Décision de justice

The Conseil d’État rules that the delay in introducing roadworthiness tests for motorbikes and scooters is illegal

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Following the emergency suspension of the decree of 9 August 2021 in May, the Conseil d’État has ruled that the date for entry into force of roadworthiness testing for two-wheeled motor vehicles – which this decree set as 1 January 2023 – is illegal, because it conflicts with the date for entry into force specified in Directive 2014/45 of 3 April 2014. Having studied the merits of the case, the Conseil d’État noted that, to comply with European law, the Government had chosen to bring in roadworthiness testing rather than implementing alternative measures. On the date the Government issued the decree, it could not introduce roadworthiness testing for two-wheeled motor vehicles later than 1 January 2022, as provided for by the Directive of 3 April 2014. Today, the Conseil d’État, therefore, annulled the timetable for implementing roadworthiness testing for two-wheeled motor vehicles, which the Government had decreed on 9 August 2021.

European regulations  require periodic roadworthiness testing to be carried out on two- and three-wheeled vehicles and quad bikes with an engine capacity greater than 125 cc (categories L3e, L4e, L5e and L7e), from 1 January 2022. However, it allows States to exclude these categories of vehicles from testing if they have implemented and notified the European Commission of alternative road safety measures based on relevant road safety statistics.

In a Decree of 9 August 2021 , the Government decided to make roadworthiness testing for two-wheeled motor vehicles mandatory, setting 1 January 2023 as the effective start date for this obligation for vehicles registered before 1 January 2016, and phasing in the obligation for vehicles registered after 1 January 2016 between 2024 and 2026. In a ruling of 12 August 2021, the Minister of Transport “suspended” this decree. 

Several associations contested this timetable for implementation, claiming that it went against the public interest in terms of road safety and protecting people from the air and noise pollution caused by such vehicles.

The Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judge suspended the disputed decree on 17 May 2022, concluding that there were serious doubts about its legality.

After examining the merits of the case, the Conseil d’État reached a verdict, as a court ruling on the misuse of power, assessing the legality of the opposed decree on the basis of its date. It noted that, through the opposed decree, the Government had chosen to introduce the requirement for roadworthiness testing for two-wheeled motor vehicles and not to implement alternative measures, which would allow such vehicles to be excluded from the obligation to undergo testing. The government could not then legally choose the date of 1 January 2023 for the application of roadworthiness testing for two-wheeled motor vehicles as this was later than the deadline of 1 January 2022 set by the directive.

On these grounds, the Conseil d’État ruled that, by setting the date for entry into force of roadworthiness testing for two-wheeled motor vehicles as 1 January 2023, the disputed decree was illegal. It thus pronounced the retroactive annulment of the decree as it delayed the introduction of the obligation after 1 January 2022. 

The Conseil d'État also today annulled the Minister of Transport’s decision of 12 August 2021 that “suspended” this decree. As the execution of laws and exercise of regulatory power comes under the authority of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport could not legally make such a decision.  
Decisions Nos. 457398 and 456131 of 29 July 2022

 

Read the decisions n°457398 and 456131

 

 1European Directive 2014/45 of 3 April 2014
 2Decree No. 2021-1062 of 9 August 2021