Powered Two-Wheelers and Motorcyclists in the European Union
Wim van de Camp MEP
member of the EU parliament
The objective and added value of the European Union is fostering convergence and cooperation between Member States, especially within the context of cross-border issues. But this is in many ways the antithesis of the independence and freedom that motorcyclists love. As a motorcyclist, it is this borderless freedom to go where ever we want that I want to secure. It is on this ideological tightrope that I am active on European policy relating to motorcycling.
One of my main priorities is road safety, which is of paramount importance to motorcyclists. When I worked on the Type Approval for Power Two Wheelers Regulation for instance I supported the mandatory inclusion of ABS systems. Initially this was met with some critiques because of the added costs. Now, many years later, the cost of an ABS system had gone down drastically both increasing road safety and making the system more affordable.
On the other hand, during the review of the Periodic Roadworthiness Tests, I blocked the expansion of the scope to make it cover motorcycles. In the Personal Protective Equipment Directive, the initial proposal envisioned that individual motorcyclists would be responsible for the conformity of their clothing. These are restrictive for motorcyclists harm the hobby as such. After much discussion, I and my colleagues came to the agreement that PRTs should not cover motorcycles and that is should be the manufacturers who are responsible for ensuring that the clothing they sell is sufficiently protective.
It is this continued balancing act of the one hand European added value and on the other hand the freedom of the motorcyclists that I will keep preforming on issues such as road safety, motorcycle emissions and type approval.