It is a decree that has embarrassed the government since its publication a year ago. It introduced the obligation for all holders of two-wheelers over 125 cm3 to carry out a technical inspection on their vehicle from the beginning of 2023.
But the President of the Republic had himself buried it the day after its publication in the Official Journal, ensuring that it would never be applied. For Emmanuel Macron, “it was not the time to bother the French”, then explained an adviser to the executive.
The European Union had however decided to impose the measure on the Member States no later than January 1, 2022. Seized by environmental NGOs in May, the Council of State, the highest French administrative court, had even ordered the executive to apply it from October.
“I want to convince with the actors concerned that other methods can effectively achieve the objectives of safety, environment and reduction of nuisances defined at European level”, declared to AFP the Minister Delegate for Transport, Clément Beaune. resulting from a meeting with biker associations.
According to the ministry, the European rule “opens the way to alternative measures” to technical control.
“France has presented to the European Commission a set of measures to this end”, indicated the Ministry of Transport, which concern “road safety (…) and the fight against noise and air pollution”.
The ministry cites as an example, without further details, the reform of the driving license, the obligation to wear safety equipment, awareness campaigns, the improvement of infrastructure, the strengthening of certification standards, and awareness actions.
– Appeal in sight –
Associations fighting against the nuisance of motorized two-wheelers such as Ras le Scoot immediately expressed their anger.
“From setback to setback, Emmanuel Macron is losing all credibility in his fight against pollution,” the association was indignant. The technical control “is a common sense measure (…) whose effects on pollution will be immediate”, continues Ras le Scoot.
The association for an improvement in the quality of the air Respire deplored “an illegal decision totally contrary to the decision of the Council of State and to European law”.
“This decision is irresponsible, very costly in terms of hospitalizations and disability pensions, and totally contrary to the general interest”, reacted Camille Mialot, lawyer for the associations Respire, Ras le Scoot and Paris Sans Voiture who announced that they are initiating an appeal for excess of power before the Council of State.
According to her, “France has a two-wheeler accident rate twice as high as the European average”. These NGOs received the support of the elected environmentalist of Paris David Belliard who denounced on Twitter a decision “against security, against the fight for air quality and against noise pollution!”.
– Happy bikers –
The French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC) on the contrary hailed a “victory”. “The technical control has no influence on the noise,” insisted AFP the coordinator of the association for Paris and the inner suburbs, Jean-Marc Belotti.
On the contrary, a country like Austria, which introduced it many years ago, is now considering banning certain mountain passes for motorbikes because of noise pollution, he says.
As for pollution, “motorized two-wheelers represent 2% of the rolling stock and 0.5% of polluting emissions, insists Mr. Belotti, so even if we were prevented from driving, it would not change the quality of the air”.
Finally on safety, the 2020 motorcycle license reform has contributed to improving the situation, he insisted.