FTA Ireland (FTAI) is urging the Road Safety Authority to relax its rules around commercial vehicle testing during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow businesses to continue operating while adhering to the government’s strict social distancing rules.
Aidan Flynn, General Manager of FTAI, comments: “FTAI is calling for the Road Safety Authority to relax the rules of the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test (CVRT) urgently; this would allow operators to continue to drive their vehicles on the road legally for a fixed period of time outside the expiry of their CVRT test. With vehicle testers now running reduced services to abide by the government’s social distancing rule, this move is vital to ensure commercial vehicles – many of which are used to provide essential services to the community – can stay on the road.
“In these exceptional times, government should seek to unwind and relax industry legislation, not to hinder business, but to protect it and ensure high safety standards remain in place throughout the pandemic. At FTAI, we have welcomed the recent changes to renewals of Driver CPC cards and the postponement of onsite compliance visits by the Road Safety Authority and the derogation of driving times rules; all vital changes in this time of need. Businesses in the freight distribution and logistics sector need to concentrate on making sure the essential supply chain stays functional on a national and international basis.”
On 26 March 2020, the European Commission announced that it does not object to extensions being granted by national authorities, providing that they are not granted to operators or vehicles that did not meet the requirements before the COVID-19 crisis and on the basis that it is time-limited.
Mr Flynn continues “With several EU countries already extending the validity of expired certificates for three months, FTAI is urging the Road Safety Authority to agree to a relaxation as a matter of urgency. Commercial fleet operators want to drive legally on the roads, but we need to be fair in our approach and understanding of the hardship all of us in the haulage, freight distribution sector are in at the moment; everything that can be done, should be done, to make the current situation easier for everyone on the front line.”
FTA Ireland is a not-for-profit membership trade association for the Irish freight, passenger and logistics industries. We are wholly owned and governed by our members, and act solely in advancing their best interests. FTA Ireland covers all aspects of private and public freight transport, passenger transport and logistics supply chain, including road, rail, sea and air. FTAI represents some of the largest freight and passenger operators in Ireland, with more than 25,000 employees and 10,000 vehicles operating between them.