Although the process of Brexit is ongoing, the Department continues to have an obligation to align local legislation relating to motor vehicle testing with the latest changes to European legislation. In this instance, the Department is implementing EU Directive 2014/45/EU, which sets out the standards for roadworthiness testing across the European Union.
For the average motorist, the most noticeable changes will be the testing of reversing lights and forward fog lamps, where fitted. Some existing exemptions from testing for special purpose vehicles are being removed.
Implementing the Directive will require changes to the legislative framework covering vehicle testing in Northern Ireland. The main amendments will be to the Goods Vehicles (Tests) Regulations (NI) 2003, the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations (NI) 1999 and the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (NI) 2000. However, minor amendments will also have to be made to the Public Service Vehicle Regulations (NI) 1985 and the Taxi Licensing Regulations (NI) 2015. Similar changes are being prepared in Great Britain.
The consultation will seek views on how best to introduce the changes. The new provisions are required to be implemented throughout all member States by early May 2018. The technical changes are minor and will have little impact on either the private, public or voluntary sectors.