Crackdown on Cookstown's 'death trap' vehicles

Random checks of vehicles were carried out in Cookstown by police and Driver Vehicle Agency officers.  Picture: PSNI
Random checks of vehicles were carried out in Cookstown by police and Driver Vehicle Agency officers. Picture: PSNI

Police in Cookstown have revealed the 'frightening' state of some cars being driven on local roads.

Neighbourhood police teams, along with officials from the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA), carried out detailed examinations of seven cars stopped randomly in Cookstown.

Of these, four were in such a poor state they were banned from being on the road straight away.

"The results were frightening. Of the seven cars stopped we immediately took four off the road,” said a police spokesperson.

"Three were in such a dangerous condition they were seized and issued with prohibition notices. Those that weren’t seized were issued with rectification notices.”

Among the serious defects found were to brakes, suspension faults and lights.

"Issues found were cars with no brakes - and when we say no brakes we mean there were no calipers, no pads, not even discs and the brake pipes were taped, yes, taped off. Cars with brakes running metal to metal,” added the PSNI spokesperson.

"Cut springs, loose springs, no springs, no exhausts, tyres worn through to the wire, no suspension, front windscreens with next to no visibility, handbrakes not connected and lights not working.

"Those stopped were male and female. Some drivers were issued with tickets, others are looking at court appearances for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition and one driver who was arrested for a litany of motoring offences.”

The spokesperson urged all drivers to take responsibility for the state of their cars.

"The tedious excuses trotted out repeatedly are ‘Oh I didn’t know’ and ‘I bought it like that’. There is too much of the ‘Not my problem’ attitude.

"When you get behind the wheel of your car the sole responsibility lies with you.

"You keep telling us one of your biggest concerns is safety on our roads. Rest assured we’ll keep removing and prosecuting those who play fast and loose with their cars and your lives.”