Photos: MOT database targets illegal cars

Photos: MOT database targets illegal cars

Summary: 18,500 garages finally linked to delayed system

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  • Garages and testing stations are equipped with a printer, PC, smart card reader and modem free of charge (above is a screenshot from a garage testing station PC). Vosa pays SBS £1.09 for every pass carried out using the MOT system.

    SBS established two mainframes in Blackpool which hold the central MOT database of vehicle information, test results and details of authorised examiners and testers. The garages and Vosa are connected to this database.

    Police can use the system to check MOT certificates, and the system will link in with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) databases which can check against a list of vehicles without MOT certificates in future.

    The MOT computerisation project aims to take a million illegal and dangerous cars off the UK's roads and provide greater protection for motorists and consumers.

    Photo credit: Siemens Business Services

  • Each authorised user of the MOT system in the garages and testing stations is provided with a smartcard with a contactless chip, which has their personal photograph on the front.

    The tester can access the system by placing the smartcard in the reader provided and entering their password.

    The vehicle is then registered for a test by entering the registration mark and chassis number to match the DVLA record, which will provide the tester with all the information relevant for the vehicle being tested. If a match cannot be found with a DVLA record, a new record is created based on the vehicle details presented.

    Photo credit: Siemens Business Services

  • The equipment provided to the garages is all ruggedised to prevent oil, grease and grime damaging the PC or keyboard.

    Training is provided for mechanics in the garages as well as back-up support from a Vosa helpline, which currently receives around 1,400 calls a day. But Vosa claims most garages - even the less computer literate ones - are able to get up to speed with the computer system within two weeks of installation.

    Once the test is completed the mechanic enters the results before printing off either a pass certificate or failure notice, together with any advisories such as items that have not failed but are close to doing so and should attended to in the near future.

    The garage then securely connects to the central MOT database using a dial-up modem supplied by Vosa, and the information is updated in just a few seconds. Most garages typically carry out around six MOT tests each day.

    The system also checks the tester and garage are authorised to test that class of vehicle and that the calibration of the test equipment is up-to-date.

    Photo credit: Siemens Business Services

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Topic: Tech Industry

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