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Legal tread depths still apply despite MOT suspension, drivers warned

The law covering the minimum legal tread depth for tyres is still in force despite vehicle owners being given exemption on MOT testing.

Drivers should be aware the MOT suspension does not mean the law governing the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm has also been suspended

The warning comes from TyreSafe, which says that drivers still need to ensure their cars have a minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm or they could face a fine of up to £2,500 and three points – per tyre.

It’s the latest organisation to warn that the DVSA’s announcement of a six-month exemption from MOT testing during the coronavirus pandemic means that drivers will have to take greater responsibility for their own road safety; Jaama and IAM RoadSmart have also urged drivers and fleets to keep up with vehicle safety checks.

Now, TyreSafe is warning that if motorists are to minimise their risk of an incident on the roads, they will need to ensure their tyres’ air pressure, condition and tread depth are fit for the road and legal; historically, more than a quarter of MOT failures have historically been due to unsafe tyres.

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said: “The need to make vehicles exempt from the MOT is regrettable from a road safety point of view but entirely understandable in the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, drivers should be making certain when they drive, their vehicle is safe. With so many uncertainties and unexpected events happening to families and organisations all the time, drivers should not delay in carrying out these checks but instead be confident their car is roadworthy no matter what the reason for their essential journey.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.