It’s a fairly common sight on social media, people posting what they think is useful information about the nearby speed camera.
However, people have been checking out the registrations of those vans and finding something unusual.
They get outraged to find, and then post on social media, the fact the vehicle does not appear to have an MOT and thus itself is supposedly illegal to be on the road.
But it is not as simple as that, reports North Wales Live.
The thing they’re missing is that mobile safety camera vans (or speed vans) are exempt from the “normal” MOT process.
But why? Here’s everything you need to know about the rules.
What’s the law?
For civilian drivers, if your vehicle is three years old or more, the vehicle owner is required by law to have an annual safety check completed, known as the MOT test.
The purpose of the test is to ensure your vehicle meets the minimum safety level required by law.
If it does, your vehicle will be issued with an MOT certificate and you can be on your merry way. If you don’t have one, you’re not allowed to be on the roads and it could also invalidate your car insurance policy if you’re involved in an accident.
It is an offence under Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act or article 63 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 to use a car, motorcycle or light goods vehicle without an MOT certificate on a public road.
Why doesn’t this apply to speed vans?
According to GoSafe, police vehicles are exempt from declarations of MOT.
This means they are not required to take their vehicle to a car garage every year for a thorough examination.
Does that mean they’re not safe?
GoSafe have insisted that their vehicles are “maintained to a high standard by our Vehicles Management Unit”.
What other vehicles are exempt?
It’s not just police vehicles that dodge the MOT as we know it. There are 16 other vehicles that are exempt.
- Motor tractors
- Track-laying vehicles
- Articulated vehicles (excluding lorries and buses)
- Works trucks
- Invalid carriages weighing no more than 306kg when unloaded
- Vehicle used only to pass from land occupied by the person keeping the vehicle to other land occupied by them, and not travelling on the road for more than a total of 6 miles a week
- Hackney carriage or private-hire vehicle licensed by local authorities authorised to check the road-worthiness of this vehicle.
- London hackney carriage
- Electric goods vehicles (registered before 1 March 2015)
- Trolley vehicle that is not an auxiliary trolley vehicle (auxiliary trolley vehicles are vehicles that are adapted to run from power provided from a source on board)
- Vehicles authorised to be used on the road by a Special Types General Order or a Vehicle Special Order, unless the order specifies otherwise
- Vehicles used only on certain islands that do not have a bridge, tunnel, ford or other suitable way for motor vehicles to be conveniently driven to a road in any part of the UK. If so provide the name of the island in this box. o Vehicles with a maximum design speed of less than 15.5 miles per hour.
- A vehicle constructed for gully or street cleansing or refuse disposal, which either is a three-wheeled vehicle or has an inside track width of less than 810 millimetres.
- A public service vehicle having a date of manufacture before 1st January 1960 and which has not been substantially changed
- A vehicle other than a public service vehicle registered or manufactured 40 years ago and which has not been substantially changed in the last 30 years.
So next time you see a GoSafe vehicle you can rest easy knowing that it has undergone thorough testing, just not in the way you’re familiar with.