I was at a meeting with the Federation of Manx Historic Vehicle Clubs talking about the government’s proposals for the MoTs, and Richard Davis gave us his background on this matter. Richard emailed his comments to me. I have copied the email for you to read.
I am a retired police officer having spent 30 years with the Isle of Man Constabulary, most of which was in traffic-related duties. I have been driving motor vehicles for 50 years.
I was a member of the traffic department, now re-titled the roads policing unit, and during training courses with Lancashire Police and West Midlands Police I qualified as a Class 1 Advanced Car Driver, Class 1 Advanced Motorcycle Driver, and Class 1 HGV driver. I also qualified as a security escort driver, subsequently taking part in many VIP and royal visits, and, in addition I obtained a qualification in an off-road police driving course.
Further, I qualified as a Police Accident Investigator which subsequently involved me attending and reporting on all serious and fatal road accidents regardless of whether I was on duty or not. In this connection, I was frequently required to attend courts and inquests and give evidence as an expert witness.
I was also authorised to conduct driving tests on behalf of the Department of Transport, which I did on numerous occasions. I acted as HGV driving instructor for the Isle of Man police and trained other officers in the use of speed-detection equipment.
During my police career I attended a great many road traffic accidents and spent a good deal of time collating statistics relating to the causes of road traffic accidents. Part of my work involved making written recommendations with the intention of reducing traffic hazards and consequent accidents.
While I warned or reported vehicle owners and drivers for defective vehicles from time to time, I can only recall one incident where the actual cause of an accident was a vehicle defect, and this would not have been detected by an MOT test as it involved a stress fracture of a concealed component forming part of an articulated trailer (not a motor vehicle).
In my experience the number of road accidents caused by defective vehicles is considerably less than 1 per cent.
Even taking into account the number of accidents where a defect could have been in any way contributory, the figure is still extremely small – still probably below 1 per cent.
The overwhelming majority of traffic accidents are due to driver error and if it is seriously intended to tackle the number of traffic accidents in the Isle of Man then this is where attention should be focussed.
The Manx government’s vehicle roadworthiness consultation documents first line is about 10 per cent of accidents on the Isle of Man involve vehicles where a mechanical fault contributed to or caused the accident. In the UK this figure is 2 per cent.
I suggest the true figure is less than 1 per cent
I asked the government this question: of the 10 per cent, what percentage of the defects were the actual and sole cause of the accidents
The question was not positively answered. It stated that (the vehicle condition may have contributed to an incident).
This is no evidence that we need to change the MOT system.
This also goes against government policy to have less bureaucracy and to lower the head count.
Just remember one thing: FREEDOM TO FLOURISH.