As the Coronavirus lockdown begins to ease, tens of thousands of dangerous cars could be returning to Irish roads due to the current suspension of the NCT.
NCT data for 2019, for the 2 months of April and May last year, show 124,918 cars failed the NCT. Of these, 107,477 were classed as major failures and 17,441 were classed as failed dangerous.
The Road Safety Authority states that vehicles with dangerous defects identified, constitute a direct and immediate risk to road safety such that, the vehicle should not be used on the road under any circumstances. The vehicle must be repaired, presented for re-inspection and pass before an NCT Certificate can be issued. It is illegal for a vehicle to be driven on a public road with dangerous defects, which means the driver may incur penalty points and a court appearance if caught by An Garda Síochána.
Based on last year’s figures, over 17,000 cars could now be on Irish roads in a seriously dangerous condition, with this figure rising on a weekly basis. This clearly demonstrates the need for the early return of the NCT in an adapted form if required. Currently cars due to be tested in the period from March to May have been granted a 4 month NCT extension.
The law does require that vehicle owners keep their vehicles in a roadworthy condition, however, with Garda resources currently stretched spot checks are highly unlikely. The problem is also compounded by vehicle owners skipping servicing and maintenance to save money, a move that can often prove more costly in the long term.