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Did you know that vehicles in for MOT (the annual test for roadworthiness, if you're not a 'local') can be turned away through lack of cleanliness? I didn't, until I received a Government press release yesterday, explaining that the pandemic has seen procedures put in place to protect those involved in vehicle testing. This includes a greater focus on making sure vehicles are clean. "We don't expect your vehicle or trailer to have a full valet before its test," it said, "but our staff do have to get into the cab as part of the inspection, so wiping down the interior beforehand is important. Our assessors need to be satisfied that the interior has recently been cleaned."
Drivers are being asked to wipe down areas that the VSA needs to touch (e.g. dashboard, doors, buttons/handles, vehicle controls), remove items such as food wrappers, bottles and tissues from areas that need to be accessed (e.g. seats and footwells), store essential items in their correct positions (e.g. fire extinguisher, hard hat) and tidy away other items that could get in the VSA's way.
I would have thought that this would be a common courtesy anyway - pandemic or not. Forcing others to touch your personal rubbish isn't the thing to do, is it? Clearly, some people don't see it that way though...
"There are a handful of occasions we refuse to test a vehicle because of issues with cleanliness," said the release. "If there's time, assessors will give the vehicle operator/presenter a chance to clean the cab before refusing to test. If the standards can't be met on the day, we'll issue an official refusal. Trying to find another appointment could cause delays in getting the vehicle back on the road."
It makes sense, doesn't it? There was a time when we'd chuckle at filthy trade vehicles but nowadays they're seen as a 'shop window', damaging the organisation's reputation (particularly if involved in cleaning!) if filthy, but portraying a good one if clean. This year, having a clean vehicle is more important than ever.
As it's Christmas, normally, I'd also be saying: "Have a good one". This year, I'll just hope we can all spend some time with those who are important to us. We'll be back on 7th January.
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17th December 2020