Crackdown on dodgy technicians

  • Calls for a new licence for motor technicians
  • Over 2,000 accidents a year caused by poor maintenance
  • Backed by a number of leading automotive organisations

A leading industry body is calling for parliament to introduce a licence for technicians operating in the motor industry. The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) believes such a move would greatly reduce the number of accidents on UK roads.

The IMI says the plans already have the backing of a number of leading automotive companies, including REMIT, AutoGlass, Inchcape UK, John Clarke Motor Group and TrustFord. According to road safety charity Brake, in 2011, 2,125 crashes in Britain were caused by vehicle defects as a result of inadequate maintenance, 52 of them causing deaths.

A consumer report found that 70% of voters think it’s already a requirement for technicians in the motor industry to hold a licence to practise, while the IMI will also look to build a consensus in the independent aftermarket industry during the campaign.

This call follows the news that driverless cars are to be made legal by the government by 2015, a move the IMI argues requires a higher degree of maintenance and safety checks. It also explains that modern vehicle technology has reached a level where regulation is necessary to ensure automotive technicians are competent for the safety of motorists.

“The imminent prospect of autonomous vehicles on UK roads makes the issue of licensing extremely urgent”, remarked Steve Nash, the CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry.

“The proliferation of hybrid vehicles and complex driver assist systems has already increased the skills requirements for effective and safe working on modern vehicles. Service technicians without the proper training are increasingly putting themselves and motorists at risk”.

“Our parliamentary research suggests that MPs currently see the motor industry as low skilled, low paid and dirty. It is vital that they and the public come to a better understanding of the requirements necessary to work on modern vehicles, especially with a new wave of technology on the horizon”.

“The template for licensing already exists in the Professional Register, so there is no excuse. Many skilled operators in the industry are already calling for licensing, so they aren’t forced to compete with rogue traders, who undercut them, further damaging the reputation of the sector and putting motorists at risk.”