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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

‘With community spirit & patience we will get through this’ – Crawley Police Chief thanks residents for staying at home

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Chief Inspector Shane Baker who is the District Commander for Crawley and Mid Sussex has thanked the towns residents and his own officers for their commitment to following the governments emergency measures.

Since the measures were introduced the majority of residents have been following the measures and when not required to go to work or to do essential travel have been staying at home.

But the Chief Inspector was also quick to point out that those who do flaunt the measures will find his officers will enforce the legislation where necessary.

CI Baker confirmed his officers who have been actioning ‘Operation Apollo’ have only had to deal with a handful of situations where some people were not abiding by the new rules but that these were very few.

So far officers had only had to deal with some shoppers breaking rules in a supermarket, gatherings being arranged on social media in several wards and some house parties.

He also confirmed that whilst 5% of his officers were off self-isolating, there was no disruption to their service as demand for general policing, in particular residential burglaries, was down due to people being indoors.

CI Baker added that those officers working from home were still able to continue investigative duties.

Nationally the police have had to contend with a lot of backlash as some forces were deemed to be acting far too heavy handed. CI Baker said that so far there had been no need for officers to fine anyone and that he was keen his officers used tactics of visibility and persuasion first and foremost.

His officers were also taking measures to protect the public as much as possible by keeping social distancing between themselves where possible and where it wasn’t such as within patrol cars, they were working with the same colleagues to minimise any potential spread.

CI Baker said:

“I thank the vast majority of Crawley residents and my officers for their continued commitment to the governments emergency measures.

We are still seeing people out without cause; these are not guidelines, this is for your own safety. My officers will enforce the emergency legislation where proportionate and necessary, but they should not have to.”

“We are all impacted by this pandemic, but with a sense of public duty, a community spirit and continued patience we will soon get through this whilst saving the lives of many.”

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