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Union tells driving testers not to accept cars without valid NCT, against RSA stance

The requirement for a valid certificate was temporarily suspended because of Covid-19 delays.

A TRADE UNION has told driver testers that they should only carry out tests in a vehicle with a valid NCT, in conflict with instructions from the Road Safety Authority.

Fórsa, the union representing testers, has told them that from today they should only conduct a driving test in vehicles carrying a valid NCT even as a backlog continues.

The requirement for cars to have a valid certificate was temporarily suspended because of delays in securing an NCT due to Covid-19.

The RSA has instructed testers to continue to waive the requirement if a car presented for a test does not have a valid certificate, according to the union.

In a letter sent to RSA management today, Fórsa Assistant General Secretary Derek Kelleher described it as a “health and safety issue for our members” because the “vehicle a customer presents for their test becomes the RSA staff member’s workplace”.

“The only way of ensuring that a vehicle is safe and roadworthy is when it has a valid NCT certificate. Without this, it is difficult to ascertain the health and safety risks to our members if they are forced to carry out their work in a vehicle that does not have the certificate,” Kelleher said.

“Ultimately, they do not know what risk this poses to their safety, and limiting tests to vehicles that have a valid NCT helps mitigate the risk.”

He said that “instructing our members to only conduct a driving test in a vehicle with a valid NCT is a reasonably practicable way of increasing their safety at work, and aligns with the General Principles of Prevention within the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005″.

Delays to NCT appointments during Covid-19 caused long waits to persist even after the pandemic subsided.

Data from December 2022 compiled by the NCT Service showed that Kells in County Meath had the longest wait time of any centre of that time at 42 days.

As of February, the average wait between booking an appointment and the next available appointment date was 27 days, compared to a pre-pandemic average of 12 days.

Meanwhile, wait times for driving tests have also far surpassed pre-pandemic levels, hovering around 19 weeks compared to a target of ten.

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