|THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF TYPE APPROVAL
June 1 2012.
Anyone concerned over the EU Type Approval regulations currently being debated can now get clarification on what it means for them thanks to a new briefing document, 'Type Approval and You' produced by the British Motorcyclists Federation.
In the document, freely available on the BMF's website and also to be published in the summer edition of the BMF magazine Motorcycle Rider, the BMF point out that the Type Approval (TA) regulations currently under discussion are primarily aimed at improving and harmonising the existing type approval process first introduced in 1994*, but with so much ill-informed comment and scaremongering surrounding the proposals, the BMF is concerned that motorcyclists are not getting the true picture, with some even incorrectly claiming that modifying bikes will be illegal.
One particular issue of concern under the TA proposals, 'The Regulation for the Approval and Market Surveillance of Two or Three-Wheel Vehicles and Quadricycles', has been over 'Delegated Acts' where it has often been stated that 'non-elected bureaucrats' can make legislation. This is not true say the BMF who add that EU legislation, no matter who written by, would still have to be agreed by elected politicians (in this case MEPs and national governments).
The BMF also says that while it has had and still has some genuine concerns over ABS and anti-tampering proposals, it is important to sort the wheat from the chaff. Misunderstandings, wild exaggerations and raising issues that have nothing to do with these regulations have caused confusion and diluted the impact of reasoned argument with MEPs say the BMF.
In order to get some sense into the debate and after discussing the issues with several MEPs and UK government, the BMF briefing lays out the issues, the present position and how it will affect different types of rider. The briefing covers information on:
- The meaning of delegated acts
- Anti-tampering (article 18)
- On board diagnostics (article 19)
- Functional safety (article 20)
- Environment (article 21)
- Carbon dioxide (article 22)
- Aftermarket parts (article 52)
- Repair and maintenance information (article 60)
The BMF has also had discussions with the chair of the EU's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) dealing with the proposed legislation, Conservative MEP Malcolm Harbour, who said: "Most of the concerns riders have expressed with the original Commission draft and some of the amendments adopted by the IMCO Committee, are being addressed in the current negotiations between representatives of EU governments, MEPs and the Commission. The government is playing a key role in achieving a sensible solution. Agreement to the right package of safety and environmental improvements will secure the future of motorcycling for a generation." His office also assured the BMF that it was very unlikely that the provisional vote date of July would be used and that dates in September and October were more likely.
Another MEP, Bill Newton Dunn, Lib Dem for the East Midlands, welcomed a personal briefing from the BMF saying, "This issue is becoming an interesting case study in how to lobby and how not to lobby. Comparing it to the floods of confusing emails he had received, some even threatening his life," he said, "The BMF gave me a calm and personal briefing."
While the BMF still has concerns, there are positive things in this legislation that it welcomes. The publication of emissions levels for instance will help in proving the benefits of bike use. For too long motorcycles have lagged behind clean technologies and have become the poor relations in respect of green incentives such as zero road tax, say the BMF.
Owners and workshops will also get universal access to currently restricted repair and maintenance information and to On Board Diagnostic (OBD) facilities as on cars. This will be of benefit to all motorcyclists and not be the 'spy' some say it will be say the BMF.
A full briefing on Type Approval and the BMF's position can be found at: http://www.bmf.co.uk/pages/briefing_room.php?fullstory=1073