Transport Committee rules motorbikes out of roadworthiness test package  

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Plans to introduce EU minimum standards for roadworthiness tests on motorcycles and trailers under 2,000 kg were rejected by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Thursday. These plans are part of the EU "roadworthiness package", which would lay down minimum EU standards on testing frequency, a risk-based system for roadside inspections of commercial vehicles and rules for suspending or cancelling registration certificates. The package still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole.

MEPs rejected a Commission proposal to make roadworthiness tests mandatory for motorcycles, leaving the decision up to member states.

They also rejected a Commission proposal to introduce periodic roadworthiness tests for light trailers with a maximum permissible mass of 2,000 kg or less, but voted in favour of testing light caravan trailers.

Individual member states would nonetheless be able to require testing of trailers under 2,000 kg if they so chose.

Wheeled tractors used for road haulage with a maximum design speed of more than 40 km/h should also be tested, but not those used for agricultural work, added the committee.

Test frequency for cars

A Commission proposal that cars over six years old should be tested every year was rejected. Instead, they should be tested every two years, starting four years after registration, said MEPs.

These rules would be the EU-wide minimum standard, but member states would be free to set stricter ones. The committee deleted a 160,000 km mileage "trigger" for annual roadworthiness tests, after some MEPs cited concerns that this could create an incentive for odometer fraud.

Risk rating system for roadside checks

A risk rating system should be set up to help authorities to target roadside checks on commercial vehicles better, says the report. Firms whose vehicles do poorly in inspections would be assigned a higher risk profile and their vehicles would be targeted for roadside checks.

MEPs nonetheless added a clause to allow firms to improve their risk profile when they demonstrate compliance with roadworthiness requirements in voluntary regular vehicle safety inspections.

The committee also backed rules for cancelling registrations or suspending registration certificates of vehicles that pose a threat to road safety.

Next steps

The plenary vote on the roadworthiness package is scheduled for July.