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European Parliament seek to introduce speed limiter safety for motorcycles

Intelligent Speed Assistance is being discussed by European Parliament as they look for ways of reducing rates of serious accidents - but FEMA oppose.

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We reported earlier this year on the pending introduction of Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) for cars in the UK and Europe in 2022, noting that motorcycles would be exempt from this speed limit rule change. But, now, it seems the European Parliament is discussing options for introducing the safety tech for motorcycles too. 

This comes after the European Parliament met at the start of the month to discuss their ‘Vision Zero’ and the EU Road Safety Policy Framework, specifically aiming to half the number of deaths on the roads by 2030. 

An ISA would activate on a vehicle when a rider reaches the specified speed limit for that road, automatically reducing power output to maintain speed - a speed which is identified by a camera and/or GPS data. If the ISA is activated, accelerating over the speed limit is still possible - but alarms will sound (audio or vibration) until the vehicle reduces back down to the speed limit.

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Other demands from the Members of European Parliament include: 

  • Motorcycles to be fitted with ABS at minimum, and eCall (a system that immediately calls emergency services in the event of a serious accident) to be fitted to new bikes as standard.
  • Further investments for safe infrastructure on roads, particularly looking at those with high accident rates. 
  • Vehicle safety features to be included in periodic technical checks.
  • Stricter alcohol limits and ‘no tolerance’ enforcement.
  • 30km (18.6 mph) speed limit for cities and residential areas.

Further, serious concerns were raised on the safety and use of ‘new mobility’ such as e-scooters, and demands were raised for the European Commission to make theory and practical tests mandatory for all categories of two-wheeled vehicles. 

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FEMA oppose any introduction of speed limiters on motorcycles

On the inclusion of ISA devices on motorcycles, FEMA (or Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations) were clear in their dismissal of the idea. General Secretary Dolf Willingers said that “We do not support any technical features that take away the control of the motorcycle from the rider and therefore – although we understand the need to reduce speed in certain situations – we see any kind of Intelligent Speed Assistance that interferes with engine control as a danger for motorcyclists”

He also brought up their previous discussions “we have already discussed with the European Commission in 2019. The Commission agreed with us that you cannot just fit ISA on motorcycles.”

But Dolf also said “We welcome this report and almost all measures that are proposed by the Parliament. In a letter to the European Commission earlier this year we already asked for the inclusion of powered two-wheelers in the Key Performance Indicators, better training, driving license tests that are more tailored to risk assessment and risk avoidance instead of low-speed technical skills and safer infrastructure.”

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It’s important to note that the UK is, of course, no longer subject to the rules of the EU post-Brexit. But these new rules may also find their way into UK legislation discussions in the future.

It is, however, positive to see motorcycles being considered in courts of law and future legislation.

Source: BMF

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