European Union Calls for Safety Crackdown on Imported Mini-Bikes

July 13, 2006

The European Union called for a crackdown on mini-motorbikes, claiming the machines pose serious risk to users, notably children, because most of the imported bikes do not meet European safety standards.

EU officials said they had placed the mini-combustible engine bike on the EU’s alert list of unsafe products, adding they were in most cases being imported illegally.

“These bikes are designed to appeal to youngsters trough their small size and speed, but they are not toys and can kill,” said EU Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou.

His spokesman Philip Tod said five deaths in Britain last year and one fatality in Sweden this year were blamed on the use of the smaller scale copies of normal-size motorbikes.

Tod said the European Commission had alerted all member states to act immediately to ensure the withdrawal of the mini-bike models deemed to be unsafe and to improve overall testing for the machines before they could be put on sale.

Under EU law, all such products need to have the “CE” safety label on them if they are to be sold within the 25-nation bloc.

Tod said the commission had been notified of numerous safety problems related to the mini-bikes in recent months, adding several national authorities have found major design and construction defects in imports, most of which came from Asia. Tod said the products were also being used on public roads, which is illegal in all EU countries.

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