Changes to make vehicle testing cheaper

By Staff reporter

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The Western Bay public is invited to voice their opinions about proposed changes to make compulsory vehicle testing and registration cheaper and simpler.

The Vehicle Licensing Reform project was debated in Parliament today and the public are invited to make a submission on the proposed options.

Associate Minister of Transport and Tauranga MP, Simon Bridges, said the current vehicle licensing systems being debated included warrant of fitness (WoF) and certificate of fitness (CoF), annual vehicle licensing (commonly known as registration) and transport services licensing.

Mr Bridges said changes to these systems, which had "been in place for decades'', could save millions of dollars in unnecessary costs.

He said around $245 million each year was paid in inspection fees but it was unclear whether this resulted in fewer crashes caused by vehicle faults.

"There is also possibly too high a reliance on a WoF check as a substitute for vehicle maintenance,'' he said.

"Safety does, of course, remain a key issue.  One of the objectives of the Vehicle Licensing Reform project is to reduce

regulatory burdens while achieving similar or improved safety outcomes, so any changes to existing systems will have to achieve this.''

The Automobile Association (AA) is welcoming the proposed changes.

Spokesperson Mark Stockdale said the review proposed "the most significant changes''  to vehicle regulations since the introduction of used Japanese imports in the 1980's.

He said the proposal of less frequent WoF's wouldn't necessarily mean vehicle safety was compromised.

The Motor Trade Association (MTA) spokesperson Ian Stronach said vehicle inspections played an important role in maintaining vehicles at a basic level and improving road safety.

"Care now needs to be taken to ensure that this progress is not reversed through the introduction of changes that may carry considerable risk.''

Meanwhile, independent vehicle safety expert VTNZ said plans to save motorists time and money could have the exact opposite effect _ and see an increase in the number of road accidents.

VTNZ chief executive Mike Walsh said: ``We support any initiative to make the licensing more efficient and use advances in technology to reduce costs for motorists but the options need to be well-informed and we'll be making comprehensive submissions on these options.''

The Vehicle Licensing Reform project is being jointly led by the Ministry of Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

People wanting to make a submission can fill in a short online survey, write a submission, or just respond to areas of the reform that apply to them.

The Vehicle Licensing Reform discussion document, summary document, online submission form and supporting information, including questions and answers can be found on the Ministry of Transport website

www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork/Land/Pages/VehicleLicensingReform.aspx

Submissions can be made until Wednesday, October 31. 

- Bay of Plenty Times

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