VOSA MOT Test failure rates data

Today, the VOSA released data pertaining to a Freedom of Information request from the BBC detailing the rates and reasons for vehicles failing the MOT Test in the UK

There’s a rather interesting report on the content of the data on the BBC news site but the only way to download the data is as a PDF from VOSA or as a Excel spreadsheet from the BBC. Both of these are not very parseable so I’ve converted them into a CSV and a MySQL dump file.

These files are not small… it’s over 12,600 rows in the following format:

  • make varchar
  • model varchar
  • year int
  • passes int
  • failures int
  • failrate float
  • body int
  • brakes int
  • driverview int
  • emissions int
  • lights int
  • identity int
  • wheels int
  • belts int
  • steering int
  • suspension int
  • tyres int
  • othercycles int
  • controls int
  • nottested int

The data is public, and the following files are released under the Creative Commons licence (see below for more info).

The two files available are:

I would be interested to hear of any interesting uses for this data, please feel free to comment below or let me know via Twitter (@fooflington)

Creative Commons License
Reworking of VOSA FoI data about MOT Test failures by Matthew Slowe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.vosa.gov.uk.

BBC News site redesign

Sent to BBC Comments today regarding the new style on the BBC News website…

I may be in a minority, but although my screen may be 1024×768, that
is not the resolution at which my applications run. I often (nee all
the time) have many applications open at once and the most efficient
way to know what’s going on in all of them is to have them layered and
*not* filling the whole screen.

The old 600 wide layout was perfect for this and was a design concept
I would reccomend to others too. The new design, however, doesn’t
actually provide any more space for actual content but, instead, makes
the navigation bars around the edge much “bigger” (that is wider and
fatter). This means I need to scroll off the side to see some of the
sidebar content (which annoys me greatly on any page — sideways
scrolling should never be required).

Furthermore, what were considered headings further down the page under
“AROUND THE UK NOW”, the section headings used to be bold and are no
longer. This makes it much harder to skim down for what you’re looking

I am aware that people far cleverer than I have had a hand in creating
this new design, however it is, in my opinion, a step too far into the
“Web 2.0” idiom. The site was, previously, clean, concise and easy to
navigate for all. That is no longer the case, I fear.

Little criminals?

With reference to this BBC news article about some boys aged 10 to 12 being hauled before the Old Bailey to answer charges of Manslaughter…

What were they doing out and in a position to do something like that without parental guidance/observation?

The age of criminal responsibility should be at such an age as to when children are out and about apparently with enough nouse to know right from wrong. This may be different from child to child, but it should be up to the parents to decide if their child is ready to face the big wide world and is responsible enough a young-adult to do so. If they are not up to this yet, then maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to get in to such a situation.

I note how the BBC article makes absolutely no reference to the parents and the children’s upbringing — did they miss out on some vital moral lessons? Were they just being kids and playing around without realising that throwing stones at other people is wrong? If so, why did they think this?

It makes me quite sad, actually 🙁

If we do raise the age of criminal responsibility, on whom would fall the responsibility for the father who was killed by these boys? No one? The parents? I don’t know.