05 December 2017
Driver and Vehicle Standards (DVS) intends to introduce annual roadworthiness inspections (ARI) in 2018 for large commercial vehicles.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) plans to introduce a Vehicle Operator Licensing Scheme and has been engaging with the industry and exploring options for the formulation of the scheme.
In advance of the introduction of the full Licencing Scheme, the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Eddie Noel, would like to start by implementing annual roadworthiness inspections early in 2018.
The aim of Vehicle Operator Licencing is to set a basic standard of maintenance and inspections that should be expected for large commercial vehicles. Poor maintenance can lead to excess exhaust emissions as well as vehicles becoming unroadworthy, which is a risk to public safety and should be minimised.
Initially, inspections will be compulsory for all commercial vehicles over 7.5 tonnes, those passing the inspection will be issued with a Certificate of Compliance, which will be valid for 12 months. This will later be extended, in 2019, to include vehicles that fall into the over 3.5 to 7.5 tonnes category.
Deputy Noel said “Unfortunately, road checks have uncovered some commercial vehicles in a very poor and dangerous condition. We cannot allow this to continue. We have been talking to the industry, where there has been significant support for this initiative. Those operators who take care of their vehicles will not find the scheme onerous.”
Commercial vehicle operators have recognised the benefits of vehicle operator licencing.
Brian Hall of AAL Recycling said, “Operator licencing will contribute positively towards safety on the Island’s roads and will provide a structure for the overall improvement of haulage fleets.”
Another operator, Nigel Blandin of 4Group said, “It will enable us to prove the quality of our vehicles and the people who drive them.”
Yan Skinner from Norman Ltd added, “Normans Ltd are looking to the introduction of the operator licence as it will create a level playing field for all operators and goods vehicles.”