The Story of MOT and How it Changed the British Streets for Good

Since its inception in 1960, the number of accidents in the UK has seen a sharp decline. The number of road fatalities has come down from 6,970 in 1960 to 1,793 in 2017. It’s a massive achievement in terms of road safety, especially considering that there were only 6 million vehicles at that time compared to over 37 million now.

This success story can be attributed to a systematic approach by the British road authorities which includes building a higher degree of road safety awareness, stricter laws for traffic offenders and of course, the mandatory implementation of MOT for every vehicle on British roads.

MOT then and now

The MOT test in Bristol, as it stands today, is vastly different from how it first started. Initially, it was designed to test just the lights, brakes and steering, and that too after a vehicle had completed 10 years.

Fun fact:

Because of the ten year age limit, the MOT was colloquially called the ‘ten-year test’ back in the day.

With time, it became abundantly clear that the MOT was nowhere close to its full potential. The accident rate was not going down. It peaked at 7,985 road casualties in 1966, a full 6 years after the MOT came into being.

The need to update the test was felt severely. In subsequent years, the numbers of components that undergo scrutiny were raised gradually.

1968 – Tyres

1977 – Windshield wipers, horns, indicators and brake lights, exhaust, bodywork

1991 – Emissions, ABS, seat belts

1992 – Tyre tread depth limit

2012 – Electronic Stability Control (ESC), battery, wiring, speedometer

2018 – Tyre inflation pressure

In effect, an MOT in Bristol today inspects almost every crucial component of a car.

Tips to clear the MOT in Bristol

Passing an MOT test is not all that difficult if you take proper care of your car throughout. A vast majority of MOT failures are due to minor issues such as cracked windshield, busted tail lights, inadequate tyre inflation pressure etc. These issues are easily avoidable.

  • Inspect your tyres thoroughly before taking your MOT test in Bristol. Check its tread depth (minimum 1.6mm), inflation pressure and overall physical condition.

  • Check whether all the lights, including brake lights, indicator lamps and VIN plate lights are working correctly.

  • The driver’s view of the road should be unrestricted. There shouldn’t be any large cracks on the windshield or mirrors.

  • Make sure that the safety equipment in your car such as seat belts, and airbags are functionally operational.

  • The body of your car should not have any substantial dents that may compromise with its structural integrity.

You can perform these checks yourself at home or take your car to a professional auto garage like Sam’s Tyres for a professional inspection. Incidentally, they are one of the most trusted garages that perform MOT in Bristol.

It’d be fair to say that the MOT has somewhat succeeded in its primary objective, i.e., ensuring the roadworthiness of vehicles on British streets. Although there’s still a long way to go, the balance has now tilted towards safety as is evident from the ever-decreasing number of fatal accidents.

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