Periodic Technical Inspection – MAG Ireland position statement

Periodic Technical Inspection – or “NCT for bikes” – has been proposed by the EU as a means of reducing motorcycle casualties.

While MAG Ireland are not opposed to the concept of Periodic Technical Inspection, we are opposed to dressing it up as a “Safety” initiative.

  • There is no evidence that mechanical failure of the motorcycle is in any way a statistically significant factor in motorcycle accidents. The MAIDS report shows that a mere 0.3% of accidents had mechanical failure as a primary causal factor, and a further 1.6% as secondary factors.
  • Experience in countries which have PTI for motorcycles show significantly better pass rates than for passenger cars (fewer than 20% fail first time in the UK, most often for misaligned / faulty lights)
  • PTI is an additional cost for the rider and prohibitively expensive in the Irish context where motorcycles are just 2% of the road traffic fleet.

MAG Ireland knows that we as riders are already aware of our vulnerability. We understand that faults commonly found on cars such as worn wheel bearings make a motor cycle impossible to ride at all. This is why so few bikes fail technical inspections. The EU commission seems not to understand this.

MAG Ireland recognise that PTI will discourage some worrying practices which have become evident in recent times, such as neglecting to replace worn brake pads and tyres until their condition is dangerous. MAG Ireland would like to encourage all riders to take responsibility for the condition of their vehicles, and to ensure they are, at all times, in roadworthy condition.

In an Irish context, were PTI to be implemented at the existing 46 NCT centres, assuming Ireland’s 51,000 registered motorcycles are distributed approximately evenly across the centres – there would be a call for a qualified motorcycle technician to inspect a mere 5 motorcycles daily (allowing for retests). It is evident that the cost of wages and equipment required would far exceed the income, the benefits of implementing such a regieme. It is MAG Ireland’s position, that if PTI is to be introduced, it should be run in a manner similar to the UK MOT, where the local mechanics and garages perform the tests.