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Elections for the European Parliament are to be held on 23–26 May 2019. A total of 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s) currently represent some 500 million people from 28 member states. In February 2018 the European Parliament voted to decrease the number of MEP’s from 751 to 705, after the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union (see the bottom of this page for the redistribution of the seats).

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Motorcyclists are a rapidly expanding group of road users in Europe. Yet they are often overlooked. Not only in traffic, but also by legislators, road authorities, road safety experts and researchers.

FEMA aims to bring motorcyclists and their needs to the attention of new parliamentary candidates and incumbent MEP’s before the elections in May 2019.

 

FEMA and its 22 affiliated national motorcyclists’ associations have a vested interest in the outcome of the European elections in 2019. Our safety and freedom of movement may well depend on decisions the Members of the European Parliament will take in the 2019-2024 parliamentary session. This is why we are running the ‘Motorcyclists are voters’ campaign, aimed at all parliamentary candidates and at European motorcyclists.

At present Europe counts about 38 million powered two-wheelers (motorcycles, scooters and mopeds). In 2014, about 70% of the powered two-wheelers (PTWs) were motorcycles. Since then the trend is that sales for motorcycles are rising, but declining for mopeds. Motorcycles are used for daily traffic such as commuting and for leisure. Many motorcyclists use their motorcycle for both activities. Partly the needs of motorcycle riders and moped riders are different, but for the largest part they are the same:

  • personal freedom
  • freedom of movement
  • freedom to choose
  • reduction of interference by governments
  • reduction of interference by the EU
  • recognition of motorcycles as not being cars
  • recognition of motorcyclists as full road users in an automated environment
  • fighting mandatory clothing
  • motorcycle-friendly infrastructure
  • fighting restricting technical legislation
  • good and affordable training and education
  • affordable motorcycling.

In large parts of Europe motorcycles are used for leisure and are sometimes even part of a lifestyle. The economic value of this use of motorcycles should not be underestimated. The motorcycle- and moped industry is good for 22,600 direct jobs. Added to this come 133,700 jobs in downstream and upstream activities as manufacturing components and parts, sales, imports et cetera (numbers from ACEM, 2015). This makes a total in industrial jobs of 147,400 in the European Union. To this we should also add the many jobs that rely on tourism and other goods and services.

As a means of transport the powered two-wheeler will play a growing role in the increasingly sluggish traffic. The present trend is to focus on public transport, cycling and walking with regards to urban transport. However, for many commuters and other travelers this is not a solution and they will be dependent on (or just prefer) individual motorized transport. The smaller size, the less weight and higher agility than cars makes it possible for powered two-wheelers to keep riding in clogged streets, to be parked where there is no space for cars and all of this with lower fuel consumption and less wear to the road surfaces.

FEMA and its 22 affiliated national motorcyclists’ associations would like all the parliamentary candidates to take the following issues into consideration:

 
Motorcycle-friendly and safe infrastructure

  • Vulnerable road users should be included in all transport related rules and regulations, as stated by the European Commission in the Third Mobility Package.
  • Road infrastructure should be safe for all road users, including motorcyclists.
  • Roadside furniture, including guardrails, should be safe for all road users, including motorcyclists.
Automation of vehicles

  • FEMA calls for the needs of motorcyclists to be taken into account during the design, development and implementation of ITS-based traffic management systems to ensure that motorcycles are not excluded by default.
Low emission zones

  • Motorcycles are part of the solution in congested areas and should not be made less attractive as an alternative by charging them for the use of low emission zones.
  • Existing low emission zones need transparent and coherent rules, like a European vignette instead of the current patchwork of regulation, signs and stickers.
Motorcycling as a solution for congested cities and urban areas

  • Affordable and good training and testing, both basic and advanced training, should be available.
  • No unnecessary regulations, such as a European mandatory periodical technical inspection, should be put in place.
Prevention of motorcycle theft

  • Motorcycle type approval should include improved technical anti-theft provisions for motorcycles and motorcycle parts.
Sound emissions of motorcycles

  • Technical measures, such as lowering the general sound emission limits for motorcycles, do not contribute to the experienced nuisance.
  • Extreme behavior is the main cause of (too) high sound emissions and should be addressed in that way.

For a full list of FEMA’s points of view, please read our mission & policy statements.


If you want to compare your views with the actual decisions made by the politicians who are asking for your vote at the 2019 European Parliament elections, click here.



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