WOF changes will end in tears - expert
editor Clive Matthew-Wilson – who is an active road safety
campaigner – says:
“Despite what people have been conned into believing, the current six-monthly WOF check is a major lifesaver. To dispense with this system will inevitably result in more deaths and injuries."
Matthew-Wilson dismisses government claims that few accidents are caused by vehicle defects and that the six-monthly WOF is therefore an unnecessary expense:
“When the police investigate accidents, then tend to blame driver behavior. Therefore, they often miss vital factors that might have prevented the accident occurring.”
“Take a typical situation where a child runs out in front of your car. Whether or not that child gets killed may well depend on the state of your vehicle’s brakes and shock absorbers.”
Tests by the German vehicle inspection agency TUV found that a vehicle with one worn shock absorber stops two metres slower than a car with all four shock absorbers working properly.
Brakes and shock absorbers are currently checked every six months on most vehicles. That time will double when the WOFs are moved to 12 months.
Australian vehicle accident expert Chris Coxon, who co-founded Australia’s ANCAP crash test program, says:
“The New Zealand government scientists appear to have deliberately excluded research that didn’t support the government position.”
Matthew-Wilson adds that the government’s WOF changes have been very deceptively packaged.
“The government has done a brilliant job of presenting the changes to the vehicle licensing system as a measure to save ordinary motorists time and money. Actually, the average motorist will save very little and may lose a lot.”