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IP/10/1270

Brussels, 04 October 2010

Motorcycle safety and emission performance: European Commission proposes substantial improvements

The European Commission has proposed the mandatory fitting of advanced braking systems on new motorcycles and automatic headlamp-on switching for all L-category vehicles. This category covers a wide range of vehicles such as two- or three-wheel powered cycles, mopeds, motorcycles with and without a side-car, tricycles, on-road quads and mini-cars. The proposal sets also ambitious emission requirements for these vehicles. In addition by introducing enhanced market surveillance requirements, a level playing field will be created for all L-category vehicle manufacturers in a sector where presence of non-compliant products may cause significant safety risks and environmental threats. At the same time it is proposed to radically simplify the current legislative set of 15 Directives by replacing them with just 5 Regulations.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "Today’s proposal is an example how we can make EU legislation lighter while increasing the functional safety and the environmental performance of L-category vehicles. Less legislation means less costs and administrative burden for the industry. At the same time we will considerably increase the safety of these vehicles and reduce their harmful emissions. We will moreover be able to tackle illegal products entering the EU internal market. What we have proposed today will benefit both industry and users of such vehicles”

1. Increased safety

In 2008, 5 520 motorcycle riders died in road accidents. In fact the amount of fatalities remained more or less constant whereas the fatality numbers for other means of transport gradually came down. The proposed Regulation should lead to a number of new functional safety requirements, namely mandatory anti-lock braking systems fitted to medium and high performance motorcycles. In addition all L-category vehicles shall be equipped with an automatic headlamp-on feature in order to increase rider and vehicle conspicuity and make them more visible to other traffic participants.

2. Emission reduction

Certain toxic emissions from road transport are decreasing, but the share of the L-category vehicle fleet contributing to these emissions is significantly increasing. Three emission steps are proposed for the coming decade. The Commission proposes among others a Euro 3, a Euro 4 and a Euro 5 step (and Euro 6 limits for motorcycles) to be complied with in 2014, 2017 and 2020, respectively.

3. Increased market surveillance

By introducing enhanced market surveillance requirements, the placing of illegal products on the market will be tackled more rigorously while ensuring fair competition among L-category vehicle manufacturers, in a sector where presence of non-compliant products may cause significant safety risks and environmental harm.

4. Legislative simplification

The proposal will also radically simplify the current legislative set of 15 Directives by replacing them with just 5 Regulations.

5. Adaptation to new technologies

The current legislative framework will be extended to plug-in hybrids or full electric vehicles, whereas these propulsion types are already mass-produced since a number of years in the L-category vehicle sector.

For more details on the above proposals, see MEMO/10/464

This main proposal containing among others the scope, vehicle categories, emission limits and much more will be subsequently followed in the coming two years by four additional Regulations containing the test procedures, technical details and administrative provisions.

This whole package of 5 Regulations now goes to Council and the European parliament, and is anticipated to become first applicable as of 1 January 2013.

The proposal can be consulted here:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/automotive/documents/proposals/index_en.htm

MEMO/10/464


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