Changes to the mandatory ITV vehicle safety testing procedure will come into force in May.
Users of vehicles who suffer a failure or negative result will be able to go to a different test centre for the retest, as long as the faults have been rectified.
ITV test centres will be obliged to have diagnostic reading tools that can be connected to the on-board computers of the vehicles. This way it will be possible to detect if malicious software has been installed that alters the operation of the Airbag, the catalysts, or the particle filters.
Likewise, reviews should also be made in greater depth on the security elements. In the past, this would involve physical tests of the seat belts, but from now on the electronic elements that are accessed through the computer on board the vehicle will also be checked.
These changes will result in many improvements to the system, but this is not the end of the proposed reforms, with many more expected to be implemented soon.
The DGT announced the creation and propagation of a database of vehicle movements and history, which will then be checkable by future interested parties.
The technology behind this scheme would see cameras installed around the road network, and at the entrances and exits of towns and cities, which will record the registration number of vehicles as they pass. The infrastructure for this technology is already in place in some towns.
However, in the future, the database will also link to the ITV test reports, recording faults or issues, and will collate information from traffic incidents, crashes and repairs.
The maintenance schedule will not initially be mandatory, but will be based on a technological platform that will collect the digitized workshop sheets that record all the operations that are done on the vehicle. Because not all workshops have the appropriate computer technology, a deadline will be given for them to adapt.
In addition, to make drivers aware of the need to pass the ITV (between 1.5 and 2 million vehicles are currently believed to be on the roads without a valid certificate), the DGT will deploy intensive campaigns which will be repeated periodically.
At the moment, when speed detecting radars detect a vehicle that exceeds the speed limits, it automatically checks if the ITV has been passed and if it has mandatory insurance in place.
Now, according to Gregorio Serrano, the Director General of the DGT, it is a matter of taking one step further and will not only be controlled through the radars, but also with the licence plate readers that are installed in the vicinity of the roads and other points of the road network.
When they detect that the vehicle has not passed the ITV or if it went for an inspection and failed, the DGT will automatically send a warning. If, on the second occasion, appropriate action has not been taken, the DGT will automatically issue a fine.