FEMA secures European Commission response on ‘speed limiters’
The Federation of European Motorcycle Associations (FEMA) has received confirmation from the European Commission that it is not seeking to introduce ‘speed limiters’ to motorcycles.
As a statement by FEMA noted: “After the news broke in April 2019 that ‘Europe’ wants overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) for cars, we quickly noticed that a large part of the automotive and motorcycle press described the overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance as ‘speed limiters for cars and motorcycles’. This is not correct.”
ISA and ‘speed limiters’ are two significantly different technologies. The former does not overrule the operator to limit speeds by braking or restricting engine power as the latter might, but only informs them that they are speeding to ensure their awareness. Unfortunately, misunderstandings about this have been widespread and previous attempts at clarification were not successful.
Hoping to resolve the issue “once and for all”, FEMA wrote to the EC’s Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport, Matthew Baldwin, inviting him to “confirm that the new regulations do not concern motorcycles and that a possible future regulation will not affect speed either by braking or by reducing engine power and will be tested to guarantee the safety of the motorcyclists”.
FEMA also outlined a priority that “no technological developments regarding a possible improvement of road safety should be implemented without proper consultation of motorcyclists.”
Mr Baldwin has replied to FEMA’s Dolf Willigers on behalf of the EC and his full letter can be found here. In his reply, he responded to the query over whether “Intelligent Speed Assistance will be required for motorcycles” with the direct statement: “This is certainly not true.”
He went on to note that: “Even if the Commission were eventually to make a proposal making ISA systems mandatory for motorcycles, this would require an impact assessment and a cost-benefit analysis. This evaluation would take into account the specificities and needs of these vehicles and the paramount need for the safety of riders.”
Mr Baldwin finished by confirming that “there are currently no plans to amend the applicable technical requirements for the type-approval of motorcycles.”