Vintage vehicle ownership should be encouraged

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East Galway TD Paul Connaughton this week said that no barriers should be put in front of motorists wishing to own and operate vintage vehicles. This follows the closure of a consultation period in relation to the need for NCT testing of vintage vehicles.
‘In recent weeks I have been contacted by many vintage vehicle owners in county Galway who are concerned that NCT testing of vintage vehicles will make ownership of such vehicles impossible for ordinary families.
‘Many vintage enthusiasts get great enjoyment and satisfaction from their hobby and I would worry that the introduction of an NCT test would make owning such vehicles too difficult for many current owners. Vintage clubs and vintage enthusiasts also carry out very significant fundraising and provide a spectacle at many community events and parades.
‘At the moment cars and motor caravans first registered prior to January 1980 are exempt from compulsory roadworthiness testing. Ambulances buses and goods vehicles are not exempt under this legislation. The options now being considered by the Road Safety Authority include exempting vehicles registered prior to January 1960 or prior to January 1980 or on becoming 30 or 40 years old.
‘Road Safety is a major issue and will be a major consideration in any decision that is taken. However, I believe that vintage vehicles first registered prior to 1980 are not a major threat on our roads. They are usually driven in a leisurely manner and as part of an organised vintage run and if they are driven in a dangerous manner or are in a dangerous condition, there is legislation there to deal with such instances.
‘NCT tests would have to be modified in terms of testing for vintage vehicles, to reflect the standards when the vehicles were built as opposed to the standards that now pertain for new cars, but I believe that we should not over-burden people with legislation and this is one instance where we are in danger of over-burdening motorists with legislation.’