NZTA – Not in con­trol?

Classic Driver - - LETTERS -

In Is­sue 51 Ed­i­to­rial you ex­pressed some frus­tra­tion at the com­pe­tence dis­played by NZTA. For the last 20 years I have had the dis­plea­sure of be­ing a Heavy Ve­hi­cle Cer­ti­fier try­ing to im­ple­ment the garbage em­u­lat­ing from Welling­ton.

Since 1991 with the in­tro­duc­tion of a Brak­ing Stan­dard for heavy ve­hi­cles, there have been er­rors in the stan­dard (Law). De­spite two re­vi­sions, the er­rors re­mained. One could as­sume that to cor­rect the er­rors par­lia­ment would need to be ad­vised as the cor­rec­tions would need to go through par­lia­ment. We wouldn’t want to ex­pose our in­com­pe­tence would we? The NZTA so­lu­tion was for their min­ions to is­sue di­rec­tives chang­ing the law. Do we need par­lia­ment mak­ing law when there are ea­ger min­ions who are will­ing to take on the man­tel?

It is ob­vi­ous that NZTA is un­able to keep up with the rapid change in tech­nol­ogy and have to re­sort to read­ing sales brochures or lis­ten­ing to sup­pli­ers with a vested in­ter­est. Take the lat­est aber­ra­tion that new and used cars com­ing into the coun­try must have ESP fit­ted.

Hope­fully they have lis­tened to the Clas­sic Car com­mu­nity and ex­empt this type of “used car”. Would be a bit of a chal­lenge to fit ESP to the Model T I want to im­port. While ESP is cer­tainly a good thing to have, do we need to in­tro­duce law im­pos­ing it on the mo­tor­ing pub­lic? As a se­nior per­son from NZTA said on TV “it has the po­ten­tial to re­duce the road toll”. There are no hard sta­tis­tics avail­able to con­firm that ESP will re­duce the road toll. Surely the num­ber of new & used cars com­ing in with ESP fit­ted, our roads will quickly be inun­dated with ESP equipped ve­hi­cles with­out ram­ming it down our throats.

NZTA have a his­tory of in­tro­duc­ing so called new tech­nolo­gies just be­cause other coun­tries have it.

An ex­am­ple – to pacify a lo­cal sup­plier, a new means of park­ing heavy trail­ers was in­tro­duced. This new sys­tem put ex­treme pres­sure on the brake ac­tu­a­tors which started pre­ma­turely fail­ing; a new prob­lem. By the time this came to light, 700 trail­ers had been put on the road so the die was cast and there is no way back with­out par­lia­ment find­ing out. Think of the tax­payer funded re­work costs. In the last month I have driven around both Is­lands, some­thing I haven’t done for years. I am ap­palled at the num­ber of skid marks made by truck wheels lock­ing up par­tic­u­larly along SH1 in the North Is­land. There is ob­vi­ously some sort of a prob­lem. ABS is preva­lent so one can as­sume these skids are caused by the park brake ap­ply­ing. Is it re­lated? Do NZTA know or want to know?

This all comes into per­spec­tive when you take into ac­count this state­ment from a se­nior NZTA per­son at a meet­ing with Road Trans­port En­gi­neers. “We are charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity to reg­u­late and we will be seen to be reg­u­lat­ing”! It ap­pears this is so even if they don’t know what they are do­ing. Ralph Hume How­ick TH ESP was al­most the cause of my hav­ing a very high speed ac­ci­dent in Ger­many a few years ago. I was fol­low­ing my friends into Frankfurt for din­ner. We were on the A5 Au­to­bahn and sit­ting just un­der 200 km/h on a sweep­ing cor­ner when up ahead a BMW had a nose-to-tail in the slow lane. As hap­pens over there, ev­ery­one hit their haz­ard lights and slowed dra­mat­i­cally, which would not have been a prob­lem ex­cept that when I braked hard the ESP wanted me to pull up in a straight line. Not a good thing when I was in a cor­ner… I came within a gnat’s whisker of tak­ing out the side of the car in the lane along­side me. So I don’t like it, I don’t trust it, if I am in a car with it, I turn it off and I will look af­ter my own ac­ci­dent, thank you very much!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.