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Coronavirus: Am I allowed to go for a drive…my MOT is expiring – Drivers questions answered

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Ever since the government announced the lockdown there has been quite a bit of confusion around what some people can or cannot do.

Driving has been of particular concern as many are under the assumption that everything is on hold when in-fact it isn’t, the country still needs to run.

So here are the answers to some of the most popular drivers questions around coronavirus.

My MOT is about to expire, should I wait till after the lockdown?

Legislation is coming into effect from the 30th March which will allow vehicle owners a six-month exemption from MOT testing. READ ABOUT 6 MONTH EXEMPTION HERE Garages are currently exempt from closing as they are considered an essential service and so are their MOT stations. Until the 30th March therefore if your vehicle is due for an MOT then you should arrange a test as failing to do so could invalidate your insurance and leave you at risk of a fine.

It should be noted that garages have introduced measures to minimise the risks of spreading or catching coronavirus to customers and between staff which includes using anti-bacterials wipes on surfaces regularly touched such as teh steering wheel, gear stick and door handles. There is also a hand over procedure so no contact is made between customer and staff.

I want to go for a drive, am I allowed to do this?

You should not be leaving you house for any other other reason than an essential shop, medical reason, essential work or a period of exercise. Whilst using your car does mean you are isolated away from people you cannot be 100% sure that you may not have an incident that means you have to leave your car and also you may need to refuel. Therefore the advice is to not take any unnecessary risks and follows advice, only leaving your home for the reasons mentioned.

I am a key worker and need to refuel my car, how can I do this safely?

The only way to protect yourself when using a fuel pump is to wear protective gloves while refueling and to wash your hands as soon as you can afterwards. When entering the premises to pay keep your distance from anyone around you. A lot of sites are now not taking cash payments as a way of minimising contact with customers.

I had a driving test booked, do I need to rebook this?

The DVSA has suspended all practical driving tests for up to three months except for critical workers which includes NHS staff and good delivery drivers. Tests already booked are to be automatically rescheduled at no cost to the learner. You should receive notification of your new test date by email.

Theory tests have been cancelled for one month.

I need to drive to work, is there a document I need to show to police if I am stopped?

No. At the moment there is no requirement for this.

Coronavirus

West Sussex refuses to support Crawley schools decision of NOT fining parents for keeping children absent

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September seems to creeping ever closer and with it comes the supposed return to school for children across the town.

But with the news that parents ‘must’ send their children back to school come the start of the new school year, also came the news that one head in paticular had gone on record to say he would not fine any parent who kept their child at home.

Head of St Wilfrid’s Michael Ferry was interviewed on breakfast television where he stated that he would not fine a parent. This then led to a whole debate about who was right and what the right decision should be.

Now West Sussex County Council has added to this furore by refusing to support a decision to not fine a parent made by any head teacher or school in Crawley.

In a statement a West Sussex County Council Spokesperson said:

“We welcome the plan for all children to return to the classroom in September after, what has been for many, a lengthy absence.

“We recognise that some children may be anxious about returning to school and will work closely with our schools to help them prepare children and build the confidence of parents  and carers in the plans for a safe and managed return.

“We will continue to work with schools to engage with and support parents and carers in getting their children back into school before considering issuing penalties for poor attendance. Issuing fines for non-attendance is always a last resort.”

The lack of apparent support from the county council shows an ever growing divide on decisions being made around the ongoing problems with the coronavirus.

Responding to the comments from West Sussex, Michael Ferry said:

“The guidance allows head teachers as far as they can to make local decisions to meet the needs of their school communities.  If one of those decisions happens to be that we are not going to fine people for something that isn’t their fault then I would expect the local authority to support the headteachers in doing so.

If only 10% turn up when we reopen then I would say I have failed because I have not got across the message about what measures we are taking to protect our students.”

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