'Boy racers' put through surprise night-time MOT by police and DVA

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In a joint operation between police and the DVA some 21 'anti social' drivers plaguing residents in Cookstown and Magherafelt were put through a surprise MOT last Saturday night.

And as a result 16 fixed penalty notices were issued as well as five prohibition notices, four suspension notices and nine defect notices, while one driver is now facing court action.

Sergeant John Downey said: "One such vehicle that give us cause for concern was a car that had its rear springs cut. The springs were not secured in any way and therefore the car was a death trap. The driver now faces the prospect of a hefty fine and losing his licence.

"I would ask anyone who modifies their car to ensure that it is done safely and responsibly. All cars must adhere to Construction & Use Regulations."

The operation, which took place between 8pm-1am on January 14, was put in place due to recent complaints about anti-social behaviour caused by some drivers in Magherafelt town centre and the Fairhill area of Cookstown.

DVA opened Cookstown MOT Centre so that any vehicles that were suspected to be defective could be checked. Some vehicles were also examined by DVA staff on the ground.

At the MOT centre, police said a DVA vehicle examiner can check on the following on your vehicle:

Registration plates - condition, security, legibility and format of letters/numbers

Lights - condition, operation, security, aim and correct colour

Steering and suspension - correct condition and operation

Wipers/washers - operate to give the driver a clear view of the road

Windscreen - condition, degree of transparency and drivers view of the road

Horn - correct operation and type

Seatbelts - checked for type, condition, operation and security

Fuel system - no leaks, fuel cap fastens correctly and seals securely

Exhaust emissions - vehicle meets the requirements for exhaust emissions

Vehicle structure - free from excessive corrosion or damage with no sharp edges

Doors - opening and closing mechanism, latch security in closed position

Mirrors - presence, condition and security

Wheels and tyres - condition, security, tyre size/type and tread depth

Brakes - condition, operation and performance (efficiency testing) by both physical and visual inspection

"From a policing point of view, this was a very successful operation and sends out a clear message that police and DVA will work together to improve road safety and prevent defective vehicles being driven on our roads," added Sergeant Downey.

"We want to work together with the public and where we can will offer advice, however if your vehicle is defective you may face the prospect of a fixed penalty notice or referral to the Public Prosecution Service. We also have the power to request a preliminary breath test from a driver if an offence is committed. We will continue to work with our partners to do everything in our power to make the roads safer for everyone.

"Thanks to all those people that do keep their vehicles free from defects. Its makes our roads much safer and reduces deaths and serious injuries."