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Hidden agenda behind WOF changes – expert

Hidden agenda behind WOF changes – expert

Massive trucks may soon be cruising the country’s roads without having had an independent safety inspection, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.

Dogandlemon.com editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says the government’s WOF changes are part of a larger plan to let commercial vehicle fleet operators issue their own in-house safety certificates.

“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. Don’t be fooled. These changes are being driven by commercial operators, who want to eliminate independent safety inspections on their own vehicles.”

“Don’t take my word for it: here are the government's exact words:”

‘Larger trucking businesses may be well placed to self-certify compliance with certificate of fitness requirements because they carry suitably qualified maintenance staff.’

http://www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork/Land/Documents/Vehicle-Licensing-Reform-Conversation-paper-May-2012.pdf

Matthew-Wilson adds:
“In English, this means that, in the near future, the trucking companies will be allowed to mark their own exam papers.”

“It is reasonable to assume that if the trucking industry is allowed to self-regulate, then the car fleet operators will also be allowed to self-regulate in the near future. That means hundreds of thousands of vehicles driving millions of miles without any independent safety inspection.”

“That’s why the government has announced that it intends to hire a large private police force to do random safety checks on vehicles1: instead of the commercial operators paying for independent safety inspections, as they do at present, the commercial operators will simply let the taxpayer foot the bill for roadside inspections.”

“You can be sure that the trucking company accountants will have calculated massive savings using this system, even though a few truck operators will get fined along the way.”

“At present, roadside truck inspections are carried out by police. However, in the near future, I predict that these checks will be privatised as well.”

“The public should be very afraid. Trucks make up only 2.5% of the vehicle fleet but cause 15% of all road deaths.”

“As far as the commercial fleet operators are concerned, deregulation simply means more profits. As far as the public is concerned, deregulation often means disaster. Look at the leaky buildings disaster; look at the finance company disaster. What’s most frightening is that the government now wants to deregulate road safety as well.”

Matthew-Wilson adds that the government’s figures don’t stack up.

“The government has stated that motorists will save up to $245 million per year from reforms to the WOF process. Actually, to save this amount, the government would have to abolish regular vehicle inspections entirely.”2

“The government says only 2.5% of accidents are caused by vehicle defects. If the number of accidents caused by defects is so low, why is the government prepared to spend millions on random roadside inspections that will often simply duplicate the WOF process?”

“At present, roadside inspections are conducted solely by the police. The public has confidence in the police. It is alarming to think that rent-a-cops on low wages could start pulling over perfectly legal vehicles which already have Warrants of Fitness.”

“The argument that the opponents of the WOF changes are just greedy garages, doesn't wash. I don't get paid for my road safety work. I'm doing this work because I'm trying to save lives.”

“A WOF is like a medical inspection for your car. I get a medical checkup from my doctor every six months. He makes money from this. The fact that he often finds nothing wrong with me is a positive, not a negative. One day, however, a six-monthly inspection might save my life.”

1 Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges says so on this clip.

2 Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges says so on this clip.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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