Romanian initiative voted in the European Parliament: registration of mileage with every PRI (Periodic Roadworthiness Inspection) and fraud punished in all Member States

On 26 April, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new REPORT on the implementation of the road safety aspects of the roadworthiness package with 654 votes in favour, 30 against and 9 abstentions. The main recommendations in the document were introduced as amendments by USRPLUS MEP Vlad Gheorghe. They were adopted in the Committee on Transport and Tourism in February this year.

The most important amendment proposed by the Romanian MEP is the mandatory reading of the mileage at every PRI, service visit, maintenance work and major repair, starting from the first registration of the vehicle. According to estimates, between 5% and 12% of old cars sold in EU countries and between 30% and 50% of those exported within the EU have their odometer read back. The market for used cars in Romania is considerable. This amendment is to protect European citizens and therefore Romanians from a crime that puts their lives at risk.

“Romania ranks first in the EU in the annual number of road accident victims. The periodic technical inspection is not just a formality, but a preventive measure for the safety of citizens. Falsifying the mileage generate an unjustified profit for the seller. In addition, it endangers the buyer, his family and all road users”, explained Vlad Gheorghe, shadow rapporteur for the RENEW EUROPE group.

Harmonised penalties

The report calls for harmonised and concrete sanctions for odometer fraud. These are complemented by measures to combat fraudulent modifications, including appropriate cyber security mechanisms and encryption technologies. This creates barriers to electronic fraudulent manipulation and facilitates its detection. The absence of a consistent database for collecting mileage data for used cars is a key obstacle to detecting odometer fraud. The report therefore mentions the creation of a European vehicle information platform. This could improve and systematise the exchange of information between Member States on mileage, accidents and other events, in line with the European Commission’s road safety policy guidelines for 2011-2020.

Digital recording of vehicle data

Another recommendation concerns the digital recording of vehicle data, without printed documents. The driver should no longer present the vehicle certificate in physical format. The condition of the car should be electronically verifiable to prevent fraud through falsified documentation. It is worth noting that this framework for roadworthiness tests will become a solution for the future. When the opportunity to introduce PRI for 2 and 3 wheelers will also be considered. With regard to new cars, from 2022, they will have to be equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, in line with the updated General Safety Regulation 2019/2144, which makes it necessary to amend the PRI regime to include these systems, as well as the eCall system.

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