In the interest of road safety, environmental protection and fair competition it is important to ensure that vehicles on European roads are maintained to a high degree of technical roadworthiness.
Council Directive 96/96/EC entered into force on 9 March 1997 and requires periodic roadworthiness tests for vehicles registered on the European territory.
Directive 2000/30/EC entered into force on 10 August 2000 and lays down a number of conditions for carrying out technical roadside checks on commercial vehicles circulating in the Community.
Technical roadside inspection is an inspection of a technical nature, not announced by the authorities, carried out on the public highway by the authorities, or under their supervision.
The first report on the application of the Directive in the Member States was adopted on 23 May 2007 by the Commission. It covers the period 2003-2004 and concerns the number of commercial vehicles checked, classified in certain categories and by country of registration, the items checked and the deficiencies discovered. The report highlights the position of data collection and compatibility of data for a coherent application of the law.
Two recent projects, AUTOFORE and IDELSY, showed that, while checking mechanical systems is still important to prevent catastrophic consequences, testing needs to be extended to new technological devices to ensure that their benefits are preserved.