Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar is publishing new laws to overhaul the testing regime for commercial vehicles such as buses and lorries.
The Road Safety Bill 2012, passed by Cabinet this week, proposes new spot checks for testing centres and random roadside checks for light and heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches. For the first time, commercial vehicle testing centres across the country will have to comply with a uniform nationwide standard, which will be enforced by the Road Safety Authority (RSA). The transfer of this responsibility from local authorities to the RSA is expected to save in the region of €4.5 million.
In Ireland, around one in five fatal collisions involve commercial vehicles, yet the existing system has been largely unchanged since 1982. The Bill was drafted to take into account key recommendations from a review of the bus crashes in Kentstown, Co Meath and Clara, Co Offaly. The Bill proposes that the RSA will take over centralised supervision and licensing of private testing centres for commercial vehicles. There will also be a new roadside inspections programme to ensure continuous compliance with roadworthiness standards, including random checks of vehicles.