Amendments to the Vehicles Act circulated for comments

Press release 08.06.2022 16.00 fi sv en

A robot bus. (Mika Pakarinen, Keksi/LVM)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications invites comments on a government proposal to amend the Vehicles Act and certain related acts.

The proposals include a clearer ban on emissions manipulation and a more severe sanctions policy, allowing alternative vehicle propulsion systems, i.e. conversions, on a large scale, and promotion of automation experiments in road transport and clarification of the regulation on small transport robots.

In addition, the proposal aims at introducing into national legislation the amendments required by the EU implementing regulation on the monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

The proposed amendments are based on the needs identified in the previous reform of the Vehicles Act, on the advancement of technology and international regulation, and on the road map for fossil-free transport with regard to propulsion versions.

Banning emissions manipulation and allowing conversions aim at reducing transport emissions

The amendments to the Act would allow conversions, i.e. changes in the propulsion systems, in all vehicle categories and in vehicles of all ages.

The purpose of the amendments is also to clarify the regulation on emissions manipulation. The regulation would prohibit the sale and installation of equipment used for emissions manipulation. It would also be prohibited to modify a vehicle by manipulating emissions.

The regulation would also tighten the regime for sanctioning emissions manipulation, i.e. the imposition of a traffic violation fee and a penalty payment. Penalty payments would be imposed by the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The aim is to eliminate emissions-manipulation-based business and the use of emissions-manipulated vehicles in road transport, and thus reduce emissions, especially from transport.

Automation testing to be promoted and regulation on small transport robots clarified

The regulation would allow the testing of vehicles equipped with automatic driving systems on public roads also without a human driver. It would also allow automation experiments in transport services provided for a charge. The background for the promotion of automation is, in particular, the amendment to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which calls for national regulation.

In future, small transport robots would be classified as vehicles, but they would still be allowed to move on pavement at a speed comparable to pedestrian traffic.

What next?

The deadline for comments on the draft proposal is 29 July 2022. All organisations and private individuals may submit comments at www.lausuntopalvelu.fi. Following the consultation round, the preparations will continue at the Ministry.

The amendments are planned to take effect as of the beginning of 2023.

Inquiries:

Saara Reinimäki, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 303 3065, saara.reinimaki@gov.fi

Eeva Asikainen, Senior Officer, tel. +358 29 516 6204, eeva.asikainen@gov.fi

Kirsi Miettinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Legislative Affairs, tel. +358 29 516 9629, kirsi.miettinen@gov.fi