Sunday 23 October 2016

Why there is little hope of swift action on write-offs

Published 25/05/2016 | 02:30

Alan Green, new president of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).
Alan Green, new president of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).

Judging by a response to queries by 'Independent Motors' from the Department of Transport we won't see much real progress on dealing with dangerous used imports any time soon.

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The Government's failure to deal with the dangers posed by write-offs has been described as 'scandalous'.

Alan Green (pictured), new president of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), urged Transport Minister Shane Ross to fast-track regulations. But a department spokesman told us that the issues involved are 'complex'.

Mr Greene warns: "The ability to register used cars in Ireland that have been written off and removed from service in their original country because they are not safe for use on the roads, is nothing short of scandalous.

"In such cases the EU recognises that member states have a right to require such vehicles undergo a road-worthiness test in advance of registration and we are calling for implementation of such a system without further delay."

Legislation, which was drafted years ago, still awaits enactment, he said. If in place it would make it legally compulsory for a write-off to be recorded on the NVDF (National Vehicle and Driver File) so the car could never be used again.

A car that had been seriously damaged, but safely repaired, would also be recorded on the NVDF, Mr Greene claimed.

But a department spokesman said legislation dealing with write-offs can only be advanced following legal advice and careful examination of "how robust and effective any measures introduced would be".

"Given the legal and technical complexities involved, any provisions introduced will need to build upon existing arrangements governing written-off vehicles," he said.

The spokesman added the department is currently developing a range of "practicable approaches".

'Motors' has published many reports on write-offs over the years, adding to calls for action from the RSA and SIMI among many others. But it looks like real action is some way off.

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