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Weights and dimensions: further effort needed on bus and coach weight limit and electronic sensors


17 Apr 2013


Trade & Society

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) broadly welcomes the European Commission’s (EC) proposal on weights and dimensions for commercial vehicles. However, questions remain over details on the weight of coaches and electronic weight sensor proposals.


Brussels - The IRU broadly welcomes new EC proposals on its review of Directive 96/53/EC concerning weights and dimensions of commercial vehicles, as it will improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by 7-10%, leading to more efficient and greener road freight transport operations, while improving road safety through new vehicle design allowing for better driver visibility and increased driver comfort.

However, only allowing a weight of 19 tonnes for 2-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 unfortunately not be enough to meet the needs of customers and businesses, and the industry advocates  a 19.5 tonne maximum weight for two-axle buses and coaches, as recommended by the EU public-private 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 that their use must ensure that electronic data alone should not be used for remote enforcement purposes. Furthermore, any data transmission must not be extended to enforce weight compliance that is not uniformly applied across the EU, and malfunctioning of weight sensor equipment should not constitute an offence in itself.

IRU General Delegate to the EU, Michael Nielsen, stressed, “Before new weight sensor technology is used, it must undergo rigorous testing to demonstrate its accuracy. It is essential that additional controls do not increase the already heavy administrative burden on operators and that any new technology is used as a detection tool, rather than an automatic enforcement method.”

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Discover more about the IRU’s work on sustainable development

Learn more on the EU public-private Smart Move High Level Group

Read the IRU Resolution on the European Modular System


Press contact: Juliette Ebélé, +41 22 918 27 07,




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