In the EU (and add on also Norway and Switzerland) 38 million citizens use mopeds, scooters and motorcycles. Of course even more if you add in all the other European countries too!
After years of neglect the European Parliament has finally voted in favour of a statement that recognises the contribution this method of transport makes.
On 14th July at a committee hearing in Brussels amendments were made to the 2011 White Paper on Transport.
The European Parliament transport committee declared:
“Motorcycles play a significant role in sustainable mobility, especially in urban areas where they contribute to tackling congestion and parking problems.”
They certainly do in Rome where 700,000 are in regular use, and in Barcelona which has the second largest parc of powered two wheelers after Rome. In north European cities too there is increasing use of motorcycles.
So what does the European Parliament propose is done? A White paper is a framework that sets the agenda for future rules and regulations. This one now calls for more action to improve roads. Not just the highways, but urban and rural roads where ninety percent of fatal collisions take place.
Other proposals include improved driver training for professional drivers, and promotion of post licence training for all road users – FIM welcomes this as many of our member federations and allied organisations promote additional training for riders. It is good that at last this type of work is getting recognition.
Dangerous offenders who commit traffic offences when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who are involved in aggressive behaviour, should be subject to medical and psychological tests before being allowed back on the road.
These and other measures in the report of Dutch MEP Wim van de Camp (who led the discussions) will we hope be accepted by the full Parliament session in Strasbourg – It probably helps that he knows what he is talking about as he is also a motorcyclist!