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.”
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:
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.
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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