Transport Mid Term Review

brussels-parliament1-250E.U. Consultation – Mid-term review of the 2011 White Paper on Transport

Part of the 2011 White Paper on Transport was towards a ‘zero-vision’ on road safety, with a particular attention which included motorcyclists

The specifics of that attention are to:

Harmonise and deploy road safety technology – such as driver assistance systems, (smart) speed limiters, seat-belt reminders, eCall, cooperative systems and vehicle-infrastructure interfaces – as well as improved road worthiness tests including for alternative propulsion systems.

Develop a comprehensive strategy of action on road injuries and emergency services, including common definitions and standard classifications of injuries and fatalities, in view of adopting an injuries reduction target.

Focus on training and education of all users; promote the use of safety equipment (seat-belts, protective clothes, anti-tampering).

Pay particular attention to vulnerable users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, including through safer infrastructure and vehicle technologies.

What has also been said in supporting documentation in reference to motorcycling is a mixed bag, “To improve the safety of motorcyclists, the Commission will encourage research and technical developments aimed at increasing the safety of powered two wheelers and reducing the consequences of accidents.”

“On-going efforts to better adapt road infrastructure to powered two-wheelers (e.g. safer guardrails) will also be continued.”

” …..the role of L-category vehicles (mopeds, motorcycles, quads etc.) is of particular importance for certain conventional pollutants and noise.”

Some of these have already, or are about to be, implemented such as anti-tampering which was not the end of motorcycling that some riders thought was approaching. Safer guardrails seems to have stalled both on the European stage (as in Northern Ireland where the continued fitting of wire-rope barrier systems with no identification of advantageous spots for motorcycle friendly barriers to be fitted).

Our own adaptation of the specific mention of a “Focus on training” includes the 3rd European Driving Licence for riders which was implemented in the UK in January 2013 but agreed in the European Parliament back in 2006. Effectively, what we have is a licence regime that riders do not like, even some EU governments have reservations e.g. the focus on training should be not retrospective but look towards what we should have.

After an analysis of the contributions to the consultation a summary report will be published by the European Commission and these contributions will feed into the stock taking of the 2011 White Paper on Transport.

The European Commission consultation finishes on the 2nd June 2015.

TRAN (Transport & Tourism) Committee

tran-committee-logoRecently the TRAN (Transport & Tourism) Committee of MEPs in the European Parliament debated the presentation of a working document on the white paper from Dutch MEP – Wim van de Camp called the “Implementation of the 2011 White Paper on transport: taking stock and the way forward towards sustainable mobility”.

Apparently according to the TRAN Committees latest newsletter, the presentation was followed by a lively debate with general agreement that the report should focus on the specific actions needed to achieve the objectives of the White Paper.

The mention of motorcycling is contained in chapter 5. Placing People At the Heart Of The Transport Policy on Road safety; “Road safety is a major societal issue and a great concern to citizens across Europe. Road transport is the most widely used means of travel and a primary cause of accidents. Although significant improvements have been reached, much still needs to be done to get to a ‘zero-vision’. This should be achieved by: improved safety measures for trucks and cars; building safer roads; developing intelligent vehicles; strengthening licensing and training; better enforcement; targeting injuries; and a new focus on pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and vulnerable road users.”

What this new focus could mean for motorcyclists, (considering the mention of “zero-vision”, dreaded by some motorcyclists in its original form) and what is included in “improved safety measures” in the world of the European Commission and the European Parliament, needs clarification, understanding and an input by riders!

The presentation of the draft report is due back in TRAN on 13th – 14th April 2015, with a deadline for amendments on the 20th April 2015 and a vote in the TRAN Committee on the 28th May 2015 followed by a vote in plenary (EU Parliament) in July 2015.

This will form the parliament’s position concerning the EU Commission’s own mid term review of the white paper.

We are now off to have a good read through and see what we can dig up for some input……

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Links & Information

European Commission Consultation – Click Here

Newsletter of the TRAN Committee – pdf – Click Here

Implementation of the 2011 White Paper on transport: taking stock and the way forward towards sustainable mobility – pdf – Click Here

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