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EU Commission denies Finland 'lightweight cars' exemption

A law which contradicts the EU driving license directive had been due to come into force in November.

kevytautoja autokaupan pihassa vantaalla
The lightweight cars have a maximum speed of 60 kilometres per hour. Image: Jaani Lampinen / Yle

The EU Commission has not granted Finland an exemption for the introduction of lightweight cars onto Finnish roads, according to a statement from the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Due to the commission’s decision, Finland’s law on the use of lightweight cars, which had been due to come into force in November, must now be repealed so that the country's legislation does not conflict with EU law.

The EU Commission had previously notified Finnish authorities that the lightweight cars, also known as speed-limited passenger vehicles, would be too dangerous for Finnish roads and were in breach of the EU driving license directive.

The cars were due to have a minimum driving age minimum of 15 years instead of the normal 18, with a maximum speed of 60 km/h and an unladen mass of 1,500 kg, or 1,800 kg for fully electric versions.

The Finnish Cyclists Federation filed a complaint with the EU Commission in early 2019, arguing that the law change would allow underage teens to drive the vehicles without adequate training or experience.

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