Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


UC Researcher Says Time To Review Vehicle Testing Governance

UC Researcher Says Time To Review The Governance System For Vehicle Testing in NZ

February 5, 2013

A University of Canterbury UC) researcher says it might be time to review the governance system for vehicle testing in New Zealand to achieve better road safety with less vehicle testing.

A Ministry of Transport report shows New Zealand motorists drive a car that is on average 13 years old and face road-testing more often than drivers in other countries.

A UC management expert Dr Pavel Castka says vehicle testing does not significantly impact on road fatalities.

``The issue is not the frequency of testing but the quality and consistency of testing. There are so many firms that provide warrant of fitness tests. Are they really consistent? Is the stringency of the system being maintained?

``I do not have the data from New Zealand, yet the research in the US has shown that the increased competition in vehicle testing - and increased number of entities that provide vehicle testing - led to a more lenient system over time. So maybe, it is a time to review the governance system for vehicle testing in New Zealand to achieve better road safety with less vehicle testing.’’

Another UC lecturer who researches transport, Dr Glen Koorey, said New Zealand has a culture of not valuing the importance of road safety.

``What other industry in the country allows you to routinely kill 400 people a year and barely raise an eyelid? Meanwhile, we’re planning to spend $12 billion on motorways to attempt to address congestion that supposedly costs us less than $2 billion a year, while we invest a pittance each year on road safety that costs this country over $4 billion each year,’’ Dr Koorey said.

He said older cars have an effect on the survivability of any crash. Modern cars had features such as airbags and crumple zones that allowed some people to almost walk away from a serious collision.

A 1999 model car would behave quite differently to a 2009 model of the same car. Therefore, encouraging people to upgrade to newer, safer cars paid important dividends, more so than frequent maintenance checks, he said.

``Motor vehicle faults themselves contribute a very small proportion to the total number of crashes – three percent of crashes have some contribution by vehicles. Most are a consequence of driver behaviour or mistakes, or a poor or misleading road environment.

``In the bigger scheme of things, a change of a few vehicle-related crashes here and there are negligible within the thousands of serious crashes we have every year. If the year-2000 cut-off means that many people switch to a newer car model then the injury savings from that will far outweigh any increases from a reduced testing regime for modern cars.

``People would also easily recoup any losses by introducing other proven road safety treatments from overseas such as lowering the drink drive limit or introducing more lower speed zones,’’ Dr Koorey said.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news