Before operating a vehicle, a person must hold a valid driving licence and be insured against third-party risks. The registered keeper must also ensure that the vehicle has a current excise licence and is properly registered. No part of the vehicle should be in a dangerous or defective condition, and vehicles over three years old must have a valid Ministry of Transport (MOT) test certificate. But many people do not comply with these requirements. Excluding speed limit, failures to comply with traffic signs, and parking and obstruction breaches, they are the most common motoring offences dealt with by official police action in Great Britain (Ayres and Hayward 2001b: Table 1). In 2000, driving licence, insurance, excise licence and registration, test certificate and vehicle condition offences together comprised almost a third (32 per cent) of all motoring offences proceeded against (ibid.).