European bikers protest EU proposal

Thousands of bikers have descended on Brussels to express their anger at EU proposals on mandatory technical inspections

4,500 BIKERS arrived in Brussels on Saturday to express their opposition to a recent EU proposed legislation on mandatory technical inspections for motorcycles.

Previously, only four-wheeled vehicles have been subject to mandatory annual testing. Now, all two and three wheelers (including motorcycles, mopeds and scooters) will come under the umbrella for periodic roadworthiness tests (RWT).

According to FEMA, 'the measure would cost riders over 1.2 Billion Euros extra per year, with no benefits for anyone.'

European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas announced the measure in July, claiming the measures are aimed at improving road safety. This has been widely criticised - FEMA argue that the new regulations offer 'no benefits expected in terms of safety, as proven by several independent studies.' whilst Joe Verrecke, the head of Belgium's Federation of Angry Bikers (FBMC), raised the objection that 'only 0.3 percent of motorcycle accidents in Belgium and 0.6 percent in Europe are due to technical problems.'

FEMA also maintain that the new plan is an attempt to curry favour with the vehicle inspection industry, which stands to make large profits. According to FEMA General Secretary Aline Delhaye: 'this is nothing less than a tax on poverty for those who cannot afford a new vehicle every three years. In terms of time and money, the cost for citizens is going to be astronomical, with no benefits in return. This is not acceptable.'