An overview of how Jersey would implement international standards for vehicle safety and roadworthiness has been presented to States Members today (Tuesday, 25 September).
Legislation lodged today, and due to be debated on 20 November, will enable the United Nations’ Vienna Convention on Motor Traffic to be extended to Jersey. This is necessary to ensure that, after Brexit in March 2019, Jersey residents can continue to drive their own vehicles and hire cars in the EU.
The Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis, has explained the importance of the legislation and given an overview of what being Vienna-compliant will mean for motorists.
He told 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.”
The standards needed to comply with Vienna had been negotiated with the UK and were set out in the legislation, he told Members. 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 proposal is:
- 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 vehicle owners would be charged up to £60 per test, and that a new IT system was being introduced to manage the testing. He said: “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.”