02nd August 2018 | By Ray Tyler
‘Scrap the MOT’ was the message sent out by the Adam Smith Institute. The institute are a right wing think-tank and published this report in national newspapers in late July. The Institute suggested that such a move would save motorists £250M a year. They claimed that the MOT is a “classic case of poor policy”, and that the Government should scrap it. They also suggested that we should “bring itself into the 21st century and focus on driver error”, which it says is by far the main cause of accidents.
The report’s author, Alex Hoagland also said, “‘Nowadays, vehicles are safer than ever, leading some governments to re-inspect these programmes. When these safety inspections were done away with in some US states, accident rates did not change. There’s no evidence that vehicle safety inspections improve vehicle safety.”
Well, it is our understanding that most MOTs in the United States were relatively rudimentary in the first place – so its unsurprising that scrapping them made so little difference.
The think tank also suggested as an alternative, reducing MOT frequency to every three years, and that, “MOT Tests are meant to prevent crashes and save lives, but they’ve never been put to the test themselves”. That reveals a serious lack of research by the Institute. Both the Department for Transport themselves and the Road Research Laboratory have produced reports about the effectiveness of the MOT, and in both cases, albeit at different levels of seriousness, they concluded that reducing MOT Testing would cost lives and increase serious injuries due to additional road accidents caused by vehicle defects.
With public opinion very much in favour of continued MOT Testing, scrapping the MOT altogether will be unlikely to gain any traction. However, after Brexit we won’t be bound to the EU’s MOT Directive, so some would say that extra money from motorists not having to get an MOT and have their cars repaired is another Brexit benefit. But of course, that doesn’t count the cost of the significant number of deaths and serious injuries which would follow if the Adam Smith Institute’s daft idea of completely scrapping the MOT were seriously taken up by Government.
One has to wonder what motivated a think tank like the Adam Smith Institute to suddenly come up with such a badly researched, poorly argued and misguided report into something as mundane in general terms as the MOT Scheme. These guys normally work on serious national, global and international strategic issues – so why spend their money on looking into the MOT? Unless, of course there’s something happening here that we don’t know about!
Read the full report HEREBack to news articles