Cookstown centre sees most unroadworthy vehicles

MORE cars are deemed unroadworthy during vehicle testing at the Cookstown DVA centre than any other centre in Northern Ireland.

Figures from the Department of Environment for last year showed Cookstown issued a significantly higher number of prohibition orders to drivers at annual vehicle inspections.

These orders are issued when a vehicle is deemed to have a fault that consitutes “an immediate danger either to the driver or other road users” and can be banned from the roads.

Last year 141 prohibition orders were issued- no other centre issued more than 100 orders last year.

The Cookstown centre had a pass rate of 73 per cent last year, 42,229 cars were tested, of which 11,125 failed vehicle testing.

Nearly twice the amount of vehicles were tested at the busiest centre in Newtownards (78,742) which had a pass rate of 80 per cent and yet only 98 cars were deemed not fit to drive.

A DOE spokesperson said there were a number of reasons that might explain why there were so many cars given prohibition orders such “as the standards of preparation for vehicles presented for testing”.

They have confirmed they will look at other possible factors and in the meantime have put in measures to monitor future test outcomes.

Environment committee member Tom Elliott reminded drivers that minor defects shouldn’t fail a car’s inspection.

The UUP MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone Tom Elliott MLA received information from DVA that some defects may not on their own constitute a reason for failure or justify the expense for the customer of a retest.

“When vehicles are presented for test they are assessed against the criteria contained within the relevant vehicle inspection manual and where a determination is made that the vehicle is not roadworthy, a test certificate is refused,” he said.

“Motorists should be made aware by examiners what constitutes a minor defect and if there are not more than three minor defects he/she will not be required to have a retest but undertake to have the minor defects rectified without any further expense.”

“The definition of a minor defect is a testable item which in itself is defective but the component failure is unlikely to have an adverse effect on the roadworthiness of the vehicle.”