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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Student’s Cars Fail Free Checks

01/12/2011

Firefighter Neil Cheshire shows some of the Newcastle College students the checks he's carrying out

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out free car safety checks on 149 cars at Newcastle-under-Lyme College and Keele University last week.

"Hopefully the checks will encourage the students to take more time to inspect their vehicles on a regular basis and we hope our advice has helped those who didn’t know what to look for."

Station Manager, Mick Daniels

The purpose of the event was to educate the students about what they should be checking on a weekly basis as responsible car owners, and is based on the guidance contained in the Highway Code.

The items checked are not only a legal requirement but may help reduce or prevent vehicle accidents, injuries and deaths, particularly in the 17 – 25 year age group.

The checks looked at the car lights, windows, windscreen, wipers, under the bonnet and the tyres. Cars found to have any defects were put down as a failure in that category – the most common failure was tyres.

Out of the cars checked, 122 tyres were deemed unsafe for the road, including some spare tyres. Other common failures were over 20 cars having no screen wash, 21 having defective rear wipers and 30 cars having faulty indicators, fog or reverse lights. Overall, male car owners were the worst offenders.

Station Manager, Mick Daniels said: "We found that, in general, the males were the owners of the cars with the most defects, in some cases multiple faults were found.

"Although the checks highlighted females as taking better care of their cars in general there were still a lot of females who had faults with their vehicles, particularly with tyres.

"Hopefully the checks will encourage the students to take more time to inspect their vehicles on a regular basis and we hope our advice has helped those who didn’t know what to look for.

"Most of the cars we checked belonged to drivers aged 17-25, some of which had only been driving for a matter of months. It’s really important for young people to be educated about staying safe on the road and the first step is to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive.

"We also gave the students advice on the day about driving safely, particularly in bad weather and overall we are really pleased with how the checks went."

The events at Newcastle-under-Lyme and Keele University were funded by Newcastle Safer Communities Partnership, a group of local agencies who work together to tackle problems in the borough. Members include Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Newcastle College and Keele University.