The EC’s consultation on Daytime Running Lights (DRL) closed on November 17th. FEMA’s campaign to stop compulsory Daytime Running Lights for all vehicles becoming a pan-European requirement received a major boost at FIA seminar on DRL this week.
At a seminar organised by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) following the closing of the EC consultation on DRL, representatives of FEMA and MAG UK, very concerned by the EC’s intention to introduce compulsory DRL for all vehicles throughout Europe, challenged the road safety benefits of DRL, questioning the validity of the research on which the European Commission’s proposal was based and sought reassurance that the consultation process within the European Union would not be negated by decisions taken at the United Nations.
It seemed clear to FEMA that the car manufacturers, light manufacturers and a number of road safety, research organisations and car drivers’ clubs, who appear to believe that it is acceptable for motorcyclists to be more at risk of being killed if it will save the life of more car drivers, will continue to push for compulsory DRL.
We were pleased however to see support for our concerns that DRL would result in a loss of conspicuity for motorcyclists, by the British Government. Senior official from the UK Department for Transport, Ian Yarnold, together with a representative of the Transport Research Laboratory, Ian Knight, raised serious doubts about the wisdom of making DRL an issue for European harmonisation and questioned a number of the conclusions reached in the research supporting DRL. Most importantly they maintained that any benefits of DRL would be far outweighed by the costs.
We were further encouraged when the Head of the European Commission’s road safety unit, Dr. Totsmann, said that the widespread concerns raised by motorcyclists and other vulnerable road user groups within the consultation process required the Commission to give further consideration to the matter and to engage in discussions with all stakeholders. He further stated that there would be no question of the Commission introducing a measure that would benefit one category of road user to the disadvantage of any other group of road users.
FEMA new General Secretary, Aline Delhaye, says: “We all agree on the overall objective of improving road safety; however FEMA can not accept the current safety-based tactics launched by the pro-DRL lobbies taking advantage of the 2010 casualty reduction objective. Every life whether a car driver, a motorcyclist, a cyclist of a pedestrian, is worth the same. Raising the risk of one category of road users at the cost of saving another is simply ethically unacceptable. I am encouraged by the Commission’s recent statement reassuring FEMA that no measure that would endanger any category of road users would be implemented.”
To that effect, the announcement of a roundtable with all stakeholders should be seen as a step forward as FEMA does appear at last to have the decision-makers prepared to listen to motorcyclists’ concerns.
Note: FEMA detailed position on Daytime Running Lights can be found Here
FEMA General Secretary
FEMA – Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations
Rue des Champs 62, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)2 736 9047
Fax: +32 (0)2 736 9401
FEMA National Member Organisations
MAG Austria – MAG Belgium – CMF Czech Republic – DMC Denmark – MCTC Denmark – MP69 Finland – SMOTO Finland – FFMC France – Biker Union Germany – BVDM Germany – Kuhle Wampe Germany – MOT.O.E Greece – MAG Ireland – Coordinamento Motociclisti Italy – LMI Luxembourg – NMCU Norway – MAG Netherlands – GAM Portugal – SMC Sweden – IG Motorrad Switzerland – BMF United Kingdom – MAG United Kingdom – AMM Spain – EMOK Turkey