Tyre safety fear

over new MOT plan

Tyre tread check, Continental Tyres

ROAD safety charity TyreSafe has raised its concern at the impact on road safety of the government's proposals to extend the MOT test of new vehicles to four years.

Current legislation requires all new cars and motorcycles to undergo the first test at three years old.

TyreSafe's worry is in response to a statement by Transport Minister Andrew Jones, billed as a "boost for motorists" as part of the plans to save them £100 million a year.

The minister said: "We have some of the safest roads in the world andMOTtests play an important role in ensuring the standard of vehicles on our roads. New vehicles are much safer than they were fifty years ago and so it is only right we bring theMOTtest up to date to help save motorists money where we can."

But Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said: "Extending the time until the first MOT test has been proposed several times in recent years and each time it has been rejected because of the negative impact on road safety.

"While, of course, vehicles are certainly safer and more reliable than they were 50 years ago, ‘maintenance components' such as tyres, still need the owner to regularly check and service their vehicle, which is not universally the case by any means.

"In fact, evidence, including that drawn from TyreSafe in partnership with Highways England, shows millions of Britain's motorists do not check or maintain tyres, and only replace them when required to do so in order to pass the MOT.

"Even then, one in twenty vehicles fails its first MOT due to tyre defects making it likely that any extension of time until the first MOT test will result in more defective and dangerous tyres and vehicles on our roads.

"Extending the first MOT to four years will not be a boost to motorists if it is at the expense of their safety.

"As such, TyreSafe is urging road safety organisations to send in their comments on the proposal."

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