TyreSafe is urging the Government to reconsider proposals to extend the period before a new vehicle’s first MOT is due, on the back of data which suggests that 5% of cars fail their first MoT due to defective tyres.
Figures obtained by TyreSafe from the DVSA show that tyre defects accounted for more than a quarter (27%) of all car MOT failures during 2016. TyreSafe says this equates to 2.2m cars, making tyre defects the second most common reason for an MoT failure after defective lighting.
TyreSafe says 106,000 of these failures were cars undergoing their first MoT, which equates to 5% of all first time car MOTs.
Under Government proposals outlined in January, and currently out for consultation, new cars and motorcycles will no longer require an MOT until they have been on the road for four years, rather than three as at present.
While acknowledging that the MOT plays an important role in ensuring the safety of vehicles, road safety minister Andrew Jones said new vehicles are much safer than they were 50 years ago when the MOT-free period was reduced from 10 to three years.
However in a press release issued yesterday (4 April), TyreSafe said the Government should reflect on ‘unacceptable’ MOT failure rates due to tyre defects.
TyreSafe also says that ‘far too many of Britain’s motorists are not carrying out routine tyre maintenance checks between MOTs’.
Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said: “The existing MOT failure rates are unacceptable as they are and, based on current evidence, it’s reasonable to suggest any extension would only result in more defective tyres on Britain’s roads.
“Many of the Government’s own departments, agencies, and associate companies, along with road safety stakeholders, are working tirelessly to make our roads ever safer and reduce the number of incidents.
“TyreSafe believes increasing the grace period for cars’ first MOT to four years would counteract those efforts and would urge those involved in the consultation to reject this proposal purely on the grounds of safety.
“However, regardless of legislation, drivers individually need to take their responsibilities to road safety seriously and carry out routine checks to stay tyre safe out on the roads.”
The Government consultation on extending the MOT ‘grace period’ is open for comments until 16 April.
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