Weights and dimensions: further effort needed

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £2.99.

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has welcomed new EC proposals on its review of Directive 96/53/EC concerning weights and dimensions of commercial vehicles, as it could improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by 7-10%, leading to more efficient and greener road transport operations, while improving road safety through new vehicle design allowing for better driver visibility and increased driver comfort.

However, The IRU points out only allowing a weight of 19 tonnes for two-axle buses and coaches to compensate for the extra weight of additional safety devices and environmental technology without increasing the carrying capacity of these vehicles, will not be enough to meet the needs of customers and businesses.

The industry advocates a 19.5 tonne maximum weight for two-axle buses and coaches, as recommended by the EU publicprivate Smart Move High Level Group.

Moreover, regarding the EC proposals to promote electronic weight sensors to communicate weight information to enforcement authorities, the IRU strongly advocates their use must ensure electronic data alone should not be used for remote enforcement purposes.

Furthermore, any data transmission must not be extended to enforce weight compliance which is not uniformly applied across the EU and malfunctioning of weight sensor equipment should not constitute an offence in itself.