– EU BUREAUCRACY GONE BONKERS SAYS FG MEP JIM HIGGINS
Jim Higgins MEP for Ireland North West has expressed concern after the European Parliament voted to impose the NCT on motorbikes, caravans, and trailers. This means that caravans and trailers will have to carry separate number plates from 2016. Speaking after the vote in Strasbourg, where he voted to reject the report outright, Jim Higgins said “Ireland has one of the best road safety records in the EU. I believe that the RSA and the Department of Transport should be dictating the NCT policy of Ireland – not Brussels.”
The European Parliament voted for new rules on vehicle checks and to extend regular inspections to motorbikes and to some trailers and caravans, as well as streamlining the rules on vehicle documents.
“The technical requirements related to testing that we are introducing are of a very high standard. The real trouble for Ireland is that caravans and trailers will now have to be registered with a separate number plate, and tested annually or every two years. To me this is a burden for ordinary people which will do very little to improve road safety. I want a proper study carried out before we implement these new laws.”
“I am very disappointed regarding motorcycles too – MEPs voted for mandatory checks on motorcycles in all member states from 2016 and on mopeds from 2018, unless a Commission study finds that testing of mopeds would be ineffective. We already know that 95 per cent of accidents are not caused by defects in motorcycles, but rather lack of training. We should focus on this first if we are serious about reducing accidents.”
However, Mr Higgins welcomed the ‘streamlining of vehicle documents’ aspect of the report. “Creating digital databases to have a European register of vehicles makes sense in order to protect consumers, so they can get a clearer idea of the history of the vehicle. This is one of the few positive aspects of the vote here in Strasbourg.”