Lucky Break: All Northern Ireland Car Owners Get a Pass on Safety Tests After Test Centers Deemed…Unsafe

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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lucky break all northern ireland car owners get a pass on safety tests after test

Northern Ireland has called off all mandated MoT inspections of passenger vehicles after it discovered that its state-run test centers are in worse condition than many of the cars undergoing testing.

It’s a black eye for the Driver & Vehicle Agency, the body tasked with ensuring vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards, but it’s a lucky reprieve for drivers fearing an upcoming test. DVA boss Paul Duffy called the situation “hugely embarrassing.”

As reported by the BBC, an inspection of the test centers last week revealed that the vast majority of their lifts show signs of cracking. While tests on commercial trucks and buses will continue, the DVA cancelled all passenger vehicle tests on Tuesday, telling drivers scheduled for a test to stay away.

An exemption certificate will be issued to drivers of cars over four years old, the DVA said.

“I think we have a fairly good reputation and this is something that has tarnished that reputation,” Duffy said, adding that the move came after the contractor tasked with maintaining the 55 lifts couldn’t confirm that they were, in fact, safe to use. Some 48 of those lifts showed signs of cracking.

Before today’s unprecedented move, Northern Ireland had already cancelled 5,000 tests at its 15 test centers.

Newer vehicles that can’t gain an exemption (as there’s no certificate to extend) will be given priority, shuffled through the truck and bus bays, the DVA said. In the meantime, Duffy said the Infrastructure Minister has asked for a second opinion on the condition of the lifts, while the DVA goes about costing a full set of new lifts.

[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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8 of 11 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jan 28, 2020

    My home state requires annual emissions tests. The lines/wait times used to be horrible (think of the DMV). Several years ago the state contracted with a private company to run the emissions testing centers. The lines are now very short (sometimes drive right in with no waiting), the hours are better, the service is friendly/polite, and they recently *lowered* the price.

    • See 1 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jan 28, 2020

      @redapple "Govt does NOTHING well !!!!!!" That's wrong. They know how waste taxpayers money better than anyone else.

  • ScarecrowRepair ScarecrowRepair on Jan 28, 2020

    So the lifts are too unsafe for cars, but ok for buses and commercial trucks? Makes sense, for a government project :-)

    • See 1 previous
    • Millerluke Millerluke on Jan 29, 2020

      Many heavy truck and bus shops don't use lifts, they have a vehicle drive over a pit. The work is done from below the vehicle without needing to raise it. It also means the shops don't need 20 or 30 foot high roofs

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Jan 28, 2020

    When I visited England a few years ago I did some investigating into their MoT inspections. Stuff like that triggered the American revolution.

  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Jan 30, 2020

    CVIPs are done over a pit, as stated by @millerluke. My Dad, as a young Irish man in Northern England rocking a battered MG TD, used to trade parts with his friends and fellow TD drivers before the annual inspections. According to my Dad, it took three cars to get one to pass.