MOT FAILURES ON STANDARD MACHINES
It’s come to our attention that a number of standard Vespa Primavera 125 automatic scooters are being refused an MOT thanks to a clause buried away in the recent changes to the regulations (item 4.4.3 to be precise), which says that indicators have now to be a certain distance apart. The regulation change isn’t a major one, but the specified distance of 240mm between inside edges means that this model, with its separation of 180mm between lenses, is now going to fail as they are 60mm too close. And it’s not just the Primavera that’s affected.
One MOT inspector we spoke to said that he’s spent the last couple of weeks refusing certificates on some unmodified models of sports bikes for this reason, much to the owners’ obvious disgust. The tester also told us that the DVLA had told him to hand out a VT17 form to complain about the result, but that they would refuse the appeal regardless.
We have heard of at least one MOT station which is treating the change as only applying to machinery registered after the date that the new requirements came into force, although there is nothing in the tester’s handbook which suggests that this is a correct interpretation, as other similar changes are backdated.
Here’s what you may call the kicker though… it seems that this separation requirement has been embedded in Construction And Use regulations since at least 2011 – possibly going as far back as the late Eighties. We’ve seen a copy of a letter dated December 8, 2011, headed ‘Motorcycles Class I & II Rear Number Plates’ from the Enforcement Division of the Bristol & Gloucester Area Office of VOSA regarding a custom tail light which states, among other things, that “...There must be a minimum separation of 240mm between indicators on either side of the machine”. The inference of this is that VOSA is allowing vehicles to be passed for use on the UK roads which do not meet their own minimum requirements, as they have allowed vehicles such as the Primavera to be sold, regardless of their contravention of VOSA’s own rules!
We asked the DVLA for clarification on the subject, and were passed on to the Vehicle Testing and Roadworthiness Team. An answer eventually arrived saying that they are “aware of the situation and will be taking steps to address the situation at the earliest opportunity”.
Call me cynical, but that doesn’t really seem like an answer. If we get any further updates on the situation, we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, just hope your testing station has a little bit of common sense and a blind eye when it comes to testing time!