Delayed MOTs and Coronavirus: How Safe are Our Roads?

From 1 August, mandatory MOT tests are once again a legal requirement, after they were paused for six months during the coronavirus pandemic.

But now that vehicle use is increasing as we emerge from lockdown, is there a greater risk of road traffic accidents because of the delay?

What is an MOT?

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport test and must be carried out annually once a car is three years old. The purpose of an MOT test is to check that the vehicle meets the necessary road safety and environmental standards.

An MOT involves a variety of checks – from looking at brakes and fuel systems, to lights, mirrors, seatbelts, windscreen wipers and exhaust systems.

The test itself only takes between 45 and 60 minutes, but if your vehicle fails the test, you will need to make the necessary repairs as test centres are legally not allowed to let you drive away in a car that has failed its MOT. The only exemptions to this are if your MOT certificate is still valid or if you are taking your car to have the faults fixed.

Why do I need a valid MOT?

Holding a valid MOT for your vehicle is a legal requirement. This means that if you are caught by the police and you don’t have a valid MOT certificate, you could find yourself facing a £1,000 fine and your car may also be impounded.

If the car you are driving is also found to be unroadworthy, you could face much higher fines, as well as points on your licence and even a disqualification from driving.

You also risk invalidating your car insurance by driving without an MOT. Driving without valid insurance is also an offence, leaving you open to prosecution, a fine and six points on your licence.

Am I putting others at risk if I don’t have an MOT?

The purpose of an MOT is to determine whether the car is safe for use on the road. Without an MOT, you could be putting yourself and other road users in danger as the necessary checks on the vehicle have not been carried out.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many vehicles have also been sitting idle for a number of weeks, which could worsen the state of any underlying problems that haven’t been identified in the absence of an MOT test.

As more people are starting to head back to work, we may see more people using their cars for commuting to avoid public transport and the risk of exposure to the virus that comes with it. We have also seen a rise in the number of leisure trips taken in the UK as holidays abroad have become impossible for many.

It is now estimated that there are around 1.6 million unroadworthy cars in use on our roads, which could inevitably lead to more accidents.

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident that wasn’t your fault, First4Lawyers could help you get the justice you deserve. We can help you make a claim for compensation, which can help you get back on your feet after the shock and distress of a road accident.

To find out more about how we can help, just give us a call, request a call back at the top of your screen or start your claim here.


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