The coalition government is pressing ahead with the proposed relaxing of the rules regarding the annual MOT check, despite concerns from motoring groups that this will cause more road deaths.
A commission sponsored by the government itself recently found that the proposed reductions in vehicle checks were "likely to have adverse road safety consequences," especially in the case of older vehicles.
According to the Transport Research Laboratory, vehicle defects played a significant role in about 3% of road accidents. Some motoring groups warned last night that reducing vehicle checks to once every two years could, in fact, double the accident rate on our roads.
Sources at the Department of Transport indicated that the government was not deterred by the findings of its own research. A spokesperson said that the research "does not prove the case one way or the other." He added that 50 years of improvement in vehicle technology warranted a complete review of the MOT system.
According to the current system new cars have to be tested once they are three years old, and after that once every year. This is referred to as the 3-1-1 system.
Phillip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Transport, caused many eyebrows to be raised when he suggested earlier this year that the first test for a new car should be delayed until it is four years old.
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