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New support for vehicle impoundment provisions

17 April 2001 Media Statement

New support for vehicle impoundment provisions

Transport Minister Mark Gosche announced today the introduction of a reimbursement scheme for companies which tow and store impounded vehicles.

As of today authorised storage providers will receive $100 reimbursement for unclaimed impounded vehicles which have been permanently destroyed.

Since May 1999 the Police have impounded any vehicle being driven by someone who, at the time of driving, is disqualified from holding a driver licence, or is unlicensed and has been forbidden to drive. As a result there has been a 32% reduction in 'detected driving while disqualified' offences involving disqualified and unlicensed drivers, and a 28% reduction in the proportion of crashes involving disqualified or unlicensed drivers.

“The vehicle impoundment provisions are helping to make New Zealand roads safer,” Mr Gosche said today. “The successful implementation of these provisions relies on the participation of tow companies and storage providers".

“The cost of towing and storage is recovered by these companies when the vehicles are reclaimed. However, many are not reclaimed by their owners, have no resale value, and need to be destroyed. This has meant that these companies are often not able to recover their costs. Accordingly we are now introducing a reimbursement regime to cover the cost of tow and disposal.”

The regime will allow for reimbursement of $100 (GST inc) per unclaimed impounded vehicle that is destroyed. The figure of $100 per vehicle is based on the costs of the initial tow of $47.00 which is set by regulation, and the approximate cost for permanent destruction of $53.00.

A letter has been sent to storage providers detailing the process for reimbursement. An impounded vehicle must have been stored for at least 56 days, before authorisation for disposal is sought from the police. The storage provider is required to make all reasonable efforts to sell the vehicle before it is destroyed. Once the vehicle has been permanently destroyed an application for reimbursement may then be made to the Transport Registry Centre. Storage providers must make a statutory declaration confirming the actions taken in relation to a destroyed vehicle before reimbursement is paid.

“I appreciate the assistance that tow and storage companies have provided in supporting the enforcement of the vehicle impoundment provisions. This scheme has been developed in recognition of the loss they were incurring.”

ENDS

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