Wardens set to ticket illegal cars

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Parking wardens in Whangarei could be given the authority to ticket vehicles with expired warrants of fitness and registrations from July 1.

Councillor John Williamson has given notice that he intends to put a motion that would allow parking wardens to enforce an infringement notice on cars that do not have a valid WoF or registration label on display.

Whangarei District Council is the only city council not to ticket expired WoFs and registrations. The matter will be discussed at a full council meeting on Wednesday.

The fine for not displaying a current WoF or registration would be $200.

It will follow the police compliance scheme, which gives vehicle owners 14 days to correct the fault if they have a WoF that has expired by up to one month.

Mr Williamson says in his notice that Whangarei has a serious issue of unsafe, illegal vehicles.

He said the real issue was not about inspection frequency but ensuring that a vehicle had a current WoF and safe tyres.

Mr Williamson said the sole submission to the council's long term plan from the Northland branch of the Automobile Association was to introduce WoF and registration enforcement.

The council conducted a survey in Whangarei in November 2008 and found that 5.2 per cent of vehicles had either no WoF or an expired WoF.

The AA in Northland carried out a similar survey of Whangarei carparks over two days in November 2012.

In that survey there were 101, or 9.5 per cent, out of the 1060 vehicles parked in those carparks that were either not registered or not warranted.

John Olley, of the AA's Whangarei office, said he would be very pleased to see the motion passed.

"We've been promoting this for two years," Mr Olley said.

"Other councils have been doing it for years, and we've done the survey and we know that it's what is needed up here," he said.

Council bylaw co-ordinator Mike Henehan found that, out of 159 fatal crashes in Northland from 2007 to 2011, 18 per cent involved unwarranted vehicles.

Mr Williamson said his proposal was not to be seen as a punitive or revenue gathering approach, but about helping ensure the vehicles travelling on Whangarei roads were warranted and legally entitled to be there.

- Northern Advocate

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