Tests and checks on all vehicles are crucial to ensure they are fit to be on the road.

The road worthiness of commercial vehicles in particular is of grave importance as so many accidents occur each day in Ireland and across Europe.  Many of these accidents may have been prevented if technical faults had been identified and fixed in time.  To this end, the European parliament decided to increase the boundaries of vehicle testing.  In March 2014 it encored an EU legislative on roadworthiness and these new measures come into place in the coming weeks.

Periodic vehicle inspections (Directive 2014/45/EU).

This relates to improving the quality of the tests with certain standards being compulsory for the test centre including both equipment and the standard of personnel performing the testing. The testing will consider impact on the environment, as well as safety aspect.

Vehicle registration documents (Directive 2014/46/EU)

Technical data such as mileage counter readings from the previous tests will be made available to inspectors, which will make it easier to spot any attempt at tampering. Member states must recognise a roadworthiness certificate issued by another member state.

Roadside inspections of commercial vehicles (Directive 2014/47/EU).

Between periodic inspections, additional on-the-spot roadside checks will be carried out for commercial vehicles. These include increased checks on the securing of goods during these roadside inspections.

The aim of these rules is to improve road safety and set minimum common standards across the European Union. Member states have until 20 May 2017 to adopt the laws, regulations and administrative measures necessary to comply with the three directives.

Minimum standards

The rules will set new minimum common standards across the EU for vehicle testing and inspectors’ training and competences. In addition, at least five per cent of the commercial vehicles on roads in the EU as a whole will be subject to roadside inspections. Member States can also impose stricter standards than those laid down in the rules if they wish.