AA slams WOF cam­paign

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Groups claim­ing that changes to the War­rant of Fit­ness (WoF) regime will lead to more road deaths are mis­lead­ing the pub­lic, says the AA.

There is a big-bud­get cam­paign be­ing run by com­mer­cial providers against the idea of any changes to the WoF and the AA is con­cerned that this cam­paign is not pre­sent­ing the full facts.

‘‘ Some of the op­po­nents of change to the WoF sys­tem seem to be cherry-pick­ing in­for­ma­tion and not men­tion­ing the time and cost ben­e­fits for mo­torists from a re­vised test­ing scheme nor the changes we can make to im­prove ve­hi­cle safety,’’ said AA spokesman Mark Stock­dale.

‘‘As part of the AA’s anal­y­sis of the changes be­ing pro­posed, we looked at the data on ev­ery fatal crash in New Zealand over five years from 2007 un­til 2011.

‘‘We did this to un­der­stand the pos­si­ble safety im­pacts of any changes.’’

The crash data showed that out of 1640 crashes, there were 89 (or 5.4 per cent) in which a ve­hi­cle fault or fac­tor was found that may have con­trib­uted.

Of the ve­hi­cles in those 89 crashes, 39 per cent did not have a cur­rent WoF and 52 per cent had a tyre fault.

Anal­y­sis of over­all New Zealand road crashes in­di­cates that ve­hi­cle faults con­trib­ute to about 2.5 per cent of all fatal and in­jury crashes and to 0.4 per cent of crashes in which the fault is the sole cause.

The most com­mon fac­tors con­tribut­ing to fatal crashes are al­co­hol or drugs (36 per cent), a driver los­ing con­trol ( 34 per cent) and go­ing too fast for the con­di­tions (32 per cent).

‘‘Ve­hi­cle faults do play a part in a small num­ber of road crashes but it’s mis­lead­ing to sim­ply claim that chang­ing the WoF fre­quency will lead to that num­ber in­creas­ing,’’ Mr Stock­dale said.

‘‘Nearly 40 per cent of the ve­hi­cles with faults that were in­volved in fatal crashes didn’t have a WoF any­way, so how fre­quently they are sup­posed to be get­ting one is not the is­sue.

‘‘Worn tyres are an­other key fac­tor in crashes but there are other ways to tar­get this than solely through a WoF.

‘‘Rather than hav­ing a regime that is test­ing the ma­jor­ity of mo­torists ex­ces­sively we need to fo­cus more on en­force­ment to get ve­hi­cles with­out WoFs off the road and in­ves­ti­gate ways to bet­ter mon­i­tor tyre con­di­tion.

‘‘In a sur­vey of AA Mem­bers in Septem­ber 2012, 70 per cent sup­ported chang­ing to an an­nual WoF for ve­hi­cles up to 12 years old and the AA be­lieves that this can be achieved with­out com­pro­mis­ing New Zealand’s road safety.

‘‘ An an­nual in­spec­tion, or even less fre­quent, works in all sim­i­lar coun­tries that we com­pare our­selves to for road safety sta­tis­tics. For ex­am­ple most Aus­tralian states have no pe­ri­odic test­ing at all ex­cept on a change of own­er­ship’’

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