EEA EFTA States aim to strengthen Weights and Dimensions Directive to promote road safety

Published 08-03-2024

In a joint EEA EFTA Comment, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway welcome the European Commission’s proposal for a revised Weights and Dimensions Directive, as included in the Road Safety Package. 

The Commission’s Road Safety Package aims to improve safety for all road users and facilitate the transition to zero-emission vehicles. Within the package, the Weights and Dimensions Directive establishes the rules that heavy-duty vehicles must comply with to improve road safety, prevent road damage and ensure fair competition in the road transport sector.  

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway support the Commission’s ambition to promote road safety, free movement, intermodal transport and zero-emission vehicles. However, they make several specific recommendations to strengthen the proposed directive. 

The EEA EFTA States express concern about neighbouring EEA States having less flexibility to make bilateral agreements that allow vehicles exceeding the weight and dimension limits set in the directive to operate and circulate across borders. These restrictions could adversely affect trade, transport costs, and greenhouse gas emissions, and could exacerbate challenges related to the shortage of drivers. Therefore, established practices in cross-border traffic between neighbouring EEA States should be continued under the revised directive. 

The EEA EFTA States encourage the introduction of additional technical requirements under the revised directive with regard to the minimum distance between the rearmost axle of the motor vehicle and the front axle of the (semi) trailer. They make this recommendation to facilitate free movement and to prevent unnecessary restrictions on certain road sectors. 

The EEA EFTA States support the introduction of specific conditions for authorising the circulation of European Modular Systems (EMS) on national territories and in international traffic. The provision of clear, harmonised conditions and predictability will likely increase EEA operators’ uptake of EMS, which in turn will improve energy and operational efficiency, contributing to achieving the transport policy’s greening objectives. 

The EEA EFTA States recommend including tracking requirements for the entire European Modular System and not solely for the individual vehicles it comprises. This will ease traffic and improve road safety, particularly when assessing accessibility in challenging geographical locations. 

EEA EFTA Comments are one of the tools the EEA EFTA States use to participate in shaping EU policies, programmes, and legislation. 

Read the full EEA EFTA Comment here

All EEA EFTA Comments are available here

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