Businesses and fleet operators urged to ensure valid NCT certificates in place

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The importance for businesses and fleet operators to ensure all vehicles have current valid NCT certificates is being highlighted by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

In a communication issued by Interactive Driving Systems, a global provider of driver safety management solutions, in association with the RSA, it notes that failure to hold a valid NCT certificate has been a ‘straight-to-court’ offence which attracted 5 penalty points on conviction since 2009, but that since December last year it falls within the Fixed Charge Payment System. This means that persons have the option of paying €60 and receiving 3 penalty points on payment of the Fixed Charge rather than automatically being required to go to court.

Passenger vehicles require their first NCT on the 4th anniversary of their registration date. Following this, the NCT is required every two years until the vehicle is 10 years old, whereafter an NCT is required every year.

The Garda Automatic Number Plate Recognition System (ANPR) can now scan traffic for cars with no NCT. With an estimated 250,000 vehicles at any time being used without a valid NCT, the introduction of the fixed charge offence, and the use of ANPR is to encourage these car owners to abide by the law.

The communication highlights that Voluntary Early Testing was introduced in July last year. It allows vehicles to be presented for test at any time more than 90 days in advance of the test due date.  The certificate issued will be valid for 1 or 2 years from the date of the successful test and future test dates will be reset to the anniversary/bi-annual of the test.  This could be very useful to businesses to plan testing at a time that suits their needs.

Interactive Driving Systems and the RSA note that for organisations, this makes grey fleet management particularly important, with databases required to capture NCT due dates to allow compliance checks and timely alerts to drivers.

Deirdre Sinnott, Senior Policy Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority has welcomed the communication, commenting that it’s a timely reminder about compliance with the NCT car test for those who manage those who drive for work.