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Private vehicle inspectors could stop cars to check warrants

The government is considering giving private companies the power to stop vehicles on the road and check them for warrants of fitness.

Speaking this weekend on TV3’s ‘The Nation’, Transport Minister Simon Bridges said under new reforms, cars would only need a WoF annually rather than every six months.

They may also introduce “randomised” roadside checks carried out by private companies to check the safety of people’s cars.

“It could be a private organisation who’s contracted by the government,” he said.

“As I understand it, that’s what they do in Queensland with a very good success.”

Mr Bridges claims the Government’s moves to an annual rather than six months warrant of fitness check would increase road safety.

But he said it would be accompanied by more roadside checks.

“If all we did as a country was decrease the frequency of vehicle inspections, that in itself may lead to slightly less, or not as good safety outcomes, but if we then target it, have a better targeting of regulation to where the risk is, I think that’s a smart thing.”

He said this could include vehicle inspectors “randomised out of the roads” --- and those vehicle inspectors could come from private companies and have the power to stop vehicles.

“Those are things we look at and as I say actually I'm not ruling in or out options. “

V8 Supercar driver and four times Bathurst winner, Greg Murphy, is the face of the Motor Trade Association’s campaign against Mr Bridges’ proposals.

He argued on the programme that most New Zealanders were slack about maintaining their cars.

“The majority of people don’t understand why we have tyres on a car and why they have tread, or we have a minimum tread depth,” he said.

“We don’t have the knowledge when it comes to mechanical understanding of cars, and it's simple things, simple things like tyre, checking tyres and knowing and understanding about what a tyre is all about.

“Those things are basic stuff, but unfortunately unless someone tells you about you know the need and the requirement to check these things then you're not aware of it.”

Comments and questions

Private companies checking for WOF on teh road?
Would that mean that they would look for a current WOF or be empowered to do WOF checks there and then?
Thta would be so open to corruption, on a similar scale if not bigger as wheel clamping.
Simon Bridges - EPIC FAIL!!

MTA needs Murph to drive the campaign....3 times more WOF shops now than 5 years ago....just too many of em! I work in South Auckland, new trend of Police stop all cars on a busy road,plus video you via the van.I got no problem with these Reality Checks and 12 month WOF's Too many second hand tyres for sale! 12 Month WOFs and double the Minimum tread depth and no Imported used tyres. Hows that? Murph could teach us all braking points, turn in points, apex point and exit points to safely exit the corner.No one else has! Use his time to teach how to corner a car Safely at ANY SPEED. Then we will have less carnage.No Govd Dept is teaching Real Driving Skills.I'm tired of Evo' wrapped around the first tree when a chase starts.... ps Go murph at Puke! Roger F

so where will the money come from to do this?

They'll employ minimum wage monkeys, much cheaper than trained police officers.

well it takes a monkey to check a wof mate

All you do is deputise the Hells Angels to do it. They will then politely ask you for a donation to cover their costs. No charge at all to the tax-payer.

I would drive past them and not pull over, Stuff them.

Watch for the back handling.this is easy.less inspections less safety.who in goverment is makeing money out of this one.

We already have a police force to do this. We do not need a second privately owned force to police the vehicles on our roads. Safety should be the main concern not revenue gathering.

Poor old Murph, can't win any races nowdays, so needs to get a bit of 'air time' somehow.
MTA will soon want 3 monthly WOF's to pay for this campaign

Simon Bridges must have had a stupid pill for breakfast. On what planet does he think that any agency other than the police should have such rights. We only need to see the Auckland Transport / Auckland city bus lane revenue nazis at work to see how determined some can become if there is a buck in it. Its a wonder one of those happy snappers hasn't done a swan dive off Grafton Bridge yet going by the way they gleefully cha-ching the lost tourist or infrequent city visitor.

I bet they'll be stopping cars in Remuera but not in Manurewa unless they employ the gangs for protection.

Weren't dedicated traffic police merged with the rest of the force a few years back? Why not separate them out and put it back as it was?

All of this just because the Clueless gNats had promised their business buddies to cut fleet costs....

Outsourcing a police function is a sure fire road to corruption or at least exploitation

Not a great idea Simon. How annoying would it be to sit at the side of the road while someone checks the road-worthiness of your car. Most of us aren't out for a Sunday drive - we want to get somewhere and preferably in good time. Thanks, but I'll take the convenient option and book my car in for a WOF at a suitable time.

What a complete nonsense - if any private contractor tries to stop the public on a road and they get run down and sqashed for their trouble who will be the first to stand up and scream for more control over the road users - I believe it is almost certain to be the same idiot politians who dreamed up this latest madness which was only ever intended to divert public attention from the REALLY Important issues of the day ...The very notion that they might actually ram through legislation to bring this into law only goes to show the absolute contempt the pollys hold for the rest of the population ......

How can a road side check-up check your brakes or suspension (other than doing the 'moose test' to avoid the test in the first place).

Stupid. I agree the rules should be relaxed a bit:
- new cars be issued warrents when they get their annual maintenance by the dealer.
- Annual for first 8-10 years (or 150,000km which ever comes first) but six monthly after that
- repeat offenders get fined/demerits/crushed cars
- Large commercial fleets than can prove voluntary compliance can move to 2 yearly checks.

And while we are at it, can we throw in compulsory third party insurance.

What a stupid idea. Someones mate gets to set up the companies too I bet. I'm not stopping to be checked by some private company with NO legal right to stop me.

Forget it. We need to create a backlash or the government will continue to do whatever it wants.

If I were Jonkey's grandmother I'd be running for the hills ... he'll be selling her next

What is really going on? the so called instant tickets/fines the cops write you are actually Bills of Exchange and they can be protested using a notary public people are waking up to this now and not needing to pay them there is a bigger picture lurking behind this smoke

What is really going on? the so called instant tickets/fines the cops write you are actually Bills of Exchange and they can be protested using a notary public people are waking up to this now and not needing to pay them there is a bigger picture lurking behind this smoke