Drivers quick to give WoF views

Proposal for change draws unusually large response

The MTA has openly questioned a proposal that new cars have WoF checks two years after being sold, followed by inspections at four and six years. Photo / file
The MTA has openly questioned a proposal that new cars have WoF checks two years after being sold, followed by inspections at four and six years. Photo / file

The MTA has openly questioned a proposals that new cars have WoF checks two years after being sold, followed by inspections at four and six years.

The New Zealand public's response to proposed changes to the frequency of warrant of fitness inspections resulted in an extraordinary number of submissions to the Government.

Submissions closed on Wednesday with 4200 received. Normally, about 250 would be submitted.

The MTA has openly questioned the industry proposals that new cars have WoF checks two years after being sold, followed by inspections at four and six years.

Thereafter, the industry suggested, they would need a yearly warrant. The existing six-monthly WoF on cars more than six years old could be changed to 12 months.

MTA introduced a Hands off the WoF website with Kiwi V8 driver Greg Murphy fronting a TV advertisement.

The website was created to run throughout the period leading up to the closure of submissions.

It allowed the public to make comments on the changes and other aspects.

During that time the site received nearly 48,000 visits, with the duration of the average more than nine minutes.

Visitors to the site were able to record whether the Government should "leave the WoF alone" or change it.

Of the website visitors, 64.8 per cent wanted the WoF system left alone while 35.2 per cent called for change.

MTA spokesman Ian Stronach said "We'd carried out our own research earlier in the year that indicated high levels of concern about the possibility of changes to WoF frequency and we wanted to see how deeply those concerns ran.

"The response from the public was very strong, not just through the channels we created, but via other outlets as well."

A Facebook page saw 115 people liking the page and 771 individual posts were received.

The MTA is also submitting that both classic cars (pre-1960) and household trailers should require only an annual WoF, as neither represented a great safety risk.

"We assumed there would be some interest around WoF," Stronach said, "but the scale of comment and participation really surprised us.

"While our poll was just that, a simple poll, there were some noticeable trends with safety the prime issue."

The Government will now spend the next few weeks considering submissions, with a preferred option being presented to Cabinet for a final decision expected before the end of the year.

MTA has asked the Government to have a further round of consultation on the preferred options for the WoF, Certificate of Fitness (CoF), vehicle licensing and transport service licenses.

But the Automobile Association supported the Government's discussion document, saying it was "the most significant changes to vehicle regulations since the introduction of used Japanese imports in the 1980s".

AA spokesman Mark Stockdale said: "It has the potential to save motorists' time and money."

- NZ Herald

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