July 4 2013.

European Parliament Members (MEPs) voted to include powered two wheelers (PTWs) into the Commission's periodical technical inspections (PTI) proposal but voted to go into informal discussions until an agreement is found with the Council.
During this week's Plenary Meeting in Strasbourg, MEPs voted in favour of reintegrating powered two wheelers (PTWs) into the Commission's periodical technical inspections proposal. Whilst this is a defeat for FEMA's campaign to exclude motorcycles, the fact that the vote was close and the discussions are continuing is not a victory for the Commission.
While institutional views (Council, IMCO, TRAN) had been in constant agreement up to now with motorcycle safety experts (such as Rune Elvik ), or Member States well-known for their safety outcomes (e.g. The Netherlands, Sweden, France), Socialist and Green MEPs headed by Isabelle Durant (Greens/Belgium) and Saïd el Khadraoui (Socialists/Belgium) stuck to their "position of principle" and managed to overturn, by a tiny majority, the compromise amendment negotiated and adopted in the Transport Committee.

With their amendment calling for "improved safety for motorcyclists" backed up with flawed Commission statistics provided by the periodic testing industry, MEP Durant and el Khadraoui are not only opposing their own government position, they also turned themselves into 'motorcycle safety experts', without EU motorcycling knowledge or any PTW safety expertise. Furthermore, neither of them agreed to meet with FEMA.

FEMA was supportive of the TRAN compromise amendment as it called the Commission to provide new and unbiased evidence comparing safety results between countries with and without PTI before proposing to include L-category vehicle into the scope by 2016.

With today's Plenary vote, European motorcyclists have indeed lost a battle. But with such a tight vote (322/354), the Parliament is also showing how divided it is on this issue.

Further to reintegrating PTWs in the Parliament's text, MEPs sent it back to TRAN to find a compromise with the Council in view of an adoption in first reading before the end of the legislative period. Discussion with the Council will start after the summer break.
Several FEMA Committee members were at the vote, including Morten Hansen (NMCU), Eric Thiollier (FFMC), Dolf Willigers (MAG NL) and Chris Hodder (BMF). After the vote, Wim Van De Camp (CDA/NL) came out to explain to the many motorcyclists assembled the meaning of the vote.

Chris Hodder said: "Whilst this is a defeat for FEMA, it is not a victory for the Commission. Discussions will continue and we hope and expect that FEMA will be fully consulted on proposals that affect the millions of motorcyclists in the EU."