The current EU rules on periodic roadworthiness testing of vehicles contribute to road safety, but an update is inevitable in view of emerging implementation shortcomings and new car safety systems, say TRAN MEPs in their adopted draft resolution of 25 February 2021.
The draft resolution on the road safety aspects of the roadworthiness package, recognises that the implementation of EU rules has helped to improve the quality of periodic roadworthiness tests and thus contribute to road safety. However, there is still room to introduce more mandatory provisions in the next update, such as on load securing or information exchange between member states, to support the EU vision of zero road fatalities by 2050, MEPs add. They note that in 2019, around 22,800 people died on Europe's roads and around 135,000 were seriously injured (23 per cent less than in 2010), and this is still far from the target of halving this rate between 2010 and the end of 2020.
MEPs first call on EU countries to facilitate the exchange of information on roadworthiness tests and mileage, stressing that the development of a new vehicle information platform could speed up the exchange of information. In addition, EU citizens should be better protected against fraud and have complete information on the history of their cars. Therefore, transport MEPs call for information on accidents and the frequency of significant malfunctions to be exchanged between EU countries as well.
In addition, the committee calls on EU countries to step up their efforts to reach the target of 5 per cent minimum checks (percentage of registered vehicles on their territory), as already pledged in 2018. The text also advocates the implementation of roadside checks for two- or three-wheeled vehicles, as motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users and the number of fatalities among them is decreasing at the slowest pace of all vehicle users in the EU. The decline in roadside checks of commercial vehicles over the last six years and the cuts in national budgets for road safety enforcement are a very worrying trend, the draft text says. MEPs also regret that EU rules do not require mandatory inspection of load securing, which is an important element of road safety. They therefore call on the Commission to propose minimum requirements in this area (use of appropriate equipment and training), which could become part of an updated EU rule.
New cars will have to be equipped with the new advanced safety and driver assistance systems from 2022, the draft says. MEPs call on the Commission to include these systems, as well as eCall, a life-saving emergency call device, as part of future regular vehicle checks. MEPs also call on the Commission to consider the inclusion of new means of transport - e-scooters, onewheels or hoverboards - as part of the upcoming revision of the current rules.
The draft resolution on the road safety aspects of the roadworthiness package must now be voted by the plenary of the Parliament, possibly during the second March session.
Related links: Procedure File: Roadworthiness Package