Supporting Brussels Protest

30th July 2012

On July 13th, 2012 the European Commission announced a proposal for a Regulation Of The European Parliament and Of The Council on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers.

As a response to this proposal, riders from three European countries that do not have road worthiness testing (RWT) are up in arms and ready to ride to Brussels to show their discontent about this proposal.

MAG Netherlands, MAG Belgium and NMCU (Norway) intend to protest on September 22nd in Brussels.

At Right To Ride, we fully support this protest because we recognise that each European country has its own issues and own way of doing things.

For example countries such as Norway only ride around 6 months of the year and do far lower mileage, consequently there would be less wear = less defects. So not wanting RWT is understandable.

In the Netherlands, we are told that the motorcycle parc (bikes in circulation) is older than in the UK, and generally motorcycles are kept in good condition, so we can understand the logic of not wanting RWT there either. We assume that the situation is similar in Belgium.

Our View

Our view is simply that these are different countries with different situations and require a different solution.

We certainly believe that the EU should not interfere and that this is a national issue which the individual national organisations should lead on.

In Northern Ireland where we are based, the testing stations are run by the government (as a not for profit scheme) and failures for defects are on average 7% per year – the cost of the RWT – which is called the MoT, is £22. (29 euros). The test is carried out annually on motorcycles over three years of age and is considered a useful, valid means of checking for defects.

It would in our opinion, be political suicide for us to support the abolition of the MoT. For that reason, we could not participate in a demo to Brussels, but that does not mean we don’t understand the reasons why our brothers and sisters in other countries are against this proposal.

We have raised our concerns and made our views very clear that the arguments used by the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) were flawed and did no favours to these National Organisations to support their cause.

Our comments and further information regarding the PTI Proposal – Includes What Countries Are Affected can be viewed by – Clicking Here

MAG Netherlands – Protest Ride against MOT

Via Google Translate

MAG Netherlands has organised on Saturday 22 September 2012 a protest ride to Brussels.

The protest ride is organized to take action against a compulsory MOT for motorcycles.

The protest ride is organized in cooperation with MAG Belgium.

On and we will keep you informed of the latest news and the preparedness of the protest ride.

The Facebook page for English speakers has a handy Bing translator.

Put it in your diary: Saturday 22nd September 2012!

Norway – Do not try to fix a problem that does not exist!

Via FEMA – Click Here

Norway is one of the countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) that does not have Road Worthiness Testing (RWT) for motorcycles. And the Norwegian Motorcyclists Union (NMCU) cannot identify any reason for the introduction of RWT for motorcycles.

NMCU finds support for its position in an in-depth study of fatal motorcycle accidents in the years 2005-2009, published by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in 2011. One of the questions asked in the analysis was if technical failures caused fatal motorcycle accidents. The report concludes: The technical condition of motorcycles has been part of the debate surrounding the safety of motorcycles. In our analysis technical faults have been registered as a cause or contributing factor in only 3% of the accidents. The technical faults have been associated with worn tires and incorrect air pressure. In one instance there was an engine breakdown. Two motorcycles had been modified extensively, and this may have been of significance to the accident. Our analysis gives reason to believe that measures aimed at the technical condition of the vehicle will have limited effect with regard to fatal accidents.

Based on the conclusion of this report by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the Norwegian Motorcyclists Union states forcefully: – Do not try to fix a problem that does not exist!

Norway introduced extended RWT for cars in 1995. An independent study by the Norwegian Transport Economic Institute (TOI) evaluated the effects of RWT on car accidents in Norway (Christensen & Elvik 2006), applying negative binominal regression models to accident data stemming from an insurance company and the Public Roads Administration. A previous study (1992) had already questioned the beneficial effects of RWT, and this more recent study again indicated that the potential of RWT to prevent accidents might be overrated. Christensen and Elvik conclude: There is no evidence of any effect on accident rates of periodic inspections.

Following their findings, RWT does not fail to detect technical defects, but even though having passed a periodic inspection, the accident rate of inspected cars does not decline. On the contrary, it even shows a weak tendency to increase (!). Based on this the TOI developed a challenging hypothesis: When a car is inspected, and owners are forced to repair at least the more serious technical defects, behavioural adaptation may occur because owners now think that cars have become safer than before.

Based on this report produced by one of the most important Norwegian transport research institutes, NMCU says: If RWT does not work for cars, why introduce it for motorcycles?!

“Introduction of RWT for motorcycles would cost Norwegian riders several million NOK every year. If it cannot be scientifically proved that RWT has a clear safety benefit, we would rather see money taken out of our pockets used for measures that we know will have positive effects on motorcycle safety, e.g. SEE US campaigns, motorcycle friendly infrastructure and good rider training” says Morten Hansen, General Secretary of NMCU.

Access the Norwegian in-depth study on Fatal Motorcycle Accidents 2005-2009 in in English or in Norwegian


Sweden – Why Swedish riders oppose the EU plans for more frequent inspections for motorcycles and its introduction for mopeds

Via FEMA – Click Here

In Sweden new motorcycles need to be inspected after four years, then every two years. In 2005, following thorough investigations, the Swedish government decided not to mandate roadworthiness tests for mopeds. Due to good performance the annual test requirement for motorcycles older than ten years was changed in 2004 to biennial tests.

Sweden is the only country in Scandinavia where periodic roadworthiness tests are mandatory for motorcycles. However, Sweden does not have better motorcycle accident statistics than Denmark, Finland or Norway. The most important reason why mopeds class I [1] are not included in the testing regime are the long distances many moped riders would have to travel just to find an inspection facility. In Sweden Mopeds class II are not registered at all. The new proposal of the European Commission[2] would force Sweden to go back to an annual inspection scheme for older motorcycles and to introduce regular tests for mopeds.

Table 1: RWT failure rate among different vehicles in Sweden

Year Motorcycles Trailers Caravans Cars
2004 9% 19% 16% 32%
2005 9% 22% 13% 32%
2006 10% 26% 22% 32%
2007 10% 26% 19% 32%
2009 10% 26% 26% 29%
2010 9% 24% 24% 29%
2011 9% 25% 25% 31%

Source: Statistics from Bilprovningen , Sweden.

Table 1 shows the failure rates detected at periodic roadworthiness inspections for different vehicle categories in Sweden. Jesper Christensen, General Secretary of the Swedish FEMA member SMC: “Statistics clearly indicate that motorcycles in Sweden regularly have better inspection results than all other vehicles. Therefore our government decided to extend the time for motorcycle tests and to withdraw the idea of annual testing intervals for older motorcycles. In Sweden road worthiness tests are not useful for mopeds and they would also not be the solution for moped tampering.”

Jesper continues: “The only thing SMC expected the European Commission to work out was harmonized testing so that Swedish riders with a holiday house in the south of Europe could have their motorcycles checked down there instead of having to bring them back to Sweden every two years. Unfortunately this is not included in the EU-Roadworthiness Package. Now the European Commission has proposed annual inspections for vehicles older than six years but nothing about harmonization or mutual recognition. We are very disappointed with this proposal and call Swedish decision makers to vote it down.”

[1] Moped class I = max 45 km/h; Moped class II = max 25 km/h (30 km/h for older mopeds)

[2] Proposal for a regulation on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers – Click Here




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  1. Pointless & Angry RWT Demos

    9th September 2012

    Like a bus, you wait for one to come along and then two demonstrations on RWT (Road Worthiness Testing) arrive one after the other.

    The “No Con Test” Demo Ride organised by MAG Ireland, takes place in Dublin on 22nd September and ask riders to join the run to show their feelings on pointless legislation.

    The Belgium rider organisation FBMC (Belgian Federation of Angry Motorcyclists) has also announced its own demonstration on the 22nd September in Brussels.

    In April this year FBMC held a demonstration which denounced Europe as “motophobe”. Estimates from reports at the time said that between 1000 and 1400 angry bikers rode the streets of Brussels to basically say no to bike engineering controls, yes to a real consideration in the road infrastructure for motorcyclists and yes for real constructive consideration for motorcyclists safety.

    So we can only imagine how many will turn out to protest against Road Worthiness Testing!

    The MAG Ireland demonstration, is being held in support and complimenting rider organisations, members of FEMA (Federation Of European Motorcyclists Association), who have organised their demonstration in Brussels on the 22nd September.

    Organised initially by MAG Netherlands in collaboration with MAG Belgium, the demonstration is against the plans for a compulsory European wide MOT/RWT for motorcycles.

    Read this article – Click Here

    MAG Ireland –

    FBMC –

    Brussels Protest – On Facebook

    FEMA – No To Usless Mandatory Inspections – On Facebook

  2. Protest Run to Brussels

    Update on Protest Ride To Brussels from the Dutch Motorcyclist’s Action Group (MAG NL)

    On Facebook – Click Here

    On Saturday 22 september 2012 the Dutch Motorcyclist’ Action Group (MAG NL) will organize a protestrun to Brussels, in order to fight the proposal by the European Commission to have an annual, mandatory technical inspection for motorcycles. The protestrun is organized in close co-operation with MAG Belgium.

    Riders that want to join our protestrun will gather at ‘Hazeldonk’ at the Dutch-Belgian border, near Breda (see Map – Click Here – for the location). The meeting point is open from 08.30h and we are planning the ride to leave for Brussels at 11.00h.

    From Hazeldonk the riders will be escorted to Brussel by MAG Belgium’s road captains. The protestrun will end at the Atomium in Brussels at approximately 13.00h (see Click Here for the location). After the protest at the Atomium, the road captains will guide the riders out of Brussels and every one can go his or her own way again.

    So far MAG NL has received messages from riders from Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom who want to join the protest against mandatory technical inspections for all motorcycles. And of course they are all welcome! If you want to join us on the ride from the Netherlands to Brussels, come along! But of course there is also the possibility to ride directly to the Atomium in Brussels and the join the protest there. Let’s make this a day to remember!

    Motorcyclist from Europe: let’s unite and let ‘Brussels’ know that we will not take this lying down!


    – Participants should follow the instructions given by the volunteers of MAG B and MAG NL and by the police.

    – MAG NL and MAG B are not liable for any damages or personal injury incurred while taking part at the protest run.

  3. MAG Ireland Joins Against RWT

    17th August 2012

    Brussels in September?

    MAG Ireland is joining with other riders rights organisations all across the EU on September 22nd to demonstrate against the recent EU proposal to include mopeds, scooters and motorcycles in harmonised roadworthiness testing across the EU.

    There will be a demo in Brussels and if any Irish riders would like to take part our colleagues in MAG Belgium will meet you at your port of entry and ride with you to Brussels. If you are interested in taking part, please e-mail with your contact details and a brief outline of your travel plans.

    There will be a national demo also, details of which are currently being finalised, to be run at the same time on the same day – September 22nd.

    Keep an eye on the MAG Web site for the details, and if you’re on twitter, follow @mag_ireland to be notified.

    We’re also on Facebook: Click Here

    Original Source: Click Here

  4. The demo run will take place on 22nd September 2012.

    Main meeting point is Hazeldonk at the A16 motorway next to the Belgian border at 8.30am.

  5. MAG Netherlands Information

    “We leave on Saturday 22 September at approximately 11:00 hours from Hazeldonk on the A16 in Breda (just before the border). Gathering from 8:30 am. You can also refuel there, but if you’re smart you do it all for Breda, so not everyone at each other waiting. More information will follow, so keep this page in the monitor.”

    On Facebook: Click Here

  6. Just to be clear, Right To Ride supports this protest, because we support the right to protest about national issues.

    We do not support the abolition of MoT.

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