Roadworthiness Testing – FEMA Position

The European Union is merging various directives and amendments in order to form a single text and to harmonise the frequency of roadworthiness tests and the parts of motor vehicles which must be tested.

Out of 25 European Member States, 8 countries do not have a roadworthiness testing system for two-wheeled powered vehicles.

There is no clear evidence that the implementation of mandatory periodical inspections of motorcycles significantly improves road safety or reduces pollution.

The benefits are actually limited and do not justify the implementation of a harmonised Road Worthiness Testing at EU level.

Periodical Inspection of Motorcycles – FEMA’s Position: February 2008

The need for a motorcycle to be in good condition and to comply with relevant technical regulations, so that it can be safely used on public roads, is not questioned. However, the need of adopting an EU harmonised inspection policy for motorcycles remains disputed.

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) believes that the decision to implement periodical inspections for motorcycles should remain at national level to adapt to the specific needs of the different fleets.

FEMA strongly underlines that:

  • There is no link between the technical condition of vehicles and accidents: technical failure is the primary cause of motorcycle accidents in only 0.7% of all cases. Periodical inspections would not produce additional safety benefits

  • It is in the interests of the motorcyclist to reduce any possible risk of accident and hence to care for the good maintenance of his vehicle

  • Motorcycles travel less kilometres in their life cycle than cars or let alone Heavy Good Vehicles (HGVs), and mainly in weather conditions that are much less damaging to their technical condition

  • The limited amount of emissions produced by motorcycles compared to other motorised road users does not justify the inclusion of Powered Two-Wheelers (PTWs) in the Roadworthiness Directive.

  • Methods to control emissions and fight against pollution already exist: Motorcycles have been subject to EU emissions limits since 1999 and now comply with the Euro 3 standards

  • Motorcycles have major advantages compared to other motorised road transport means, especially on climate change, with less emission of greenhouse gas and lower fuel consumption. They should be regarded as a solution to several environmental issues faced by EU Member States, and not as a problem

  • Technical inspection is not the right solution to tackle the noise issue

  • There is no evidence to show that customised vehicles are less safe than their standard counterparts. Many modifications are actually aimed at making the machine safer (brakes, lights, tyres, etc.)

  • The differences between Powered Two-Wheelers and other vehicles would require specific testing methods and costly investments. These costs would affect both the motorcyclists and taxpayers.

The implementation of periodical inspections of motorcycles would only achieve marginal benefits, while the economic burden created would by far outweigh the positive aspects.

FEMA hence rejects any proposal to harmonise periodical inspection in Europe.


Notes for Editors

1. The full document can be downloaded Here pdf 190kb

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

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