Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


If it ain't broke, don't fix it

Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ) Media Release
Wellington, Saturday, 8 December 2012

If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Vehicle reforms threaten independent road safety checks

Proposed changes to the inspection of trucks and heavy vehicles are economic sleight of hand and could compromise safety instead of improving it, says Vehicle Testing New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Walsh.

The Government is due to announce significant changes to heavy vehicle inspections before Christmas as part of the Vehicle License Reform programme. At present, inspectors do not repair trucks, but VTNZ says that independence is likely to go when the changes are made.

“Removing independence from the inspections means more emphasis on self-regulation and a big investment in auditing, compliance and enforcement – without those safeguards, it can be very hard to maintain the standard and integrity of inspections.

“Taxi deregulation and leaky buildings are examples of what happens when the balance is wrong – it may not happen immediately, but experience shows us what will happen when you relax the rules without the proper checks and balances.”

Walsh says most operators with good safety practices will take the same professional approach to fleet safety they do now, but it’s naïve to think everyone will do the right thing.

VTNZ carries out about 180,000 truck and trailer inspections each year – 86% of all heavy vehicle safety inspections – and he says it’s no coincidence that New Zealand has one of the best heavy vehicle safety records in the world.

“The cornerstone of our system is the independence of inspectors – we have no interest in repairs and there’s never a question that standards or safety will be compromised by commercial pressure.

“It’s very easy to dismiss our comments as self-interest or even scaremongering, but we’re appointed by the NZ Transport Agency to provide a nationwide service that ensures trucks are safe.

“These changes are likely to see many of our 85 testing stations close and others reduce services – relaxing inspections would also see other operators competing for business and there’s only so much money you can save without compromising standards.”
Studies by industry experts and NZTA confirm the current inspection system is accessible, value for money and maintains a high standard of vehicle safety. Over time, these changes could see prices rise and the services reduced – particularly in rural and provincial areas.

“As people travel on the roads this summer, they need to look at the trucks on the other side of the centre line and ask how much deregulation and increased road risk they’re prepared to live with.

“The Government’s been badly advised on these changes,” says Walsh. “Safety concerns have been ignored and the expected changes haven’t been thought through properly.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news