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Procedure : 2019/2205(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0028/2021

Texts tabled :

A9-0028/2021

Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/04/2021 - 2

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2021)0122

Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 27 April 2021 - Brussels
Implementation report on the road safety aspects of the Roadworthiness Package
P9_TA(2021)0122A9-0028/2021

European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2021 on the implementation report on the road safety aspects of the Roadworthiness Package (2019/2205(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Roadworthiness Package, comprising Directive 2014/45/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers(1), Directive 2014/46/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 amending Council Directive 1999/37/EC on the registration documents for vehicles(2), and Directive 2014/47/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 November 2017 on saving lives: boosting car safety in the EU(4),

–   having regard to its resolution of 31 May 2018 with recommendations to the Commission on odometer manipulation in motor vehicles: revision of the EU legal framework(5),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 July 2010 entitled ‘Towards a European road safety area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020’ (COM(2010)0389),

–   having regard to the Commission Staff Working Document ‘EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 – Next steps towards ‘Vision Zero’ (SWD(2019)0283),

–  having regard to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 3.6 of halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020, and SDG 11.2 of providing by 2030 access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all and improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and elderly persons;

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – Putting European transport on track for the future’ (COM(2020)0789),

–   having regard to its resolution on a European strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems(6), which calls on the Commission to rapidly publish a legislative proposal on access to in-vehicle data and resources,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 16 February 2020 on a European strategy for data (COM(2020)0066), which mentions the update of current legislation on access to in-vehicle data to ensure fair access to certain car data,

–  having regard to the European implementation assessment commissioned by the European Parliamentary Research Service and published in September 2020 on the implementation of the Roadworthiness Package,

–  having regard to the Commission report of 4 November 2020 on the implementation of Directive 2014/45/EU on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers (COM(2020)0699),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 3 November 2020 on the implementation of Directive 2014/47/EU on the technical roadside inspection of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union (COM(2020)0676),

–  having regard to the study commissioned by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and published in February 2019 on the inclusion of light trailers and two- or three-wheel vehicles in the scope of the periodic roadworthiness testing,

–  having regard to the study commissioned by DG MOVE and published in February 2019 on the inclusion of eCall in the periodic roadworthiness testing of motor vehicles,

–  having regard to the feasibility study commissioned by DG MOVE and published in April 2015 on the Vehicle Information Platform,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users(7),

–  having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure, as well as Article 1(1)(e) of, and Annex 3 to, the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 12 December 2002 on the procedure for granting authorisation to draw up own-initiative reports,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A9-0028/2021),

A.  whereas in 2010 the EU adopted a road safety policy aimed at reducing the number of road fatalities by 50 % by 2020; whereas in 2011 the EU set out the ‘vision zero’ objective, which envisages zero fatalities in road transport by 2050; whereas in 2019, around 22 800 people died and some 135 000 were seriously injured on Europe’s roads; whereas more effective and more coordinated measures need to be taken at EU level and by the Member States if the vision zero goal is to be achieved;

B.  whereas despite efforts to improve road safety in the EU, progress in reducing road fatality rates has, albeit considerable, been too slow in recent years; whereas technical defects in vehicles are deemed responsible for around 5 % of accidents involving vehicles in freight transport; whereas poor maintenance of vehicles is deemed responsible for 4 % of accidents involving road users;

C.  whereas preliminary figures for 2019 show that there were fewer fatalities on EU roads compared to the previous year, but that progress remains too slow; whereas it is certain that the EU target of halving the number of road deaths between 2010 and the end of 2020 will be missed by approximately half, as only a 23 % decrease has been registered so far; whereas frequent, detailed and periodic vehicle inspections carried out by well-qualified inspectors, as well as technical roadside inspections, are fundamental for increasing road safety;

D.  whereas the massive divergence of road fatality rates between Member States, with over four times more road deaths in the worst-performing country than in the best, underlines the need for special monitoring, partnership and assistance to the Member States with the worst results;

E.  whereas major differences in road safety still persist between the Member States in Eastern Europe and those in Western Europe; whereas the former are often becoming the destination for the second-hand car fleet originating from the latter, which may pose both human safety and environmental risks that need to be considered at EU level;

F.  whereas, besides climate and environmental concerns, vehicle roadworthiness is also a matter of public health, both in terms of ensuring road safety and also in relation to the impact of emissions on air quality; whereas recent emission scandals proved the need for independent inspections over the entire lifetime of a vehicle, taking into account its actual emissions;

G.  whereas an analysis of Member States’ transposition and implementation of the Roadworthiness Package reveals that harmonisation procedures need to be enhanced at EU level;

H.  whereas the second-hand car market in the European Union is two to three times larger than the market of new cars, and whereas odometer fraud in second-hand cars seriously compromises road safety; whereas studies estimate the share of tampered vehicles to be between 5 and 12 % of used cars in national sales and between 30 and 50 % of cross-border sales; whereas only six Member States recognise odometer manipulation as a criminal offence; whereas the lack of a common European database also hinders the law enforcement against such fraudulent practices;

I.  whereas the increased use of automated driving features requires an update of the Roadworthiness Package to include inspection and training vis-à-vis the new advanced driving assistance features to be introduced as from 2022;

J.  whereas some Member States have already introduced instruments to minimise odometer manipulation such as ‘Car-Pass’ in Belgium and ‘Nationale AutoPas’ (NAP) in the Netherlands; whereas both these Member States use a database for collecting odometer readings at every maintenance, service, repair and periodical inspection of the vehicle, without collecting any personal data, and both have almost eradicated odometer fraud in their domains within a short timeframe;

K.  whereas the quality of road infrastructure is of paramount importance for road safety; whereas connectivity and digital infrastructure are, and will be more and more, of paramount importance for road safety with the rise of connected and autonomous vehicles;

Recommendations

Transposition and implementation of the Roadworthiness Package – EU safety objectives

1.  Welcomes the fact that the transposition of the Roadworthiness Package and the implementation of some of its provisions have shown an improved harmonisation of national procedures, in particular as far as the frequency, content and method of vehicle inspection tests is concerned;

2.  Welcomes the fact that the transposition of the Roadworthiness Package has helped to improve the quality of the periodic technical inspections, the qualification level of inspectors, and Member States’ coordination and standards relating to roadside inspection of vehicles, in order to enhance road safety;

3.  Regrets the fact that, despite the better quality of the periodic technical inspections and the positive implications of this for road safety, the Roadworthiness Package contains some non-mandatory provisions that have not been transposed with sufficient stringency or simply not been transposed at all; highlights the need to gradually move away from voluntary provisions and develop a system of obligatory requirements to increase the harmonisation at EU level of aspects such as cargo securing, information exchange and cooperation between the Member States, and recalls the particular importance of these measures for cross-border regions;

4.  Regrets the fact that several Member States have not transposed the Roadworthiness Package on time and that the Commission had to launch infringement procedures against one Member State; urges the Member States in question to swiftly transpose the missing provisions of the Roadworthiness Package into their national legislation, and to fully implement all their obligations for the establishment of complete technical information, given that road safety for European citizens is European Union priority;

5.  Regrets that inadequate financing for inspection activities, including inspection staff, equipment and training, continues to jeopardise the achievement of Roadworthiness objectives; stresses that Member States should put sufficient financial and administrative support at the disposal of their road safety authorities to efficiently implement the Roadworthiness Package and its future revised version;

Frequency and content of tests

6.  Welcomes the fact that following the entry into force of the Roadworthiness Package, 90 % of vehicle inspections have occurred according to the same intervals as or at even more stringent intervals than those set by the Package, contributing to a large extent to reducing the number of unsafe vehicles circulating on EU roads; regrets the fact, however, that some Member States still require longer intervals than those set by the Package, reducing safety on running conditions; calls on the Member States in question to comply with the intervals set by the Package without further delay, as the security and lives of EU citizens are at stake;

7.  Calls on the Commission to consider tightening the test regime and introducing the obligation of additional checks after reaching a specified mileage for vehicles of category M1 in use as a taxi or ambulance and vehicles of category N1 used by parcel delivery service providers and to consider extending this obligation to other vehicles within these categories in use for further commercial purposes;

8.  Notes the rise in the use of individual vehicles and shared mobility for public transport and/or logistics purposes; requests that the Commission assess whether the frequency of inspections of these vehicles should be increased accordingly, by including a possibility for an annual mandatory inspection or by reflecting for example the intensity of their circulation in terms of mileage and the related obsolescence of components, as well as the quantity of passengers transported;

9.   Notes that the mutual recognition of roadworthiness tests for second-hand vehicles imported from other Member States is not envisaged in cases in which Member States have different periodicity of tests, hence the Package provides only limited mutual recognition in this regard; calls on the Commission to incorporate an EU certification for second-hand cars into the next revision of the Roadworthiness Package;

10.  Notes that motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users, and fatality rates among motorcyclists are decreasing the slowest among all vehicles users in the EU; notes that the tampering and tuning of mopeds in particular is increasing the risk of accidents for young people and young adults; calls on the Commission therefore to consider extending the obligation to conduct roadside inspections to two- and three-wheel vehicles, including the 5 % minimum yearly inspection target, as these vehicles are currently completely excluded from the scope of Directive 2014/47/EU;

11.  Calls on the Commission to consider ending exceptions from the obligation for periodical technical inspections for two- and three-wheel vehicles, as currently possible under Directive 2014/45/EU; calls on the Commission to assess in its forthcoming evaluation the possibility to include in the obligatory periodical technical inspection regime also categories of two and three-wheel vehicles with an engine displacement of less than 125 cm³ and light trailers, on the basis of the relevant road accident data and cost-benefit factors such as proximity of testing sites in remote areas, administrative burden and financial costs for EU citizens; asks the Commission to base its assessment on a comparison of the results between countries where periodical technical inspections (PTI) are already in force for all vehicles in these categories and countries that do not conduct such tests and the effects in terms of road safety; calls for the introduction of an additional check schedule, based on the mileage reached, for motorcycles used for parcel or food delivery or other commercial carriage of goods or persons;

12.  Notes that the tolerance level for expired periodical technical inspections varies greatly across Member States from up to four months to zero tolerance; calls on the Commission to harmonise the tolerance level by introducing a maximum level of a short period of time that does not compromise the timely implementation of periodic technical inspections and by increasing the consequent penalties for non-compliance;

13.  Recalls that vehicles adapted to be driven by persons with disabilities have particular functionalities and setups; points out that vehicles used for the transport of passengers with disabilities must comply with specific technical conditions such as anchored belts, as well as adapted spaces in order ensure their safety; stresses the need to ensure that all these essential features are duly incorporated into every inspection;

14.  Deplores the fact that Member States have hitherto put in place only generic measures when transposing provisions on penalties for odometer fraud; urges the Member States to comply with this clear requirement of the Roadworthiness Package, to transpose more targeted measures into their national legislation without further delay and to provide the necessary human and financial resources for its enforcement; regrets the fact that the current provision on penalties for odometer fraud remains weak, as it only requires them to be ‘effective, proportionate, dissuasive and non-discriminatory’, leaving the actual amounts and corresponding dissuasive measures largely to the discretion of Member States; considers that more harmonised and concrete penalties for odometer fraud should be laid down in the next revision along with further robust anti-tampering measures, including adequate cybersecurity mechanisms and encryption technologies to put obstacles to electronic tampering and make it easier to detect; calls on the Commission to prescribe the guaranteed accessibility of certain vehicle-specific data, functions and software information for inspection organisations; calls for a requirement for Member States to create legal, technical and operational barriers in order to make odometer manipulations impossible; stresses that the absence of a consistent database of mileage data collection for second-hand cars, mutually recognised and exchanged between the Member States, is an essential barrier for the detecting of odometer frauds;

15.  Calls on the Commission to include in the next revision of the Package mandatory provisions enabling the Member States to register mandatory odometer readings from each inspection, service, maintenance operation and major repair carried out, starting with the vehicle’s first registration;

16.  Calls on the Commission to take due account of the new emissions tests in real driving conditions provided for in the Euro 6 regulation and possible future revisions; calls on the Commission to include measurements that would reflect such tests within the scope of periodic technical inspections and any other possible developments in the next review of the Roadworthiness Package; calls on the Commission and the Member States to harmonise both the technologies for measuring emissions in roadworthiness tests and the maximum tolerable levels to ensure that all vehicles in European roads comply with emissions standards;

Equipment used and training of inspectors

17.   Welcomes the fact that in all Member States, following the entry into force of the Roadworthiness Package, testing equipment has been harmonised and fulfils certain minimum requirements, thus improving the uniformity of roadworthiness checks across the EU;

18.  Notes that although all Member States have introduced minimum qualifications for inspectors carrying out roadworthiness checks, some do not follow the requirements prescribed by Annex IV to Directive 2014/45/EU on periodic roadworthiness tests; calls on those Member States to align their requirements accordingly; asks the Commission to promote an exchange of good practices and lessons learnt among Member States on how to implement Annex IV to Directive 2014/45/EU and to assess the need for regular refresher trainings and appropriate examinations; calls on the Commission to promote regular updates and harmonisation of the training content among Member States to adjust inspectors’ knowledge and skills to the developing process of automation and digitalisation of the automotive sector, particularly in relation to advanced driving assistance, driverless systems and the use of electronic information exchange systems among national authorities responsible for road safety, including on safe data sharing, cybersecurity and drivers’ personal data protection; underlines that manipulation and fraud in electronic safety features, such as advanced driving assistance systems, pose a high safety risk and therefore need to be detected by inspectors; stresses that inspectors should be given specific training on checking software integrity;

19.  Reiterates that steps should be taken to guarantee the independence of inspectors and inspection organisations from the vehicle trade, maintenance and repair industry to avoid any financial conflicts of interest, including for checking emissions, while providing stronger safeguards in terms of civil liability for all parts;

Technical roadside inspections and cargo securing

20.  Notes that according to Commission reports, roadside inspections of commercial vehicles have been falling in the last six years; deplores this trend and recalls that under the Roadworthiness Package, Member States have since 2018 been obliged to ensure that a minimum number of roadside inspections are carried out in relation to the number of registered vehicles on their territory (5 %); calls on Member States to step up their efforts to reach the 5 % minimum target, and recalls that the first reporting obligation when this target will be scrutinised will be due by 31 March 2021 for the years 2019-2020; calls on the Commission to include vehicles in category N1(8) used for commercial road haulage purposes in the scope of roadside inspections, given their increase in number and high mileage;

21.  Calls on the Commission to work with Member States to further improve the quality and non-discriminatory nature of these roadside inspections in line with internal market rules, for example by setting and collecting key performance indicator (KPI) data and encouraging the use of risk rating profile systems for a better targeting of checks and penalties, especially for repeat offenders, while fully respecting the EU data protection framework;

22.  Deplores the fact that cuts in national budget spending on road safety law enforcement and road maintenance seems to have contributed to less frequent roadside inspections over the past few years; calls in this regard on national authorities to guarantee increased financing of inspection activities, particularly in view of the potential introduction of mandatory testing for new types of vehicles;

23.  Regrets the fact that the provisions in the Roadworthiness Package relating to the inspection of cargo securing are not mandatory, leading to only a few Member States transposing the relevant safety measures; concludes, therefore, that harmonisation is far from accomplished in this regard; urges the Commission to propose a reinforcement of these provisions in the next revision, including on harmonised minimum requirements for cargo securing, mandatory cargo securing equipment for each vehicle and for the minimum range of competences, training and knowledge for both the personnel involved in cargo securing and for the inspectors;

Information records and data exchange between the Member States

24.  Regrets the fact that only a few Member States keep a national electronic database of the major and dangerous deficiencies brought to light by roadside inspections and that Member States seldom notify the results of these inspections to the national contact point of the Member State in which the vehicle is registered; regrets the fact that the Roadworthiness Package does not set out any action that the Member State of registration should take once it has been notified of such major and dangerous deficiencies; urges the Commission to reinforce these provisions in the next revision, including by setting a unified scheme of actions which should be taken by the Member State of registration after receiving such a notification;

25.  Calls on the Commission, in view of the electronic data record for vehicles under the Roadworthiness Package, to consider amending Directive 2014/46/EU on registration documents for vehicles in order to end the obligation of delivery of physical documents and the obligation for the driver to present printed registration certificates; notes that conditions should be put in place for inspectors to make full use of electronic records;

26.  Calls on the Member States to facilitate systematic data exchange on roadworthiness testing and odometer readings between their respective competent authorities for testing, registration and vehicle approval, test equipment manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers; welcomes, in this regard, the Commission’s feasibility study on the Vehicle Information Platform; calls on the Commission and the Member States to work to ensure that a Vehicle Information Platform is set up as part of the next revision in order to expedite and facilitate data exchange and ensure more effective coordination between the Member States; stresses that this Vehicle Information Platform should enable an entirely paperless process of inspection and data exchange, in full respect of cybersecurity and data protection vis-à-vis third parties; welcomes in this regard the deployment by the Commission of the EU MOVEHUB platform and its recently developed ODOCAR module, providing an IT infrastructure for the exchange of odometer readings across the Union based on a database solution, including the possibility to exchange information with the Eucaris network; calls on the Commission to evaluate whether the use of the EU MOVEHUB should be made mandatory for Member States in a future revision;

27.  Calls on the Commission to assess during the next revision the possibility of including, as part of a mandatory data exchange on vehicle history between registration authorities, not only odometer readings but also information about accidents and the frequency of significant malfunctions, as this would ensure that EU citizens are protected from fraud and better informed as regards the history and state of their vehicles and formerly hidden vehicle repairs; considers that road accidents should trigger additional inspections, which help to ensure that vehicles are properly repaired and enhance road safety;

A future-proof framework

28.  Calls on the Commission to take due account of the technical progress in vehicle safety features for the next revision; notes that pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/2144, new vehicles will need to start being equipped with new advanced safety and driver assistance systems from 2022; calls on the Commission to include such new systems within the scope of periodic technical inspections as well as the skills and knowledge of vehicle inspectors, and to reduce the risk of tampering and manipulation of such systems; requests that the Commission also include eCall as well as software and ‘over-the-air’ updates in periodic technical inspections(9), and that it draw up guidelines and standards for regular safety checks and inspections of autonomous and connected vehicles; calls on the Commission to explore the further use of sensors embedded in vehicles in the context of roadside inspections, and to pay special attention to the particular requirements of self-diagnosis systems of vehicles and to the overriding principle of public health; calls in this regard on car manufacturers and authorities to cooperate on the implementation of new driving assistance technologies, in order to ensure permanent compliance with standards and to help foresee future trends;

29.  Notes the rise of new modes of transport using public roads such as e-scooters, onewheels and hoverboards, among others; requests that the Commission assess whether these new modes should be addressed in the upcoming revision with the aim of improving road safety;

30.  Calls on the Commission to organise a European Year of Road Safety within the coming years, in preparation for 2030 as the intermediate target date for the achievement of Vision Zero;

31.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure adequate funding for road infrastructure quality, in particular maintenance; furthermore, calls on the Commission to strengthen its approach to maintenance by taking appropriate measures to enhance long-term maintenance planning by Member States; notes that connectivity and digital security will be of paramount importance for the upcoming rise of connected and autonomous vehicles;

o
o   o

32.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 51.
(2) OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 129.
(3) OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 134.
(4) OJ C 356, 4.10.2018, p. 2.
(5) OJ C 76, 9.3.2020, p. 151.
(6) OJ C 162, 10.5.2019, p. 2.
(7) OJ L 325, 16.12.2019, p. 1.
(8) Vehicles used for the carriage of goods and which have a maximum mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (e.g. pick-up trucks, vans).
(9) See Annexes I and III to Directive 2014/45/EU.

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