In response to questions asked in the House of Commons last week by Steve Baker MP (Wycombe), the Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker has acknowledged that the EU Commission has no evidence on which to base its anti-modification proposals contained within the Type Approval and Market Surveillance Regulation.
Replying on Thursday 17th May, the Secretary of State for Transport said
” The (EU) Commission has not published any indicators to support the extension of anti-tampering measures to unrestricted motorcycles as part of their current proposal. A Commission sponsored study is underway which may provide evidence on the scale of tampering, its influence on accidents in the EU, and the effectiveness of new regulations.
The Department will consider the results of this study when they are published”
He went on to say ” The Department’s impact assessment (published last October) could not find evidence to support anti-tampering measures on unrestricted motorcycles and on this basis the Government has opposed proposals to extend anti-tampering measures to unrestricted motorcycles”.
Steve Baker, the KTM riding Conservative MP for High Wycombe, asked 4 questions regarding the evidence the Commission may have used to justify its proposals, highlighting the difference between bikes above and below 125cc machines, as these smaller ‘restricted’ bikes are currently affected by ant-tampering legislation.
MAG has been drawing attention to this issue ever since the Type Approval Regulation was proposed back in October 2010. The Commission failed at the outset to provide any evidence, though it acknowledged that it had been told, back in 2004 that it would have to provide some.
If, as the Sec of State says, the EU Commission are now undertaking a study, this is hardly the way to draft legislation! The proposals have already been ‘scrutinised’ by the Committee stage of Parliament and been voted on, which is astounding! They’ll look pretty stupid if the study finds against them, so the impartiality of the research is bound to now be in question.
The European Ombudsman has already found that the Commission has a case to answer (0875/2011/JF) after MAG member Jon Strong made an official complaint and demonstrated that parts of the Treaty of the European Union had been breached, by introducing legislation without any research or evidence to support it.
MAG has also arranged for questions to be asked of the Commission by MEPs, and 6 questions are soon to be tabled. Anti-modification legislation is a major threat to the future of motorcycling, but it is perhaps most disturbinbg when that legislation has absolutely no evidential base and when the EU machine sees fit, not to acknowledge its failings, but instead, half way through the legislative process, start doing some hurried research to justify itself!