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C 304/44 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

(98/C 304/60) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0166/98
by James Fitzsimons (UPE) to the Commission
(2 February 1998)

Subject: Legislation in EU Member States on bicycles

Will the Commission indicate what safety measures are applied to bicycles in each of the Member States to
improve safety for their users and to other road users?

Will the Commission advise if insurance is required for bicycle users in any of the Member States and, if so, will
it provide details?

Have any Member States introduced taxes on bicycles?

Can the Commission provide details on the number of bicycles involved in accidents in the Member States and
the causes of these accidents?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission
(12 March 1998)

In the highway codes of all Member States the cyclist is considered to be a road user on a par with drivers of
motor vehicles. All road users are expected to use the road without endangering others.

The following Member States have specific rules for cyclists: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy,
the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom.

The following Member States have specific rules for drivers to ensure cyclists’ safety: Belgium, Germany, Spain,
France, Italy, Austria, Sweden, the United Kingdom.

The Commission is not aware of any Member State requiring insurance for bicycle users.

The Commission is not aware of any Member States taxing the riding of bicycles but of course, VAT is
customarily levied on the purchase of bicycles.

The most recent available data is the ‘Statistical Report on Road Accidents in 1992’. This was produced by the
European Conference of Transport Ministers. It gives the numbers of people killed but not the causes of the
accidents.

Because of this and similar deficiencies of useful data, the Commission is developing a comprehensive Europe
wide database on accident statistics.

The Commission has published a report on ‘Progress with the project and its future prospects − CARE −
Community Database on Road Traffic Accidents’ (1).

(1) COM(97) 238 final.

(98/C 304/61) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0174/98
by David Bowe (PSE) to the Commission
(5 February 1998)

Subject: Controls on imported foods

At present all foods of animal origin imported from third countries into the European Union are subject to strict
controls. They can only enter the EU at a designated border inspection post; the importer is required to give
24 hours notice of arrival; the consignment must undergo the veterinary checks procedure, which includes
certified levels of inspection; and the importer must pay the costs of the veterinary inspection before the
consignment can obtain customs clearance. However, for foods of non-animal origin, there is no requirement for
prior notification of import, with no certificated system of control and the costs of inspection fall on the enforcing
authority.