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Moto Car & Driver Health Checks Produce

27 April 2006

Moto, Britain’s biggest motorway service area operator, organised the “health checks,” in partnership with Kwik-Fit Mobile and Vision Express, for drivers visiting the Toddington service on the M1 in Bedfordshire over the weekend of April 22-23.

Engineers from Kwik-Fit inspected the tyres on 100 cars and found that 30 of them needed at least one new tyre either because of irreparable damage or tread levels below the minimum requirement of 1.6mm.

A Kwik-Fit spokesman said: “Many of the drivers we spoke to were aware that they had tyres in need of replacement but were just too busy to get them changed.

“The most common fault we found was illegal tread depth. Research shows that if takes an extra eight metres – that’s nearly the length of a bus – to stop from 50mph when tyres are down to the legal minimum of 1.6mm. These drivers may have been putting themselves at greater risk on the motorway.”

Vision Express experts used a vision screener and interactive exercises to assess drivers’ eyesight. Almost 20 per cent of those screened could not meet the basic DfT requirement of being able to read a number plate at 20 metres.

“All of those who failed the test were unaware of their problem,” said a Vision Express spokesman. “But the simple fact is they shouldn’t have been driving, especially at motorway speeds because at 70mph it takes less than one second to cover 20 metres. Driving with defective eyesight is not only irresponsible, it’s illegal.”

Brian Lotts, Moto’s managing director, said: “This was a small snapshot sample taken over a typical weekend at one of our busiest sites but the results are extremely disturbing. We have another nine health checks planned during the summer and it will be very interesting to see whether these worrying findings are repeated.”

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