to a directive. with the justification, “Applying the principle of subsidiarity – and in line with previous European legislation on roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers – it would be better to decide on a directive rather than a regulation.”

With an amendment from UK MEP, Phil Bennion that, “The Enforcement of roadworthiness measures should include awareness campaigns focusing on vehicle owners to develop good practices and habits of basic checks on their vehicle Or Education of vehicle owners as regards to basic checks such as tyre check is an important part of the roadworthiness regime which should be emphasized.”

The last amendment we have picked up, on a quick scan through the documents, is from another Dutch MEP, Peter van Dalen is to delete the proposed text from the European Commission, “There is a clear correlation between the level of road safety and the number of technical deficiencies of vehicles. In 2009, 35,000 fatalities have been reported on European roads. Assuming that technical deficiencies contribute to fatalities proportionately to their contribution to accidents, more than 2,000 fatalities per year in the Union may be linked to technical deficiencies of vehicles. Based on available studies, between 900 and 1,100 of these could be avoided if adequate improvements to the roadworthiness testing system were put in place.”

The justification for this amendment is that, “A correlation is not the same as a causal connection. The quality of infrastructure and the way in which people drive have far more impact on road safety in a country.”

Further to this the following MEPs, DominiqueVlasto ,Christine De Veyrac, Georgios Koumoutsakos, JimHiggins have also deleted thistext in their amendment, with the justification that, “In line with the subsidiarity and proportionality principles, it should be left to the Member States to decide whether roadworthiness testing requirements should also cover two- and three-wheel motor vehicles.”

And there is even more with also MEPs Michel Dantin, Dominique Riquet, Alain Cadec, Marie Thérèse Sanchez Schmid, Philippe Juvin, Brice Hortefeux, Arnaud Danjean, AgnèsLeBrun, deleting the text along with MEP Younous Omarjee.

Dutch MEP, Peter van Dalen, changes the text to say, “Solid investigation results do not show that 8% of the accidents involving motorcycles are caused or linked to technical defects.” The justification is that, “The research referred to in the Commission’s impact assessment certainly does not show this. In 8% of accidents involving motorcycles, technical faults were found to exist. It has not been demonstrated that the technical faults were responsible for the accidents.

We will also have a full report on all of the amendments as we work through them.

View list of amendments on TRAN Committee website – Click Here

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