International Dealer News 176 2024 IDN 176 January/February 2024 | Page 4


DLD revisions challenged by Transport Committee

The committee in question is the EU Parliament ' s committee on transport ( and tourism ) - known as ' TRAN '. As with all Parliamentary committees , it has the responsibility of acting as the liaison between the EU Parliament and the Commission on all matters within its brief . Sometimes even to act as a brake on Commission proposals . In September , in her role as rapporteur , ' TRAN ' chairperson Karima Delli , a French Green / European Free Alliance MEP for the Greater Paris area , presented the EU Commission with a draft of her committee ' s report on their scrutiny of the EU Commission ' s plans to update and revise the existing ( 2013 ) Driving Licence Directive ( DLD ). That report contained recommendations for amendments to the DLD revision proposals that the Commission currently has before it for the present L-category ( moped , light motorcycle and quadricycle ) licencing regulations . The original DLD was itself based on up to a decade ' s worth of work and analysis , scrutiny , research , proposals and counter proposals in order to bring a consensus framework to the statue book . Such things take a long time . They have to . Better to get them right than to implement regulations that compromise citizens ' lifestyle choices , safety and the economy on which their lives are dependent . It is perfectly right and proper that there should be a process of review and , if deemed necessary , that there should be a process of refinement of such regulations if circumstances or operational experience suggest it would be advantageous to EU citizens and markets to do so . The proposals to revise and update the existing 2013 DLD that the EU has before it come after exactly just such a long period of work and analysis , consultation and consideration . Transport policy needs regular analysis - it is one of the most fluid and fastest changing of all policy areas , and much has indeed changed since the existing regulations were finally arrived at . These proposed EU policy revisions have already been the subject of detailed scrutiny and , though I am no longer an expert in the detail of EU regulatory procedure ( there has been much evolution in such matters since my involvement in such processes in the 1990s ), one assumes that the scrutiny of the Parliament ' s oversight committees would be one of the necessary but final stages . The Commission ' s proposals for DLD revisions have been arrived at by consensus , including agreement on their effects by our own industry - the primary commercial sector with ' flesh in this game '. The clear position of ACEM , the Brussels based international motorcycle industry trade association , is that it regards the present proposed DLD revisions as satisfactory . On behalf of the motorcycle industry in Europe , ACEM has long advocated for an " effective " revision of the existing ( 2013 ) DLD and says it supports the present EU Commission package of proposals - proposals into which it and many other transport and road-use experts have had considerable input . " The revision of the Driving Licence Directive ( DLD ) will have significant implications for mobility , road safety , sustainability and the economy across the EU . ACEM supports the European Commission ’ s proposal for the revision of the Driving Licence Directive . " This proposal considers the specificities of the L-category vehicle sector and respects the diverse realities of the sector , allowing Member States ( MS ) to select the most appropriate licencing system to their national contexts ". So , here ' s the ' kicker '. The counter proposals that emerged from ' TRAN ' in September demolish large parts of the existing DLD revisions planned by the Commission and consulted on by ACEM and other ' stake holders ' - and not in a good way . flesh in this game

The primary concern is that the draft ' TRAN ' report appears to come from a by-gone-age when a juvenile Commission still thought its job was to implement a uniform policy environment in the pursuit of European homogeneity . " ACEM has concerns about the Parliament rapporteur ’ s draft report , which would apply a one-size- fits-all approach to complex and different environments . ACEM urges the colegislators to align to the EC proposal regarding , 1 - Maintaining age requirements ; 2 - Preserving the flexibility of MS in regulating access to the different L-category vehicles and 3 - Refraining from the concept of setting speed limits in traffic for different licence categories ". Altogether the draft recommendations from ' TRAN ' amend or add at least 14 of the EU ' s recommended 2013 DLD updates - some of which militate against the priority that the EU gives to derogation - the concept that drives member states ' rights in many policy areas to vary regulations in line with their specific needs , some of which militate against the priority that the EU is now obliged to place on protecting and promoting PTWs as a socially positive transport solution in the widest sense , and as an important contributor to the European economy ; and some of which are just plain foolish and potentially downright dangerous . To summarise ACEM ' s position in response to the draft ' TRAN ' report , in terms of the changes to age requirements proposed by ' TRAN ', ACEM " urges MEPs to reject the age adjustments proposed by the rapporteur , maintaining age requirements in line with the EC proposal ". Regarding the impacts that the ' TRAN ' proposals would have on PTW access , ACEM " urges MEPs to maintain the Commission proposal ’ s approach to L-category vehicles , preserving Member States ’ options ( category A motorcycles and equivalences )". Finally , and maybe most inappropriately , is the suggestion by ' TRAN ' that in a mixed-use traffic environment , different categories of road-going vehicle licence holders should be governed by different speed limits . Wahnsinn ! In addressing the dangers of seeking to regulate differing public highway speed limits for different licence categories , ACEM states that " the draft rapporteur report includes proposals to limit the speed in traffic of multiple licence categories for L-category vehicles and category B for cars . " This will lead to differences in speed between multiple vehicle classes in traffic , resulting in more overtaking manoeuvres , which , specifically for powered two-wheelers , being part of VRUs ( Vulnerable Road Users ), is expected to negatively impact safety ". We are talking about people ' s lives here - their safety , their lifestyle options , their livelihoods and , especially as it affects young consumers , potentially their access to education and the impact on outcomes that mobility poverty can have . Surely the only responsible way forward here is for the EU Parliament to respect expert opinion .
Robin Bradley Publisher robin @ dealer-world . com