The Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) has suspended the testing of HGVs (lorries) and trailers, and buses for three months, following the latest advice about the spread of the Coronavirus.
All HGV and PSV vehicles except taxis, with an MOT, will be issued with a 3-month Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC).
Vehicles owners are required by law to ensure that their vehicle must be maintained, kept safe to drive (roadworthy) and operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I have taken the decision to suspend the testing of HGVs, buses and trailers to help tackle the spread of Coronavirus. These are necessary precautionary measures to protect staff and customers and adhere to public health authority guidelines on social distancing. All of these vehicles will be issued with a three month Temporary Exemption Certificate (TEC). It will also mean that HGVs, buses and trailers do not need to take time out to attend an MOT test at this difficult time.
“At this exact moment I have no legal way of issuing TECs to four year old cars and taxis, but my officials are urgently trying to resolve this. I have requested urgent legal advice and am exploring how I might move as quickly as possible to suspend all MOTs for the duration of this outbreak. The DVA is putting social distancing measures in place for the small number of MOT tests that are required for these vehicles until we quickly get to full suspension.
“The safety of staff and customers is my absolute priority. I support the clear advice from the Public Health Agency for the public to practise social distancing and to stay at home as much as possible. That is why I am working as quickly as possible in my Department to remove any risks.
“I understand that this necessary suspension will cause further disruption to our MOT testing centres, however by following the advice we will keep each other safe and save lives. Advice will be available for customers online on nidirect and staff have received assurances about pay. I am grateful for the support and patience of the public and staff right across my Department at this hugely challenging time.”
Speaking about the suspension of HGV testing in Northern Ireland, FTA’s NI Policy Manager, Seamus Leheny said: “This announcement of the suspension of HGV testing in Northern Ireland as a result of the coronavirus is a pragmatic one, which gives logistics operators some certainty about their ability to operate in the coming months. FTA is delighted that the Department for Infrastructure has listened to the concerns of our sector. We understand that testing will continue for LGVs until further notice, which will further help the logistics sector to support NI business at such a difficult time.”