For the last two years the British automotive engineering research firm Knibb, Gormezano and Partners has worked as a member of the Autofore consortium developing future options for roadworthiness testing and enforcement in Europe under the umbrella of CITA, the Brussels-based International Vehicle Inspection Committee . This work has now been completed and KGP says the proposals will, if implemented, have significant ramifications for many firms within the automotive and transport sectors.
At the end of January a final report of the ‘Autofore’ project was delivered to the European Commission recommending that more frequent periodic technical inspections of older cars, inspection of electronically controlled systems and periodic inspection of motorcycles are immediate steps that could be taken to improve road safety and environmental protection, according to a recent European study. In the UK, recent proposals for bi-annual testing to replace the current annual MOT test created a furore among aftermarket trade associations, some of whose members depend substantially on MOT test fees and on the related repair work.
On the basis of available accident data and economic analysis, the ‘AUTOFORE’ report recommends in the short term:
A) That older cars and vans are inspected annually (currently the European Directive only requires inspection every two years once a car or van is four years old, though some member states already require more frequent inspection);
B) Adding widely fitted safety relevant electronically controlled systems, such as antilock braking (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) and airbags to the list of items that must be inspected;
C) Adding motorcycles and mopeds to the list of vehicle classes that should be inspected periodically.
In addition, the report recommends in the longer term further work to investigate further improvements to periodic vehicle inspection, to inspect other safety-related electronic technologies, to develop other ways of ensuring that road vehicles remain roadworthy and to further harmonise European roadworthiness standards.
This report, its appendices and annexes is available for free download on the CITA website www.citavehicleinspection.
It is also published on the website of the European Commission -http://ec.europa.eu/transport/roadsafety/publications/projectfiles/autofore_en.htm
Autofore was funded 50% by the European Commission and 50% by contributions from CITA members.