Tag Archive: regulations

  1. Cabinet wants a ban on the possession and use of performance sets

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    The Dutch government will soon announce that the possession and use of booster sets for electric bicycles on public roads will be prohibited, RTL News reports.

    Source: Nieuwfiets.nu

    This measure is intended to improve road safety and reduce nuisance, due to complaints about fast-moving electric bicycles, especially fat bikes, which are popular among young people because of their fat tyres and large saddle. Souping up e-bikes is popular and is done, for example, by adding a throttle or by removing the speed limiter, which leads to a lot of inconvenience and safety problems.

    At the end of last year, many municipalities urged the government to take measures, such as a minimum age for the use of electric bicycles or a ban on performance sets. In 2022, the House of Representatives also called for a ban on electric bicycle performance sets, with a majority of VVD, GroenLinks-PvdA, NSC and BBB supporting the ban. The Ministry of Infrastructure subsequently had a consultancy firm investigate how the increase in electric bicycles could best be tackled. The advice is to introduce a ban on the possession and use of such hardware and software on public roads, comparable to the existing ban on the use of mopeds and scooters.

    According to the consultancy, this would provide clarity and enable better information campaigns about the risks of using souped-up electric bicycles, such as the fact that the driver may be uninsured. Currently, speeding on a souped-up e-bike on public roads is already prohibited, but installing a booster kit in itself is not. These sets and performance apps are sold in stores and online. Riders turn off the booster when they see the police, causing the bike to return to its normal maximum speed. However, this will change, because if the police detect a performance set on a bicycle, the driver will be punished.

  2. European cities consider measures against SUVs following Paris referendum

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    Sources: CNBC, Vias

    Citing safety and environmental concerns, cities across Europe are following Paris’ lead with new laws aiming to discourage citizens from buying SUVs

    Paris SUV parking charge

    In a recent referendum, the majority of Parisians voted to increase parking fees for SUVs in an attempt to discourage more users from choosing this mode of transport. Due to their larger size, SUVs emit more emissions and pollute the environment more than other vehicles, as well as being a concern for road safety. Other cities have since taken action following the Paris vote, and a report also highlights the dangers these vehicles can pose to other road users.

    Recent report on SUVs causing increased injuries in road collisions

    Belgian knowledge institute Vias has also reported on the vehicle characteristics that affect injury severity after analysing all collisions between 2017 and 2021, involving 300,000 car occupants and vulnerable road users. The results show that vehicle mass plays an important role in the impact of a collision, with drivers of heavier vehicles more likely to be protected by the vehicle (injury risk in a collision decreases by 25% for SUV drivers), but individuals hit by them being more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries (injury risk increased by 20% for car occupants that collided with an SUV).

    These findings also have concerning implications for the safety of other road passengers such as cyclists and pedestrians. Vias reported that the risk of fatal injuries increases by 30% if either a cyclist or pedestrian gets hit by a car with a hood that is 10cm higher than average.

    Cities in Europe also implementing policies to curb SUV sales.

    With reports on sales of SUV vehicles on the increase, Paris is not alone in its bids to decrease the popularity of heavier SUV vehicles:

    • Paris’ SUV referendum originally followed the initiative of fellow French city Lyon, which had already announced a similar policy to enforce higher parking charges for heavier vehicles, which will be applied next June.
    • Another city in France, Grenoble, has already enforced a higher environmental tariff for heavier vehicles in car parks and is now also considering taxing SUVs as an additional initiative, as confirmed by the mayor’s spokesperson to CNBC.
    • French city Grenoble, meanwhile, has already implemented a higher environmental tariff in car parks for heavier vehicles, and a spokesperson from the mayor’s office in Bordeaux told CNBC that the city and the mayor are “at the reflection stage on the subject of taxing SUVs.”
    • Meanwhile in Germany, the city of Tübingen has introduced a six-fold increase in the annual cost of resident parking permits to 180 euros for vehicles with a combustion engine, that weigh over 1.8 metric tons.
    • The mayor of Hannover in Germany, told CNBC that after the Paris vote, residents of the city would “also have to face the question of how we deal with vehicles that take up more space.”

    Meanwhile, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan implied that he would be paying attention to the effectiveness of these policies. It will be interesting to see the ongoing effects of these SUV policies, and if other cities will also join on trying to mitigate SUV usage due to road safety and environmental concerns.

  3. fka and TRL publish webinar on the future of EU micromobility technical regulations

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    The online event was a successful stakeholder launch of a project being conducted by TRL and fka on behalf of the European Commission on future regulations for micromobility in the EU

    Lead by Dr Ianto Guy, Practice Lead at TRL, and attended by Annick Roetynck, Manager of LEVA-EU, the online webinar discussed harmonised rules to support the rise of micromobility and increased road safety for personal mobility devices. Lasting approximately 1.5 hours, the webinar included a fruitful QnA session.

    TRL is a global centre for innovation in surface transport and mobility, with a focus on creating clean and efficient transport that is safe, reliable and accessible for everyone. The Germany-based fka is a research partner for the automotive industry, developing innovative solutions and strategic consulting.

    The presentation includes a call for assistance, where TRL is very keen to hear from stakeholders who can help with following:

    ▪ Market data
    ▪ Evidence on the ways in which a lack of harmonised regulations is affecting the micromobility industry
    ▪ Collision data – particularly, detailed accounts of collision mechanisms
    ▪ Suggestions and feedback on cutoff limits for micromobility (30km/h, 250kg ??) – do we need to include factors other than mass and speed?
    ▪ Suggestions and feedback on technical requirements
    ▪ Suggestions and feedback on a pragmatic but effective system for self-certification which enables easy enforcement?
    ▪ Potential unintended consequences

    Contact details can be found within the presentation pdf file.

    Watch the webinar in full on YouTube here.

  4. UK motorcycle industry and riders launch ‘A Licence to Net Zero’ to improve access to mopeds, motorcycles and other L-Category vehicles

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    Motorcycle industry and riders launch ‘A Licence to Net Zero’ to improve access to mopeds, motorcycles and other L-Category vehicles. Proposals include calls for earlier access to L-Category vehicles, including creating two new vehicle categories – the electric light moped and the e-step scooter.

    The UK body, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) has launched ‘A Licence to Net Zero – Unleashing our Potential, Licence Reform Essential’, MCIA’s latest campaign to make the process for attaining a moped, motorcycle or other L-Category vehicle licence less complex, less costly, and more accessible for a broader section of society in the United Kingdom.

    Supported by rider representative group, the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC), and Zemo Partnership, the launch represents a significant step forward in the delivery of the joint industry and Government Action Plan for L-Category vehicles, launched in February 2022.

    You can watch MCIA’s animation introducing the campaign here.

    You can read MCIA’s proposals underpinning the campaign here.

    L-Category vehicles, or powered light vehicles (PLVs), include mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles, which include micro cars. They offer affordable and versatile solutions to contemporary transportation challenges, including reducing emissions and congestion and provide affordable and accessible modes of transport – moving people and goods to and from work and/or college in urban, sub-urban and rural areas – for private individuals and businesses alike.

    The moped and motorcycle industry’s role in reducing emissions, lowering congestion and using road space more efficiently was recognised for the first time in the UK Government’s 2021 Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which tasked MCIA and Zemo Partnership to produce a joint industry and Government Action Plan for the sector. 

    MCIA and Zemo’s landmark Action Plan: Realising the Full Potential of Zero Emission Powered Light Vehicles, underscored a commitment to a greener future. The Action Plan identifies the barriers the sector must overcome and the opportunities it must harness, together with the Government, if its full potential is to be realised and, in turn, accessed by the broadest possible section of society.

    Improving access to the sector is therefore essential to this transformation. ‘A Licence to Net Zero’ has been deliberately conceived to align with action six in the joint Action Plan, which calls on the Government to conduct a full-scale review of the existing L-Category licensing regime.

    Now the UK has left the EU, MCIA believes it’s time to revamp moped and motorcycle licensing. They state that the current process is burdensome, intimidating and expensive, hindering entry. There needs to be simplification in order to reduce barriers while enhancing safety. 

    The organisation writes that the EU’s 3rd Driving Licence Directive unintentionally favours direct access over gradual progression, discouraging safer routes. As a result, they believe that it hasn’t improved user safety as intended, it’s kept casualties stable over the last decade. The UK needs a modern, forward thinking licensing regime, one that will address existing user safety and cater for the needs of new entrants into this sector with both safety and convenience in mind.  L-Category vehicles represent just 1% of the overall traffic mix, yet they account for 20% of all road fatalities. Despite this, positively, the Government has recognised their immense potential in accelerating the journey towards net zero and enhancing the quality of our urban and suburban areas, but it must double down on these ambitions if they are to become a reality. 

    Instead of basing policy decisions solely on past safety concerns, MCIA believes that the Government needs to adopt a forward-thinking approach, anticipating the future traffic mix. Rather than being a reason to disregard them, their safety track record should serve as motivation to liberate and optimise their viability as a sustainable mode of mobility for the future.

    Tony Campbell, CEO of MCIA, said:

    “We’re pleased to be launching A Licence to Net Zero today – the time has come for a full-scale review of L-Category licensing requirements. The Government’s recognition of our sector’s role in decarbonising transportation is commendable, but we need the tools to make it happen.

    MCIA fully supports the Government’s goals, but we must shed outdated regulations in order to thrive. Licensing is one of the biggest hurdles facing our sector, hindering growth and road safety over the last decade.

    Our mission is a simple one: simplify sector access, promote accessibility and cost effectiveness, road safety, and accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050.”

    Craig Carey-Clinch, Executive Director of NMC, said:

    “The NMC’s members share MCIA’s belief in the need for significant licensing reform via a comprehensive review of the current regime, particularly as intended benefits for road safety from the current regime have not materialised. Although there are some differences of detail in the NMC’s published proposals, both our positions on the fundamentals of licensing reform align and we are pleased to support ‘A Licence to Net Zero’ in recognition of our shared aspirations.”

    Andy Eastlake, Chief Executive of Zemo Partnership, said:

    “Access to zero emission PLV’s is one of the fastest ways to decarbonise mobility for many journeys across the UK.  With the advent of new types of vehicles and new users, getting the ‘right licensing for the right vehicles and users’ is a critical enabling step.  Zemo is pleased to see this action progress, from our joint and collaborative plan and in particular to look in detail at the L0 initiative and how we get ‘road and rider sense’ embedded as early as possible to help create a cleaner and safer future mobility system for all.”

  5. Belgium works on a bicycle registration system to combat bicycle theft

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    Source: Tweewieler, H.Berendsen

    Belgium has taken the next step towards registering bicycles to protect against theft. The registration system, called ‘MyBike’, should reduce the risk of bicycle theft, with cyclists being able to stick a unique QR code on their bicycles.

    The cooperation agreement was concluded at the initiative of the federal Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, between the federal governments of the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region, and can now be submitted to the Flemish Parliament. Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters explains: “We like to cycle a lot in Flanders, but if your bicycle is stolen, that is a serious loss. Especially if it is a more expensive vehicle such as a racing bike, an e-bike or a speed pedelec. The fear of bicycle theft should not prevent people from traveling by bicycle. That is why we are working with the federal government and the other regions in Belgium on a user-friendly platform where people can register their bicycles, to prevent theft and to encourage bicycle use even more.”

    Unique sticker code

    In the future, cyclists can request a sticker free of charge to stick on their bicycle, which contains a unique QR code. This code allows bicycle owners to store their bicycle’s data in a secure system, and be able to report it if any theft occurs. If thieves offer a stolen bicycle for sale or leave it behind, a potential buyer, finder or the police can immediately scan the code and identify whether the bicycle has been reported as stolen. “The main advantage of this centralised bicycle register is the unique code that’s linked to one specific bicycle. You can register multiple bicycles, and each will receive its own code. If a bicycle is stolen or lost, the competent authorities can also easily trace the owner,” said Minister Peeters.

    Development of central register

    The cooperation agreement between the various regions and the federal government must now be voted on in parliament. In the meantime, working on system development continues. The intention is that the federal government will be responsible for centralised register management, with each region developing their own user portal and help desk. Sticker printing and shipping providers also need to be sourced. The police are also involved in developing the platform.
    The partners are aiming to launch the new system in 2024. When launch time approaches, information sessions will be organised to explain the system in detail to local authorities and municipal prevention and mobility services, among others.

    To combine forces

    Georges Gilkinet, Federal Minister of Mobility has said the following about this anti-theft initiative: “Bicycle theft is a real plague. It is crucial that we join forces to combat it better. After the Walloon and Brussels Governments previously gave their approval, this agreement going to the Flemish Government is therefore good news. This allows us to offer this central bicycle register to cyclists through 2024. This system is an essential part in the fight against bicycle theft. Together we are stronger!” Elke Van den Brandt, Brussels mobility minister: “Experience in Brussels shows that the secure My Bike sticker will really make a difference. We also invest in well-secured bicycle parking spaces. Both projects are complementary and crucial in the fight against bicycle theft.” Philippe Henry, Walloon Minister of Mobility: “I am very pleased with the progress of this project being included in the Walloon bicycle plan that was adopted in 2022. The Mybike system, which will very soon replace bicycle engravings, is part of a global approach which aims to effectively combat bicycle theft and further promote mobility via active modes of transport.”

  6. Prague 1 Municipal District bans e-scooter parking

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    Source: TheMAYOR.eu, Prague Monitor

    The municipal district, which includes much of the medieval historic heart of the city, has unanimously agreed a motion to prohibit the parking of electric scooters in its public spaces.

    In a similar vein the the Paris restrictions, and other proposals across Europe, Prague has decided to place limits that forbid the parking of shared e-scooters within its central streets and parks. The district also plans to approach the municipality to extend this ban to cover the entire conservation area.

    The move appears to be motivated by concern for public safety, as well by numbers of tourists unfamiliar both with the vehicles and the local streets. Co-sponsor Pavel Marc (Praha 1 Sobě) was quoted as saying, “Having relatively hefty machines, often occupied by two people, constantly cluttering our sidewalks and endangering our elderly population is incompatible with life in this part of the city,” 

    Though the motion prohibits parking, there is some leniency in the fact that it does not forbid e-scooters from passing through the zone. Current affected operators in the city include Lime and Bolt.

    It was reported that Miroslav Stejskal, director of the Prague 1 municipal police, shared that officers had dealt with 4,352 scooter-related offences and issued fines amounting to approximately CZK 1.1 million (about 45,000 euros) over a six month period. This is in contrast to the number of offences related to cyclists in the same period, which numbered 560, or about eight times less.

  7. Updated e-scooter trial requirements in the UK – number plates, speed limits, and more

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    Source: UK GOV, Micromobilitybiz

    From 1 April new guidance will come into effect across the UK for shared micromobility trials, ensuring safety and best practice is at the forefront of the scheme.

    Each e-scooter in UK-wide micromobility trials will be required to display a manufacturer label with a unique identification number; these should be clearly visible on either the steering column, side, or rear of each vehicle. A variety of reasoning is given for this updated guidance, primarily easier identification of individual riders by both the police and the public. In the UK public usage of a privately owned e-scooter is illegal, identification numbers will aid in differentiating vehicles that are not part of micromobility trials.

    Outside of unique identification numbers, a range of additional recommendations have been released focusing on safety for both riders and the public. Recommendations include a lower speed limit for new riders, good-parking incentives, safety events, and technological improvements. The full release can be viewed here.

    Following the extended trial period, evaluation of the scheme’s success will inform the future of micromobility services in the UK.

  8. LEVA-EU Briefing on Technical Rules for Batteries

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    LEVA-EU has a new briefing available  on the EU technical rules applying to batteries for light, electric vehicles, i.e. electric bicycles, electric scooters, self-balancing vehicles, electric monowheels, hoverboards, etc.

    In the briefing, we explain how battery rules depend on the legal framework that is applicable to the complete vehicle. The regulations for vehicles under type-approval are completely different from the regulations for vehicles under the Machine Directive.

    We provide a detailed overview of the requirements resulting from these two frameworks. We focus not only on electric bicycles up to 25 km/h and 250W, but also on electric bicycles in L1e-A and L1e-B (speed pedelecs), on electric mountain bikes, electric cargo bikes, electric scooters, self-balancing vehicles, etc.

    Further details on how to obtain this new briefing are here: https://leva-eu.com/rules-regulations-leva-eu-briefings-available/

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