Thousands of people are driving vehicles that are not road worthy, putting their lives and those of others at serious risk, new figures reveal.
About 6,000 owners submitted cars unworthy for an NCT in 2017. In these cases, the NCT staff advised them that their car should be towed and not driven from the test centre.
The test centre staff also apply a special sticker to the windscreens of such vehicles, which indicates the dangerous condition it has been found to be in. Additionally, an NCT staff member will read out a formal statement to each such owner.
Eddie Cunningham, motoring editor of the Irish Independent, pointed out that the figures for ‘fail dangerous’ vehicles remain stubbornly consistent year after year. Those for 2014, for example, came to 4,800. The total up to early December last year ran to 5,903.
He added that the vast majority of owners are completely shocked at the news of how unsafe their car is, and immediately agree to have it towed away. However, a minority ignore warnings and drive.
When contacted by the Irish Independent, an RSA spokesman said: “The vehicles were considered to constitute a direct and immediate risk to road safety and should not be used on the road under any circumstances.”
The RSA spokesman added: “When the NCT was first introduced, more than four per cent of vehicles failed with a dangerous defect. Since then there has been a phenomenal increase in the number, and age, of cars on our roads. In today’s terms, that would be 60,000 dangerously defective vehicles on our roads if we didn’t have the NCT.”
The Irish Independent pointed out the increase in detections is attributable to higher volumes of older cars being tested more regularly - every year for those aged 10 and older.
The main reasons for ‘fail dangerous’ verdicts last year included: Impossible to close doors properly because they were badly out of alignment with the body of the car; fuel hoses so badly frayed they could have started a fire if petrol dripped onto hot areas of the engine; bodywork was so seriously corroded that the car was structurally dangerous; unevenly worn, bulging or bald tyres.