HC Deb 28 January 1976 vol 904 cc197-8W
Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many roadside spot checks have been carried out during each of the past 24 months on defective brakes; what are the nature of such tests; and what results and conclusions he has drawn therefrom.

Dr. Gilbert

The figures are available only on a quarterly basis as follows:

Quarter Ending No. of Tests No. of Prohibitions
December 1973 14,042 637
March 1974 14,968 701
June 1974 38,044 1,801
September 1974 32,207 1,558
December 1974 11,197 550
March 1975 8,542 538
June 1975 34,448 1,738
September 1975 30,107 1,353

The percentage of defective vehicles indicated by these statistics must be viewed with caution because there is a natural tendency to pick out the apparently bad vehicles for testing.

Roadside spot checks entail a detailed inspection of the vehicle which includes a test of the brake performance using a decelerometer. More tests take place in the summer months when the weather conditions are less likely to interfere with the test programme. Defective lorries are issued with prohibition notices; defects on private vehicles are notified to the driver.

The number of vehicles warranting prohibition notices points to the need for continued vigilance by owners, drivers and examiners in order to ensure the road-worthiness of all vehicles.