New Campaign Launched To Defend Annual MOT Testing.

Road safety, motoring and industry groups join forces to press new Transport Secretary to rule out reducing MOT frequency 

New Campaign "proMOTe" is launched today, 27th October 2011

  • More than 250 additional road deaths and more than 2,200 additional serious injuries every year if annual safety tests ended 
  • Fewer tests to increase financial burden on motorists with more expensive repairs and higher insurance bills 
  • Opinion polls show driver opposition to change – and 40,000 jobs and thousands of apprenticeships at risk

MORE THAN 25 organisations representing motorists, road safety campaigners, cyclists, small businesses, insurers and the wider motor industry join forces today to launch a new campaign to press the new Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, to rule out a reduction in the frequency of MOT testing.

The campaign comes three weeks after Ms Greening’s predecessor Philip Hammond confirmed to the Conservative Party conference that the Government was looking again at ways “to reduce the burden of the MOT test”.

The PRO-MOTE campaign, which has the support of groups such as Brake, the RAC, AA, Kwik Fit, Halfords, Aviva and the Retail Motor Industry Federation, today publishes a report entitled “Dangerous, Expensive and Unwanted: The case against reducing MOT frequency”.

The report shows that:

-          if annual testing is scrapped the number of road deaths is likely to rise by more than 250 each year and serious injuries by 2,200.

-          even keeping annual tests but delaying the first test from three years to fours risk an addition 35 deaths on the road every year.

-          any saving to the motorist in terms of fees resulting from the scrapping of annual MOT tests would be far outweighed by the likely increases in insurance premiums and increased repairs costs.

-          94% of drivers think the MOT Test is very (71%) or quite (23%) important to road safety.

-          up to 40,000 jobs in the MOT industry, including a large number of apprenticeships, would be at risk.

Ministers are seeking to review the existing 3-1-1 system which sees all new cars and vans being tested after three years and every year thereafter.  In Opposition, the Conservative frontbench team in Parliament opposed any reduction in MOT frequency when it was raised by the previous Government in 2008.

The then shadow transport minister, Robert Goodwill MP – now a Government Whip, said:

“This botched policy idea should never have seen the light of day.  If it had been given the green light we would have faced a situation where there were thousands of dangerous cars on our streets putting people’s lives at risk.” [Daily Telegraph, 12 December 2008]

Britain's roads are the safest in the world, according to the OECD, and the DfT has published figures which show that last year theUKhad the lowest number of road deaths since records began.  Other EU countries have a worse safety record than the UK and most operate a 4-2-2 system which tests new cars at four years and then at two-yearly intervals thereafter.

The campaign is writing to Ministers and to all MPs urging them to oppose any move towards reducing MOT frequency.  It is also urging supporters to sign an online petition via the website.

Supporters of the PRO-MOTE campaign include:

Edmund King, President of the AA, who says: “The Government should state that they will not change the frequency of MOTs.”

Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive at Brake, the road safety charity: “Downgrading the system so MOTs are only required every two years is a nonsensical and inhumane policy that would mean many more needless tragedies.”

David BizleyRAC’s Technical Director: “The current MOT testing regime has stood theUKin good stead and ensures that there are relatively few accidents directly attributable to unroadworthy vehicles.”

Nigel Bartram, senior motor underwriting manager at Aviva: “The MOT is the only time some vehicles receive any safety checks and maintenance, and to reduce the frequency of this check could cost lives.” 

James Gibson, spokesperson for Road Safety GB: “Road Safety GB is keen to support the PRO-MOTE campaign – the evidence shows that changing the testing regime will reduce safety on our roads.”

Bill Duffy, Chief Executive of Halfords Autocentres: “We believe that extending the MOT frequency would be bad news for drivers and bad news for road safety and the environment too.”

John Ball, Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) MOT chairman: “Why does the government want to change MOT frequency? Motorists don’t want it, more lives are endangered and thousands of jobs and apprenticeships are at risk.”

David White, customer services director at Kwik Fit: “A reduction in MOT testing is going to hit many businesses hard, particularly local small and medium-sized companies, and it seems inevitable that the 10,000 apprenticeships taken on every year would be significantly scaled back.”

Click here to view the proMOTe website.

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