Published Friday, 18 May 2012
22 vehicles were found to be unroadworthy during roadside checks. (© Pacemaker)
Roadside checks were carried out between January and March of this year for the first bus compliance survey for Northern Ireland.
The survey checked for both the roadworthiness of the vehicle and also for traffic offences, such as tax, insurance and licensing.
A total of 483 buses were inspected during the survey, of which 16.8% had a serious roadworthiness defect. One tenth of the checks uncovered a serious traffic offence.
Nearly one quarter of vehicles had at least one serious roadworthiness defect and/ or were committing at least one serious traffic offence.
Nine checks of buses resulted in a prosecution notice. There were 22 vehicles declared unfit to be on the roads.
The most common serious defects were issues with lights and signals and other mechanical defects.
Traffic offences recorded were mostly for bodywork or other PSV offences. A further 65 vehicles also received a verbal warning.
The 483 vehicles checked included 47 Mini-buses, 160 buses, 275 coaches and one limousine.
Most of the vehicles stopped during the survey were privately operated, details of any publicly operated vehicles checked were not provided.
The overall level of buses that were compliant on Northern Ireland roads was 77.4%.
Karen Magill, chief executive of the Federation of Passenger Transport Northern Ireland, has welcomed the checks and said safety was a priority.
"The Federation's members are committed to ensuring passenger safety and the highest level of compliance and good practice and an average of 97% of members companies coaches pass their PSV re-certification to assess their roadworthiness first time.
"In addition, it is notable that 96% of all Translink buses, who are our largest member, pass their PSV re-certification first time.
"These statistics for Northern Ireland are above the Great Britain standard where the first time pass rate of large operators is 93%."