In February, 2021, news broke that the European Parliament was pushing to make periodic motorcycle inspections mandatory across all European Union member states. While the legislation wasn’t yet well-defined then and isn’t much clearer now, the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) definitely wanted motorized two- and three- wheelers of all displacements included in the proposed arrangement. Prior to reaching any direct course of action, though, it also wanted to do a cost-benefit analysis of sub-125cc motorcycles and mopeds, because such a requirement might be more trouble than it’s worth.  

At the time, no precise timeline was given for any of these actions. Now, to further complicate matters, some EU member-states already have requirements for periodic technical inspections for different classes of motorbikes. Of course, as is the case when any patchwork quilt of local governments develops separate sets of laws while living right next door to each other, they are all a little bit, well, different. 

As of mid-April, 2021, a previously announced French plan for compulsory motorbike technical inspection that would start in 2022 will not go through on that schedule. According to a plan set out back in 2014, such technical inspections were supposed to be the law of the land across France, starting on January 1, 2022. However, the federal government simply isn’t ready, reported Le Repaire des Motards. Therefore, it won’t be happening according to that timetable. 

It’s unclear what the plans are to move that type of inspection forward in France, although pressure from the European Parliament may eventually make some form of inspection happen. For now, there’s discussion of a simple visual inspection, rather than a set of measurable procedures to determine if machines are in compliance. Noise and pollution mitigations are also being considered under this plan. However, no details are yet available, and we’re not even halfway through 2021 yet.  

According to a French road accident statistics report from 2009, only 0.5 percent of crashes were found to be the result of technical, machine-related failures. It’s unclear how many of those could have been prevented via inspection. Since that statistic was so small, the French government is reportedly considering this less-stringent visual inspection path, at least for the immediate future. 

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