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Brexit pushes MOTs onto Minister's agenda

Brexit pushes MOTs onto Minister's agenda

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Brexit pushes MOTs onto Minister's agenda


Cars and motorbikes will have to be tested every three years from 2021 as part of new international standards for vehicle safety and roadworthiness brought forward ahead of Brexit, under plans being proposed by the Minister for Infrastructure.

Deputy Kevin Lewis yesterday put forward new legislation to extend the United Nations’ Vienna Convention on Motor Traffic to make sure that Jersey residents can continue to drive their own vehicles and hire cars in the EU after March 2019.

If implemented, motorists could pay up to £60 per test.

The Vienna Convention is an international treaty designed to facilitate international road traffic and to increase road safety by establishing standard traffic rules. An overview of what being Vienna-compliant will mean for local motorists was presented to States Members yesterday, ahead of the debate on the new legislation on 20 November.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis, explained the importance of the legislation, telling Members: “From March of next year, our driving licences may no longer be regarded as valid documents by the authorities in other jurisdictions, and our cars may not be able to travel lawfully on Europe’s roads. This is an issue the UK has also faced, and has resolved in the same way that Jersey is seeking to – by becoming signatories of the 1968 United Nations’ Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.”

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Pictured: Deputy Kevin Lewis, the Minister for Infrastructure, said that the new legislation would also make Jersey safer.

The most direct impact the proposed law will have on motorists is the introduction of periodic inspection of all vehicles that are less than 40 years old to ensure they meet minimum standards of roadworthiness. The tests will be introduced gradually:

  • From March 2019: Minibuses will be tested annually 
  • Later in 2019: Under-125cc motorbikes will be tested every two years from the third anniversary of their registration
  • Not before 2021: Cars and larger motorbikes will be tested every three years from the fifth anniversary of the vehicle’s registration.

Deputy Lewis told Members that a new IT system is being introduced to manage the testing.

He added: “While the preparation for Brexit has been the catalyst for its introduction, this legislation will also make Jersey safer and more environmentally-friendly. It is already illegal to drive defective vehicles in Jersey but this law will provide a structured system for checking all our vehicles, whether or not they are driven in the EU.”

Jersey will also have to adopt the format for International Driving Permits laid out by the Convention. Other requirements, which were negotiated by the UK, include seatbelts for drivers in commercial vehicles over 3,500 kgs, the registration of commercial trailers travelling internationally. 

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Pictured: The Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel chaired by Mike Jackson, the Constable of St. Brelade, will be reviewing the proposed changes.

The Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel this morning announced a review of the proposed legislation and whether it is the best option for Jersey. They will also be reviewing possible alternatives and seeking the views of the motor trade, as well as of islanders. They will then prepare a report for the States Assembly before the debate in November. 

St. Brelade Constable Mike Jackson, Chairman of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel, commented: “We are aware that there may be implications resulting from Brexit which could hinder Jersey motorists travelling to Europe which is what has prompted these proposals. However, effective Scrutiny of the proposals is necessary to ensure it is the best solution for Jersey.  It’s also important for the Panel to hear the views of Jersey’s motor trade and the general public, so we can better understand any concerns and impact."

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Posted by William Boyd on
Has Mr Lewis read the Vienna Convention? I have. Nowhere does it say a visiting vehicle has to have any certificate of roadworthiness or an MOT style test to circulate in a foreign country. It states that visiting motor vehicles in a foreign country must adhere to the technical standards in force in the country of its registration i.e. Jersey. That's all, nothing more. Therefore if said country of registration i.e. Jersey does not have an MOT style certification system then it is not a requirement for a Jersey registered vehicle to have an MOT to travel abroad. This red herring has been used by the local motor trade for decades - and I am sorry to say also by some local civil servants - as a basis for bringing in an MOT style scheme in Jersey. If you doubt me then google the Vienna Convention, it is all there in black and white, well it actually isn't Deputy Lewis, it isn't because nowhere will you find the requirement for an MOT to be held by a visiting motor vehicle in the Convention. All a Jersey registered vehicle has to do is conform with the Jersey Construction and Use Regulations. The driving licence brouhaha is also a red herring. UK and Jersey driving licences should be legal for driving as a visitor but not for exchange purposes if one becomes a permanent resident. Brexit getting the blame again. I am awaiting the plague of frogs next to have Brexit blamed on it. Pathetic.
Posted by Henry Amy on
A sledge hammer to crack a possible nut. I can see the possible need to prove a vehicle suitable for driving in France for example. But why penalise other motor vehicle owners who have no intention of leaving Jersey? Henry Amy
Posted by L Brindle on
That'll be in the order of £7million into the States coffers. Kerching.....thanks folks.At least Dick Turpin wore a mask.
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