DVA Enforcement Section is responsible for enforcing a wide range of legislation pertaining to goods vehicles, buses and taxis. It also checks private cars and agricultural vehicles.
Enforcement activity contributes to the Department of the Environment's strategic objectives to improve road safety and ensure proper regulation of operators, drivers and their vehicles by:
- Reducing the number of unsafe drivers and vehicles on Northern Irelands roads
- Ensuring fair competition within the road haulage, bus and taxi industries
- Reducing damage to road and bridge networks
- Improving the environmental standard of the country
Enforcement Section's work involves enforcing compliance requirements in respect of:
- Vehicle Weights
- Vehicle Roadworthiness
- Tachographs and Drivers' Hours
- Enforcement of Vehicle Excise Duty
- Enforcement of Public Service Vehicle (Bus and Taxi) Regulations
- Enforcement of Driver Licensing and Insurance requirements
- Clean Air (Emissions)
- Enforcement of Special Types Vehicles (Abnormal Loads)
Enforcement Section also investigate complaints about suspected illegal use of vehicles, provide advice about enforcement requirements, and assess operators' premises for compliance with the requirements of the licensing system.
The Agency's Compliance Section comprises a small team of specialist staff responsible for developing and implementing the Agency's compliance strategy. This strategy is aimed primarily at improving levels of non-compliance with road traffic legislation within the private car sector through reducing the number of defective vehicles operating on Northern Ireland's roads without a valid MOT Vehicle Test Certificate in force.
The Agency's primary function of testing vehicles and drivers in Northern Ireland is to ensure that legislative mandates aimed at improving road safety are met. However there is increasing evidence, which shows that many vehicles evade the testing process, thereby limiting the effectiveness of our efforts and placing road users at unnecessary risk.
Is there a significant problem?
To establish the extent of non-compliance in Northern Ireland the team have carried out a series of roadside vehicle assessments and MOT evasion surveys. The information from these provides a baseline against which future improvement can be measured.
The Agency's Compliance Strategy is being taken forward on a number of key fronts, which include:
- Identifying how best the agency can assist and help the public become fully compliant
- Creating a "Compliance Culture" in which vehicle owners and drivers recognise and value the contribution vehicle testing makes to road safety
- Ensuring that all the Agency's booking and testing systems are made as user friendly as possible
- Introducing a new legislative provision, making the display of an MOT Vehicle Test Disc mandatory
- Introducing a vehicle test appointment reminder system
It is intended to extend the compliance strategy in due course to address the full range of Agency activities including all categories of vehicles and the approved driver instructor team.