In 2011, police pulled 30,000 cars off the road after safety failures were found during spot road checks. Of those, 16,000 vehicle licenses were revoked due to severe failures.

Traffic Police said past experience has shown that failures in critical car functions, such as brakes and steering, came after cars were not maintained properly, and urged drivers on Tuesday to take their cars for regular repairs at garages.

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If drivers notice a brake failure, they should switch on their hazard lights and carefully head to the right shoulder, while switching to a lower gear and activating their hand brakes.

Early warnings of brake failure include noises or shakes when brakes are activated, or when the brake pedal is lower than usual.

In all of those cases, drivers must head to a repair garage immediately, police said.

A red light on the sensor panel also requires immediate attention, as do leaks and the smell of burning oil, which could originate from the brake system.

Some 500 Traffic Police examiners pull over cars across the road network to check them for safety standards.