Northern Ireland suspends all MOT tests due to safety concerns

The Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA), the body responsible for licensing and testing vehicles in Northern Ireland, has suspended all MOT tests following the discovery of serious shortcomings at several test centres.

The organisation said: “Anyone due to get their car or light vehicle MOT tomorrow should not attend. Tests on heavy goods vehicles and buses will continue.” A temporary MOT exemption certificate will be issued to drivers of all vehicles more than four years old.

The announcement comes following the discovery last week of cracks in 48 of Northern Ireland’s 55 state-operated vehicle lifts, prompting the cancellation of around 5000 MOT tests. 

The DVA said later inspections of the faults didn’t provide “sufficient assurance” of the safety of the repairs being carried out by an external contractor.

Paul Duffy, the chief executive of the DVA, spoke to the BBC in the wake of the announcement. “This is hugely embarrassing”, he’s quoted as saying. “I think we have a fairly good reputation, and this is something that has tarnished that reputation.”

The DVA is reported to be considering various means of recommencing MOT tests, including the purchase of new lifts. Drivers have been advised to keep up to date with the situation via social media and the Government website (nidirect.gov.uk).

Unlike in the rest of the UK, MOT tests in Northern Ireland are carried out at 15 centres run by the DVA on behalf of the Government.

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