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.”

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