By on January 28, 2020

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]

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