We support the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) which remains opposed to vehicle anti-tampering proposals despite a recent clarification of the Government’s intentions. Department officials committed to provide detailed explanations of the ‘gaps’ in current legislation but have not yet done so. No specific evidence has been provided by the Department for Transport (DfT) to justify the proposals. The consultation closes in just one day on 22nd November.
The DfT introduced proposals to tackle vehicle ‘tampering’ in a suite of consultations published on 28th September. The consultation was not well publicised by the DfT. However, it was quickly brought to the attention of riders by MAG and other groups.
In its original form the intent of the legislation was widely seen as an attempt to prevent all modifications or customisation of any vehicle. In a meeting between riders’ groups and DfT officials on 22nd October the poor presentation of the proposals was acknowledged. Officials gave reassurances that the intention was merely to close legislative gaps that allow harmful tampering affecting vehicle safety, security and emissions.
MAG’s Colin Brown asked officials to provide detailed explanations of the claimed gaps in current legislation so that the proportionality of proposals could be understood. The officials committed to provide this detail no later than one week before the end of the consultation period. This information has not yet been supplied, but the consultation end date is now just one week away.
On 12th November the DfT published an amendment to the consultation described as an update to clarify the policy intention in relation to vehicle tampering.
The additional wording states:
We would like to emphasise that our policy intention is to prevent modifications that have a negative impact on road safety, vehicle security and the environment.
We do not intend our proposals to:
- prevent legitimate motorsport activities
- prevent restoration, repairs or legitimate improvements to vehicles, such as classic cars or motorbikes
- negatively impact businesses involved in these activities
MAG’s Vice Chair, Ian Churchlow, was quick to point out that customisation of non-classic vehicles is not specifically mentioned.
MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said:
“Whilst the clarification published on 12th November does provide some reassurance, it falls far short of what we would accept. I am disappointed that we have not been supplied with the list of claimed legislative gaps.
We see the only sensible solution to be a rejection of the proposals. The Government needs to provide the detail required to enable us to consider the proportionality of any legislation. Without that detail we cannot support the proposals. We have asked riders to tell us what kind of modifications they feel are legitimate and should be beyond the remit of any anti-tampering legislation. Unsurprisingly not one respondent suggested that they wished to reduce the safety or security of their machine, nor to increase its emissions. This leads me to ask: what problem needs to be solved?”
The consultation remains open for all to comment until 11:45pm on 22 November 2021. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-transport-regulatory-review-modernising-vehicle-standards/future-of-transport-regulatory-review-modernising-vehicle-standards