Thousands of motorcyclists rolled into Brussels on Saturday to protest an EU proposal for regular mandatory bike inspections. The law would be "expensive and useless," they said.
While representatives from the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Association (FEMA) met with European Union officials on Saturday in Brussels, more than 4,500 motorcycles roared through the city's streets, protesting a proposed law that would introduce mandatory EU-wide road-worthiness tests for motorcycles.
The talks didn't change the officials minds, representatives told Belgian news agency Belga following the meeting.
The new regulations would supersede national safety inspection rules for four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles. Leading up to Saturday's meeting, FEMA said the new regulations offer "no benefits expected in terms of safety, as proven by several independent studies."
European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas announced the plan in July in the hope to save lives and prevent road accidents. According to the July press release detailing the road safety measure, "motorbike and scooter riders, particularly young riders, are the highest risk group of road users."
Members of Belgium's Federation of Angry Bikers (FBMC) also turned out in large numbers on Saturday.
"Only 0.3 percent of motorcycle accidents in Belgium and 0.6 percent in Europe are due to technical problems," FBMC head Joe Verrecke told Belga.
The European Commission estimates that technical defects lead to eight percent of all motorcycle accidents.
Despite the outcry from the thousands of motorcyclists who travelled to the EU headquarters on Saturday, Belgium's MotorCycle Council disagreed with FEMA and the FBMC. According to a statement issued by the council, they said they would have preferred, "constructive dialogue rather than the demonstration to find an acceptable solution."
kms/jlw (AFP, dpa)