Annex 6 - Vehicle maintenance, safety and security
1. Vehicle maintenance
Take special care that lights, brakes, steering, exhaust system, seat belts, demisters, wipers and washers are all working. Also
Warning displays. Make sure that you understand the meaning of all warning displays on the vehicle instrument panel. Do not ignore warning signs, they could indicate a dangerous fault developing.
Window tints. You MUST NOT use a vehicle with excessively dark tinting applied to the windscreen, or to the glass in any front window to either side of the driver. Window tinting applied during manufacture complies with the Visual Light Transmittance (VLT) standards. There are no VLT limits for rear windscreens or rear passenger windows.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 42 & CUR reg 32
Tyres. Tyres MUST be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s specification for the load being carried. Always refer to the vehicle’s handbook or data. Tyres should also be free from certain cuts and other defects.
Cars, light vans and light trailers MUST have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference.
Motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles MUST have a tread depth of at least 1 mm across three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and in a continuous band around the entire circumference.
Mopeds should have visible tread.
Be aware that some vehicle defects can attract penalty points.
Tyre age. Tyres over 10 years old MUST NOT be used on the front axles of:
To prove the age of a tyre it is further required that the date of tyre manufacture marking MUST always be legible.
Vehicles currently excluded from tyre roadworthiness regulations and vehicles of historical interest which are not used for commercial purpose, are exempt from these requirements.
Law CUR reg 27
If a tyre bursts while you are driving, try to keep control of your vehicle. Grip the steering wheel firmly and allow the vehicle to roll to a stop at the side of the road.
If you have a flat tyre, stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Only change the tyre if you can do so without putting yourself or others at risk - otherwise call a breakdown service.
Tyre pressures. Check weekly. Do this before your journey, when tyres are cold. Warm or hot tyres may give a misleading reading.
Your brakes and steering will be adversely affected by under-inflated or over-inflated tyres. Excessive or uneven tyre wear may be caused by faults in the braking or suspension systems, or wheels which are out of alignment. Have these faults corrected as soon as possible.
Fluid levels. Check the fluid levels in your vehicle at least weekly. Low brake fluid may result in brake failure and a crash. Make sure you recognise the low fluid warning lights if your vehicle has them fitted.
Before winter. Ensure that the battery is well maintained and that there are appropriate anti-freeze agents in your radiator and windscreen bottle.
Other problems. If your vehicle
Overheated engines or fire. Most engines are water-cooled. If your engine overheats you should wait until it has cooled naturally. Only then remove the coolant filler cap and add water or other coolant.
If your vehicle catches fire, get the occupants out of the vehicle quickly and to a safe place. Do not attempt to extinguish a fire in the engine compartment, as opening the bonnet will make the fire flare. Call the fire brigade.
Petrol stations/fuel tank/fuel leaks. Ensure that, when filling up your vehicle’s tank or any fuel cans you are carrying, you do not spill fuel on the forecourt. Any spilled fuel should be immediately reported to the petrol station attendant. Diesel spillage is dangerous to other road users, particularly motorcyclists, as it will significantly reduce the level of grip between the tyres and road surface. Double-check for fuel leaks and make sure that
Never smoke, or use a mobile phone, on the forecourt of petrol stations as these are major fire risks and could cause an explosion.
Rules for pedestrians (1 to 35)
Rules for users of powered wheelchairs and powered mobility scooters (36 to 46)
Rules about animals (47 to 58)
Rules for cyclists (59 to 82)
Rules for motorcyclists (83 to 88)
Rules for drivers and motorcyclists (89 to 102)
General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders (103 to 158)
Using the road (159 to 203)
Road users requiring extra care (204 to 225)
Driving in adverse weather conditions (226 to 237)
Waiting and parking (238 to 252)
Motorways (253 to 273)
Breakdowns and incidents (274 to 287)
Road works, level crossings and tramways (288 to 307)
Signs and Signals
Direction signs on roads and motorways
Light signals controlling traffic
Road signs giving orders
Road works signs
Signals by authorised persons
Signals to other road users
Vehicle maintenance, safety and security
First aid on the road
Safety Code for new drivers