New rules to make motorbikes safer and greener were provisionally agreed by MEPs and Council negotiators on Friday. They cover about 30 million vehicles, including mopeds, scooters, motorbikes, all-terrain vehicles and quads.
"I am happy with the agreement reached today with the Council. Of course safe motor cycling is largely the responsibility of the driver, but I think there is still some result to be gained with the technical aspects of the vehicle", said Parliament's rapporteur Wim van de Camp (EPP, NL), after intensive informal talks between Parliament's negotiators and Cyprus Presidency.
The new regulation lays down approval and market surveillance rules for all L-category vehicles in the EU, i.e. about 30 million mopeds, scooters, motorbikes, all-terrain vehicles and quads.
As these vehicles account for 16% of accident deaths on Europe's roads, even though they make up only 2% of road traffic, MEPs inserted more stringent safety requirements for them, as well as tougher emission targets.
MEPs agreed that under the new rules, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) would have to be fitted to all "bigger" motorbikes (i.e. those over 125 cc), while ABS or combined brake systems (CBS) could be fitted to smaller ones (under 125 cc), including scooters.
"In addition we have ensured that after 4 years the Commission should present a cost-effectiveness analysis, with recommendations as to whether the rules should be revised. We also introduced new measures to prevent tampering of powertrains to make vehicles go faster", explained Wim van de Camp.
As L-category vehicles emit disproportionally high levels of pollutants, MEPs successfully proposed to bring them down by extending the Euro 3 standards to mopeds from 1 January 2016.
"For heavy motorcycles, the more stringent Euro 4 standards would apply from 2016 and Euro 5 limits from 2020. Again the Commission will have to carry out a comprehensive environmental impact study by 1 January 2016 to evaluate the air quality and share of pollutants emitted by L-category vehicles", added Wim van de Camp.
The provisionally agreed text still needs to be formally endorsed by Council and Parliament. The deal will be put to an Internal Market Committee vote at the next meeting in October and then a plenary one in November.