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

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads.

This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD.

That showed that the City Rail Link, together with surface bus improvement, provided the best regional solution. However, it also identified that the city centre is already facing serious congestion across all major road entry points which, if not addressed now, will worsen. More>>

 

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Kiwi Pride: New Zealand Takes UN Security Council Seat

“New Zealand’s term on the Security Council will place us at the heart of international decision-making for the next two years,” Mr McCully says. More>>

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news