Driv­ers not tak­ing MoT se­ri­ously, say po­lice af­ter 7,000 fines is­sued

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY CATE MCCURRY

AL­MOST 7,000 mo­torists in North­ern Ire­land have been slapped with a fine for driv­ing with­out an MoT in the last four years.

A Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion (FoI) re­quest re­vealed that thou­sands of driv­ers con­tinue to flout the law de­spite po­lice warn­ings about safety and the dan­gers posed to other road users by un­safe ve­hi­cles.

In to­tal, the PSNI is­sued 6,732 fines for driv­ing with­out a valid MoT cer­tifi­cate since 2012.

The fig­ures were re­leased af­ter a FoI re­quest by car re­view web­site Car­buyer.

It also showed that the to­tal fines amounted to £564,760.

The money col­lected from fines is sent to the Gov­ern­ment’s bank ac­count.

The stan­dard fixed penalty for an out-of-date MoT in North­ern Ire­land is £60.

In Bri­tain it was in­creased from £60 to £100 in Au­gust 2013.

How­ever, fines can go up to a max­i­mum of £1,000 if taken to court.

Thirty-six po­lice forces across the UK sup­plied fig­ures show­ing the num­ber of penal­ties which have been is­sued a a re­sult of MoT breaches.

The PSNI was ranked in the UK’s top 10 for hand­ing out the most fines.

The fee for a stan­dard mo­tor car MoT is £30.50, and a retest will cost £18.50.

A poll car­ried out by the web­site found that a third of driv­ers said they had for­got­ten to re­new their cur­rent MoT on time, with 15% leav­ing it un­til it was a al­ready a month over­due.

The Driver and Ve­hi­cle Agency (DVA) here is­sues an au­to­matic re­minder no­tice seven weeks be­fore the cer­tifi­cate ex­pires — un­like Bri­tain, where driv­ers have to sign up for email re­minders.

The Driver and Ve­hi­cle Stan­dards Agency (DVSA), which cov­ers Bri­tain, shares its MoT data with the po­lice.

They in turn use au­to­matic num­ber plate recog­ni­tion (ANPR) cam­eras to de­tect and fine driv­ers whose MoT has ex­pired.

PSNI In­spec­tor Rosie Leech (be­low) said that own­ers had a le­gal obli­ga­tion to en­sure their ve­hi­cles were road­wor­thy, safe and didn’t pose a dan­ger to other driv­ers.

She said: “A re­spon­si­ble driver will en­sure their ve­hi­cle is reg­u­larly ser­viced and is fit­ted with new parts as re­quired.

“Un­for­tu­nately, not all driv­ers take these mat­ters se­ri­ously so re­quir­ing them to sub­mit their ve­hi­cle an­nu­ally for a MoT is the way the Gov­ern­ment has elected to check that all ve­hi­cles more than four years old com­ply with the rel­e­vant leg­is­la­tion, par­tic­u­larly in re­spect to brakes and emis­sions.

“Mo­torists who fail to MoT their ve­hi­cle as re­quired run the very real risk of in­val­i­dat­ing their in­surance should they be in­volved in a road col­li­sion — or worse, be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the death or se­ri­ous in­jury of another road user as a re­sult of fail­ing to main­tain their ve­hi­cle or car­ry­ing out un­safe mod­i­fi­ca­tions that would never pass a MoT.

“A mo­torist who prop­erly reg­is­ters their ve­hi­cle with the DVLA will re­ceive a re­minder no­tice that their MoT is due, so there’s no ex­cuse for ‘for­get­ting’ to present a ve­hi­cle for test­ing.

“DVA share in­for­ma­tion about ve­hi­cles that have failed to ap­pear on the due date for MoT in­spec­tion and this al­lows po­lice to en­force through is­sue of a £60 fixed penalty no­tice, which is paid di­rectly to the Trea­sury.

“PSNI do not re­tain any of this in­come.”

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