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IAAF NEWS - MoT frequency review - the IAAF view - 14/12/2010

MoT frequency review - the IAAF view

MoT frequency review - the IAAF view

What is driving the government's intentions to review the format of the MoT? That's the question the IAAF has been considering following the statement made by Lord Attlee back in July that the frequency of MoT testing would be reviewed.

Since July the IAAF has been regularly prodding government ministers and officials for some indication of the purpose of the review. A review which, on the face of it, covers the same ground as the previous Labour government's detailed examination two years ago and the subsequent decision to retain the frequency of three-year initial test, followed by annual tests thereafter. This is the regime which has contributed to Britain having the lowest road casualties in Europe and which, if diluted, would result in a dramatic increase in road casualties and deaths.

So, is it solely a 4-2-2 versus 3-1-1 battle? Don't forget that the government has as its main objective the reduction in the country's financial liabilities and the contribution from MoT testing to the public coffers is miniscule. So the whole review process needs to be set in that context.

A comparison with European practice illustrates the differences in the way markets operate; with European testing operated by stand alone testing stations and a vehicle either passes or fails. As a result, vehicles are maintained regularly and then presented for test in a far better condition.

Here in the UK motorists treat the MoT as a check on how un-roadworthy their vehicle has become and take corrective action accordingly; which accounts for the perilous state of a considerable number of vehicles that we see submitted for test.

The IAAF's view is that the MoT is the measurement of roadworthiness of motor vehicles and, by definition, the protector of the public. So any detrimental action which reduces its effectiveness is an assault on the general public.

The use of roadworthy vehicles through proper service and maintenance has to be the goal for safer vehicles and roads, and this could be achieved with the simple action of increasing the cost of 'failing the test' or increasing the cost of re-tests. This action would necessitate a fixed test fee, but this would also benefit the industry and help reinforce the 'statutory' nature of the fee and the test.

The IAAF welcomes this review of our MOT test and we will be involved with all aspects of the review when it is finally announced.

An extended MoT test period would all but drive a stake through the very heart of the Independent industry. The sector has already suffered through the ridiculous 'scrappage' scheme which has taken over a million tests out of the MOT stations.

Provided we can tackle this fundamental issue of test frequency, we can then set our sights on making the MOT of tomorrow more pertinent to vehicles in use and give consideration to high mileages, vehicle safety recalls and on board system issues, and all of these will help protect the general public.

bps/20101214

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