CONTROVERSIAL plans to force cars more than six years old to undergo an annual NCT have been dropped.
A Dail committee heard that the measure, proposed last summer, was now unlikely to go ahead and that it would have cost Irish motorists some €19m a year and required new testing centres to be built.
But the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has expressed concern about other elements of an EU Roadworthiness package including an obligation to recognise an NCT issued in another member state, even where the testing standards were not as high.
Chief executive Noel Brett told the Dail Transport Committee that different testing regimes were in place across the EU and that, if implemented, it could mean that cars which didn't meet the Irish standard could be used here.
"This is a major issue for Ireland and it is not clear how the commission intends that this be implemented," he said.
"There are differences in lighting, weights and plating that must be tested. This means that member states may have to allow vehicles to operate on their territory which are tested to a lesser standard."
But he expressed disappointment that a mandatory testing regime for mopeds and motorcycles six years or older has been dropped.
He said 15 of the 27 EU member states had mandatory testing in place, and that although motorcycles only represented 1.5pc of the national fleet, motorcyclists accounted for almost 10pc of all fatalities.
"This will now be a matter for national policy," he said. "As a motorcyclist, per km travelled, the rider/pillion passenger is 24 times more likely to die in an accident than a car occupant.
"EU research shows that the top three accident relevant defects on motorcycles were low tyre pressure, defective lights and insufficient tread depth, all of which faults are easily detectable at a roadworthiness test."
The committee also heard from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), which said between 2003 and 2012, almost half of all 573 reported deaths in the workplace involved a vehicle.
Some 84 farm deaths (47pc) involved tractors and machinery. Tractors are currently exempt from roadworthiness testing, but the EU proposes introducing a test after four years and every two years after.
"This upward trend in tractor related deaths is a great concern for the sector," HSA chief executive Martin O'Halloran said.
"The authority supports mandatory testing of tractors registered for use on the public road."