European Commission ignores industry on licence changes

The European Commission’s Road Safety Package, which covers things like driving licence changes, has once again ignored the advice of the industry


MOTORCYCLE licence rules in the UK and abroad are generally confusing, expensive to get through, and regarded by many as being more than overdue for an overhaul.

The current process seems to put an emphasis on off-road training and testing, slow speed manoeuvres, and while handy, doesn’t give riders the skills to deal with the situations that matter the most. It’s something that the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), along with lobby groups like the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) thinks should change.

To try and help, FEMA put forward a series of changes to the current testing and training regime. It was an effort to shift the focus away from slow speed (widely considered to be low-risk) manoeuvres, and put more of an emphasis on risk assessment and aimed to give riders the ability to deal with unexpected situations out on the road.

European Commission ignores industry on licence changes    

The guidance was delivered in such a way that thresholds for testing would be un-changed, although it would’ve made the route from CBT to restricted licence (A2) to full licence (A) an easier to navigate and less confusing pathway.

Frustratingly, and rather expectedly, the European Commission ignored the advice. It made zero changes to motorcycle licencing and effectively ignore the advice of Europe’s biggest motorcycle association group. It’s almost as if they don’t want to simplify the world of two-wheels and get more people riding bikes… or maybe I’m just being cynical.

Speaking about the news, the BMF website quotes Dolf Willigers as saying:

“With respect to the driving licences for motorcyclists, there are no changes. It shows that the European Commission has done nothing with our comments and recommendations during the years that we have discussed this. This is a very disappointing conclusion. However, this is just a proposal. It will go through a long legislation process in which the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union are also involved. This means that this is not the end of the road for us. FEMA will fight to get a better directive, which will include our needs and demands.”

While the UK isn’t in the EU anymore, the UK government does align certain pieces of UK legislation with that found on the continent, meaning had improvements been brought in we might have seen some changes here on UK roads.

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