THE Department of Traffic (DGT) has issued a warning to drivers currently waiting for an ITV inspection that they will still be fined if they travel with an expired sticker, according to Spanish press.
Thousands of drivers across Malaga are waiting on ITV inspections thanks to a massive backlog in testing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The delays were mainly caused by staffing issues of the company that runs the testing, Veiasa.
Restrictions on mobility, closing of centres, then the easing of restrictions last summer caused the system to be swamped with appointments, causing a backlog that it still present eight months later.
This has meant that drivers needing an inspection are being forced to wait up to three months for the next appointment, meaning their current test expires through no fault of the driver.
“I normally book a test a month in advance as I understand that centres do get busy, especially in the past year,” said one Olive Press reader.
“My test expires in January, but the next appointment is not until the end of March in all our local stations.”
Local media outlet Axarquia Plus learned that the DGT released a statement warning drivers that despite the situation at testing stations, fines will still be carried out if a vehicle does not have a current ITV certificate.
Fines for an expired ITV range from €100 to €200.
“It’s ridiculous, we only have one car at the moment and through no fault of our own, if the news is true, we risk getting penalised for using it.”
Many are concerned that the expiry dates for ITVs were extended during the initial State of Alarm, however since that was lifted, the DGT turned a blind eye on the current situation.
“Cases are just as bad, if not worse than last year, yet the DGT are failing to acknowledge the massive backlog in testing centres,” said Mario Arnaldo, president of the Association of Motorists.
Arnaldo explains that fines may be ‘appealable’ however the appeal is a long winded process with favour on the side of the authorities.
Arnaldo also warns that most insurance companies do not cover accidents if the vehicle does not have an ITV certificate.
DGT rules state that any vehicle older than four years old needs an ITV inspection, meaning that the statement could potentially affect 75% of motorists across Andalucia.
The Olive Press has contacted the DGT for clarification.