Figures released last month by the department for Transport reinforce a very impressive trend. While road traffic has steadily increased over the last fifty years, road deaths have plummeted. According to these figures, in the mid-60s, there were around twelve million cars on British roads. Of these twelve million, around 300,000 a year were involved in accidents, which resulted, per year, in around 8,000 deaths. By comparison, in 2013 there were thirty-five million cars on the road – a more than threefold increase. However, of this number, only 139,000 were involved in fatal accidents; and from these resulted a mere 1,713 deaths. Today we cover here brief information about History of the MOT test.
What helped bring this change about? Undoubtedly, a myriad of factors are at play. It is easy to forget that it was once legal to drive around without a seat belt, or, worse, while drunk. Not only was it legal, it was socially acceptable! Attitudes toward road safety have undoubtedly changed. Manufacturers, too, must take a share of the credit for the declining death toll – their ingenuity brought about a raft of safety features which no government department mandated: crumple zones, airbags and ABS, to name a few.
But the change is most obviously attributable to a change in car safety standards. In the 1960s, something changed which would revolutionise British transport: the first standardised safety tests for cars were introduced. These tests were those which we know now as the MOT test.
The Introduction of the Test
Following the Second World War, it became clear that many of the cars on British roads were unsafe. Drivers would frequently lose control of their aging vehicles, whose tyres were, by modern standards, scarily thin and utterly bald. It was clear that a change had to be made, but it was not until 1960 that this change came about. Continue reading “History of the MOT test”