Trialogues – Is RWT In?

dutchministryMAG Netherlands the Dutch riders organisation, reports that their Minister of Transport, Melanie Schulz van Haegen, has said that mandatory PTI (Periodical Technical Inspections) for motorcycles may again be part of European PTI regulation (RWT – Road Worthiness Testing). This is after the motorcycle part was deleted then reintroduced and is now part of parliamentary negotiations.

Minister Schulz Haegen in a letter to the to the House of Representatives expressed the expectation that the negotiations (trialogue ) between Transport Council TRAN Committee), European Parliament (EP) and the European Commission may result in the inclusion of motorcycles in the European MOT scheme which in the Netherlands is the – APK – Algemene Periodieke Keuring.

The European Council – Member States Government representatives – had deleted motorcycles from the Commission’s proposal and the TRAN Committee of MEPs had deleted motorcycles from the Commissions proposal. The European Parliament then disagreed with the TRAN Committee (fellow MEPs) and voted that the European Parliament’s position would support the inclusion of motorcycles, in line with the Commission’s proposal.

The minister in her letter says, “This means that the positions of the Council and the EP are far apart.

After the summer, negotiations were started in the trialogue between the Council, the EP and the European Commission to come to an agreement at first reading.

It is expected that the negotiations can be concluded by the end of this year.

If the Council and EP reach an agreement on a number of important concession points. In addition to some important points, such as the preservation of the Dutch APK system and further harmonisation of the APK, I expect an unwanted outcome with respect to the European APK-duty for new vehicle categories (motorcycles included).

Most Member States show themselves willing to cooperate in a constructive compromise. Behind the scenes the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council currently assesses how much leeway there is. In the second week of December is the last trialogue planned. Then it will become clear if there is a compromise.” (Translated via Bing Translator)

MAG Netherlands

magnetherlandslogoThe Netherlands is one of several countries in Europe, including Ireland – Norway – France – Belgium – Bulgaria – Cyprus – Finland – Greece – Malta – Portugal – Romania who do not have PTI (Road Worthiness Testing – RWT – MoT) for motorcycles.

MAG Netherlands has been very vocal in not wanting the introduction of PTI in their country for motorcycles and organised a demo in Brussels in 2012 in conjunction with other European rider organisations such as MAG Belgium with the support of many others including NMCU Norway.

In 2011, the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) representatives and some of their member organisations – MAG Netherlands – FFMC France and NMCU Norway delivered the bulk of 110,000 signatures, (26,386 from MAG Netherlands) at the seat of the Commission in Brussels opposing the EU Commission proposal to make Periodical Technical Inspections (PTI) mandatory for motorcycles.

They have also set up a specific Facebook page “Motorrijders tegen APK” have lobbied their Government Ministers and MEPs and gained their support, against mandatory technical inspection for motorcycles and attended events and lobbied at Brussels and the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

MAG Netherlands opposes an APK for motorcycles, whether it consists of a ‘ exhaust check ‘ or a full technical inspection. They say, “Motorcyclists are responsible for the technical condition of their motorcycle and there is no reason to suppose that that responsibility should be doubted.”

In the Netherlands there are only 450,000 motorcycles and MAG Netherlands say, “Such a certification costs will eventually have to be raised by our riders, while there is no technical need to enter “a periodic inspection for motorcycles.”

In a contraversial statement they also have said as regards the motorcycle industry in Europe, “ACEM is a commercial organization that is purely out of profit-making trying to increase the European market for inspections and control. Of course fully at the expense of the motorcyclists.”

The European Commission have repeatly stressed that the proposal if passed will reduce fatalities and collisions, a benefit to Road Safety, however rider organisations in Europe have consistently commented that that this is not the case and have questioned, as did representatives of organisations at a public hearing in the European Parliament this year, figures and the reasoning of the European Commission.

MAG Netherlands position for their country is very clear, “The APK for motorcycles is a solution to a non-existent problem. Totally unnecessary, but has the potential of extremely cost-increasing unwanted regulation and thus extremely bad legislation. MAG stands up for the interests of the motorcyclist and therefore strongly opposes the introduction of an APK for motorcycles in Netherlands.”

Our Position Again

At Right To Ride our view is simply that different countries with different situations require a different solution as mirrored in FEMA (Federation of European Motorcycleits Associations)

At Right To Ride we tend to agree with the FEMA statement, “FEMA believes that the conditions under which PTW could be subject to periodical technical inspections (PTI) depend from national parameters, and should therefore be up to member states, and thus PTWs be deleted from the scope of the directive.”

We would like to point out that we actually consider road worthiness testing to be beneficial for motorcycles because it ensures a minimum standard of technical quality for motorcycles on the roads. However we are also of the opinion that this must always be a national decision based on the needs and requirements of each country and their citizens.

In other words, based on all the evidence, it is blindingly obvious that these are the wrong proposals at the wrong time.

These proposals demonstrate once again that the European Commission is out of touch with the Member States and has not considered the economic impact that these proposals would have on the various countries within the European Union.

Our own Government – MEPs seem to have been very quite on the issue so it must be time to contact them again as these Trialogue meetings continue!

Original Sources: MAG Netherlands – Click Here – Motorrijders tegen APK – On Facebook – Click Here – No To Useless Mandatory Inspections – On Facebook – Click Here – Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu – Click Here

Comment On Right To Ride EU –  Click Here

HRWT/PTI Timeline


Back to the start, looking at some milestones and what else has been happening up to now:

  • September 2010 – We responded to a European Commission internet consultation relating to Periodic Technical Inspections (PTI) for motor vehicles and their trailers. What has evolved from the online consultation and the (lack of) information available is chaos. The Commission has simply stated its intent to extend PTI to 2 wheeled vehicles (mopeds, scooters and motorcycles) across Europe through a harmonised system.
  • October 2011 – The Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) reports that representatives of the Federation from FFMC France, MAG Netherlands and NMCU Norway delivered the bulk of 110,000 signatures, at the seat of the Commission in Brussels, from citizens across Europe opposing EU Commission plans to make Periodical Technical Inspections (PTI) mandatory for motorcycles.
  • July 2012 – The European Commission announced its proposal for a regulation for European wide Road Worthiness Testing (RWT) – previously known as Periodic Technical Inspections. The announcement included changes to the present European Directive including the introduction of extending mandatory periodical testing for Powered Two Wheelers.
  • September 2012 – A demo run organised by MAG Netherlands in Brussels 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 riders across France and in Belgium.The FBMC, a separate riders’ organisation in Belgium also demonstrated in Brussels. In Ireland, a demo was held by MAG Ireland in the centre of Dublin against the European Commission’s proposal. Also in France 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.
  • December 2012 – The Council of the European Union agreed a general approach on a draft directive updating the common rules on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles. For motorcycling, the so called general approach does not retain the Commission’s proposal to extend periodic tests to motorcycles.
  • January 2013 – The TRAN (Transport and Tourism) Committee of MEPs holds a public hearing, involving two expert panels, on roadworthiness checks and road safety as well as their impact on citizens and business. Riders organistions are not happy that they are not included as experts. The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) has a place at the hearing, the FIA say they represent 8 million motorcyclists! FEMA is not happy!
  • April 2013 – The UK MEP Brian Simpson (Chairman of the Transport And Tourism Committee), astounded motorcyclists with his comment at the end of a discussion about the Road Worthiness Testing (RWT) proposal (which his committee is tasked to examine on behalf of the European parliament) that he was astounded that 12 member states do not have testing for motorcycles and more importantly, that they are the “biggest death carrier on our roads.”
  • April 2013 – The EU parliament’s (Internal Market and Consumer Protection) IMCO Committee voted for the proposal to become a Directive (in line with the EU Council’s position). A Directive means that countries would have far greater leeway in deciding on how this proposal is applied in each member state. IMCO also voted for motorcycles to be excluded 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.Another amendment adopted said that no later than three years that the Commission would submit a report to assess the road safety situation for motorcycles in order to assess whether roadworthiness testing of the two- or three-wheel vehicles should be introduced with if appropriate, by legislative proposals.
  • euparliamentridersjuly2013pic5May 2013 – The Transport (TRAN – Transport and Tourism) Committee of MEPs, which represents the European Parliaments position, voted on amendments and ruled motorcycles out of the European Commission’s roadworthiness test package.
  • June 2013 – Siim Kallas the Vice-President of the European Commission, attended a road safety conference in Brussels organised by ETSC (European Transport Safety Council). Mr Kallas keeps up the European Commission use of quoted figures for motorcyclist collisions and injuries caused by mechanical defects. The Commission’s assumption is that 8% of accidents involving motorcycles are caused by technical defects is based on a single DEKRA Motorcycle Road Safety Report (2010).The Impact Assessment Unit for the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) says, “Whereas the larger part of the data used by the Commission seem to be sufficiently robust, the basic assumption that better and more frequent technical inspections would lead to fewer defects in vehicles seems not to be supported by evidence at all.Moreover, the further link between fewer defects in vehicles and the avoidance of accidents also seems less firmly established. With regard to motorcycles, this seems to be contradicted by other OECD and European Commission statistics, indicating that such a clear relationship between motorcycle fatalities and technical testing of motorcycles might not exist.”
  • July 2013 – Parliament agreed on and voted on amendments to the proposal, this included to reintroduce motorcycles into the Road Worthiness package. These amendments were against the position/opinion of the TRAN Committee and had a majority of just 56 votes. However a vote on the proposals to be accepted by Parliament was postponed and the parliament’s position was referred back to the TRAN (Transport and Tourism) committee so that an agreement could be reached between Parliament – Council – Commission for a first reading in the parliament.Several of the rider organisations and their representatives were present at the vote in Strasbourg including, Morten Hansen (NMCU – Norway), Eric Thiollier (FFMC – France), Dolf Willigers (MAG NL Netherlands) and Chris Hodder (BMF – United Kingdom).
  • July 2013 – The TRAN committee voted in favour of a mandate to enter into negotiations with the Council and the Commission to head for an agreement on a common position for a vote in the European Parliament for the introduction of this legislation package – or not! These Trialogues start in September.
  • November 2013 – Sitting waiting! Well actually still keeping a watchfull eye and an ear to the ground!
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