Ready for the road after lockdown? MIB puts drivers to the test with four simple questions

Ready for the road after lockdown? MIB puts drivers to the test with four simple questions

Posted 03 July, 2020 at 13:45

Author Mark Bradshaw on behalf of Pronounce Concierge Service


  • With restrictions easing and the hospitality sector reopening, millions more cars are expected to appear on Britain's roads from this Saturday after months of reduced activity*.
  • MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) is highlighting four simple questions drivers can ask themselves to help them be free to take to the road legally and safely.
  • From assuming car insurance auto-renews, to thinking fully-comp cover always lets you drive someone else’s car - MIB reveals the common slip ups leading to people’s cars being seized.
  • 40,000 vehicles have been seized for no insurance since lockdown begun on 23 March*.

MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) is highlighting four simple questions drivers should ask themselves to help get #ReadyfortheRoad as the nation prepares to set off following months of reduced road traffic activity due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

With restrictions easing and the hospitality sector set to return from this Saturday, as many as one million furloughed staff from the sector may start returning to work, which will also see big numbers of the public heading out to food and entertainment venues.

To help drivers be free to get back on the road safely and legally, MIB is supporting the national campaign #ReadyfortheRoad, led by the UK’s National Roads Policing Operation and Intelligence (NRPOI) committee, by highlighting four simple questions drivers should ask themselves:

  • Is my car insurance valid? 
  • Is my tax and MOT up to date? 
  • Is my car roadworthy? 
  • Am I aware of changes to the road?

Is my car insurance valid?

Of course, no one wants to see their car seized for having no insurance. However, MIB a not-for-profit organisation that works with police to take uninsured vehicles off the road, reveals there are common mistakes everyday people make that can lead to their car being seized, such as:

  • Assuming car insurance automatically renews at the end of its payment plan;
  • Assuming fully-comp cover includes entitlement to drive another person’s car. It’s important to always read the terms and conditions of any policy plan as this may not be the case;
  • Having incorrect class of use on a policy. Whether driving for personal pleasure or for commercial needs, the insurance provider needs to be aware otherwise the policy is invalid;
  • Forgetting to declare a vehicle is unused (off the road) to DVLA via a Statuatory-Off-Road-Notification (SORN) and forgetting to tax and insure it when it starts being used again. 

Despite a 70% drop in road usage during the lockdown 40,000 vehicles were seized for no insurance in just over three months since nationwide restrictions were introduced on 23 March. While the majority of these seized vehicles’ owners were intentionally driving without insurance, many cases could have been avoided if people had been ready for the road.

For clarification in relation to an insurance policy, drivers should contact their insurer. To check if a vehicle is showing as insured on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) - which is used by police to spot uninsured drivers - this can be done for free at askMID.com

 

Is my tax and MOT up to date?

The next big question is on tax and MOT. It’s important to stay on top of a car’s legal documents so the owner’s freedom to drive is protected and roads are kept safer and fairer for everyone else. This can be done easily online. Remember to check:

  • The car has up-to-date vehicle tax;
  • It has a current MOT certificate (if it’s more than three years’ old);
  • It is also registered with the DVLA (this should be done at the point of ownership).

 

To learn more about the legal obligations of drivers and riders, visit Gov.uk

Guidance on checking a vehicle’s tax status is also found on Gov.uk

 

Is my car roadworthy?

Questioning if a vehicle is roadworthy is also essential. Since the coronavirus outbreak, people have been staying indoors more and using their cars less. If a car is not used regularly then it can affect its health and it can invalidate insurance (even if the MOT is up to date). Have a think about:

  • Whether the windscreen, the windows and the mirrors are clean;
  • If the lights and brakes are working;
  • Whether the engine oil, brake fluid, battery and water level up are to standard. The car’s handbook can give instructions on carrying out these checks; 
  • If the tyres still have the correct pressure and depth tread - which would typically be 1.6mm.

 

Further advice on checking if a vehicle is safe for the road can be found at Gov.uk

Am I aware of changes to the road?

Lastly, Government restrictions have meant many people have changed their daily routines and consequently, the way they interact with the roads. It’s important to stay alert to surroundings and be aware of the following changes that have been noticed on roads across the UK:

  • More people are choosing to walk rather than use their car;
  • More cyclists are now using the road;
  • Because the roads have less cars, this has unfortunately led to more people speeding. Despite freer roads drivers need to stick to the speed limits and be aware of others’ speed levels.

 Further information on safe driving can be found on the DVSA's Safe Driving for Life initiative.

QUOTES

“With the national lockdown easing many more of us will be heading back to work or going out to entertain with friends and family, for the first time in a long while. By taking a short moment to ask ourselves if we’re ready to get back behind the wheel, we can help to keep our communities safe.  

Sadly, over 26,000 people are injured by an uninsured or ‘hit and run’ driver each year and many of these cases could easily have been avoided. Before you drive please make sure you have valid insurance and do the right checks, so you know you’re ready for the road.” – Anna Fleming, Chief Operations Officer at MIB

 

“We want to make sure our roads policing resources are used to target the minority of motorists who are posing a high risk of harm. A lot has changed on our roads in the past few months. With national restrictions easing and roads continuing to get busier, we encourage drivers to play their part by making sure they’re safe and legal to drive before they set off.” – Paul Keasey, Detective Superintendent, National Roads Policing Operations and Intelligence (NRPOI)

 

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