Mandatory MoTs for mobile cranes welcomed by MP

A campaign for mandatory MOTs for mobile cranes has received a major boost five years on from a tragic accident near St Cyrus.

The European Parliament is supporting legislation to introduce MOTS for mobile cranes.

Sir Robert Smith, Liberal Democrat MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine has welcomed the European Parliament’s support for legislation to introduce MOTs for mobile cranes and other HGVs.

The legislation will eventually close a legal loophole which allows the cranes and selected other HGVs to use roads without a test certificate.

The rules ensuring testing for all HGVs, including mobile cranes, are expected to be passed in September.

Commenting after the European Parliament had voted he said:“This is a welcome step in the right direction.

“The UK Government has been waiting for the new EU legislation and I hope that the Government will act as quickly as possible when the new rules are finally agreed later this year.”

Following the vote in the European Parliament, the final stage of the legislation is for the European Commission and the Council of Ministers to negotiate a final compromise.

Sir Robert has campaigned in Parliament to change the law.

In 2008 a tragic road accident on the A92 Stonehaven-Montrose road near St Cyrus led to the deaths of Ann Copeland and her two daughters Niamh and Ciara, aged 10 and 7.

Following a fatal accident inquiry, the sheriff determined that the accident was most likely attributable to hydraulic fluid leaking from a poorly maintained mobile crane.

Sir Robert tabled a motion in the last session of Parliament and has met with the Minister for Transport to urge the Government to act as soon as possible.

Under current rules mobile cranes are exempt from MoTs and, since the accident Barry Copeland - the surviving husband and father - has called for the rules to be changed to ensure that mobile cranes and thousands of other vehicles currently exempt from MOTs are regularly tested.

Mr Copeland was recently awarded a certificate of merit from the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for his efforts in improving mobile crane safety