Bullshit

December 7th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Mathew Dearnaley at NZ Herald reports:

Motor industry lobbyists are citing “huge” regional variations in the ages of vehicles on New Zealand roads in their campaign against any loosening of the existing warrant of fitness system.

Although the average age of the national fleet is 13.03 years, Government statistics reveal a wide range from 10.3 years in central Auckland to 16.8 years in Waimate in south Canterbury.

Which is a red herring.

That has prompted the Motor Trade Association, representing repair workshops and service stations, to warn policy-makers to think twice before changing the existing requirement for six-monthly warrants of fitness for any vehicle more than six years old to be allowed to stay on the road.

The own VTNZ whose main source of income is checks. I’m surprise they do not advocate the checks should be weekly.

The warning comes as the Government is expected to choose in the next fortnight from four potential alternatives, such as annual inspections for the first 12 years of a vehicle’s life, as favoured by the Automobile Association and about 70 per cent of its members.

That sounds more reasonable.

Although Australian university researchers believe that could save motorists up to $250 million a year, the MTA warns it could be at the cost of 80 more annual road deaths.

Oh, absolute bullshit.

The road toll last year was 282, so the MTA is claiming the number of road deaths will increase 28% if cars between six and twelve years old are checked annually instead of every six months.

That is strongly disputed by the AA, which says mechanical defects are implicated in only 2.5 per cent of vehicle crashes and are the sole cause of just 0.4 per cent.

So of 282 deaths, around seven are due to mechanical defects in part and one in full.

So in fact the MTA is claiming the number of crashes causing deaths from mechanical defects will increase by over 1000% due to going from six monthly to twelve monthly WOF checks.

I don’t mind industry groups trying to do what is good for their industry. But when they resort to such unadulterated bullshit, and scare-mongering, they do their industry a dis-service. It also means they will have diminished credibility on any other issues going forward.

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17 Responses to “Bullshit”

  1. Redbaiter (9,080 comments) says:

    NZ’s over reaching WOF system is an excellent example of cronyist fake businessmen and shiney arsed bureaucrats combining to loot motorists.

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  2. Nostalgia-NZ (5,218 comments) says:

    Other things the MTA are overlooking in their scare campaign is that tyres (worn, deflated) are predominant factor in fatal crashes. Also that cars with no current WOF feature more prominently in accidents than those with current WOFs. Wrong targeting here, and the MTA concerns are obviously financial.

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  3. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Although the average age of the national fleet is 13.03 years, Government statistics reveal a wide range from 10.3 years in central Auckland to 16.8 years in Waimate in south Canterbury.

    I must be the MTA’s public enemy number one then – my car is 41 years old, and my wife’s sensible modern car that we use day-to-day is 26 years old. :-P

    (I almost bought a shiny modern car 3 or 4 years ago.. so glad I didn’t, I wouldn’t now own a house if I had!)

    The thing about running a 41 year old car is… if you do zero maintenance beyond fixing things the WoF inspection fails you on, you’ll end up spending a lot of time on the side of the road waiting for a tow from the AA man… So you really have little option but to keep your car well-maintained, irrespective of whatever the WoF inspection regime may be.

    Meanwhile, the country’s roads are full of big, powerful, shiny two- to three- year old company cars, that get the hell driven out of them day in, day out; by a revolving door of office staff who take no interest whatsoever in how bald or under-inflated the front tyres may be, let alone how much meat there may be left on the brake pads or how noisy that clonk from the front suspension has become lately. Just so long as there’s enough petrol in that tank to get me to that meeting I’m already a bit late for.

    And yet, the latter are the cars the MTA would have us think are fine, not worth worrying about at all… :???:

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  4. brucehoult (195 comments) says:

    Why limit it to 12 years? My 17 year old Subaru has never needed anything other than the usual wear items (e.g. tyres, wiper blades, wheel bearings, brake pads) in order to pass a WOF.

    There may be people for whom those items last the first six years, but I’d think all cars start to need those things before 12 years and it doesn’t really get worse after that.

    It’s not as if structural rust is something that jumps out at you in less than a year.

    Many countries get by just fine with no regular mechanical testing of cars at all, and I don’t mean Afghanistan. I mean our neighbours Australia and the USA, for example.

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  5. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Oh and any time I look under the bonnet or under the wheel arches of one of said modern office cars, I’m amazed at how little certain things have changed in 41 years…

    Most cars now are 50% heavier and 100% more powerful than their ancestors, but so many of the components like wheel bearings, brake calipers, hydraulic hoses, wheel studs etc have remained the same size they always were :-)

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  6. chris (647 comments) says:

    It should be based on mileage and not time.

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  7. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    But when they resort to such unadulterated bullshit, and scare-mongering, they do their industry a dis-service. It also means they will have diminished credibility on any other issues going forward.

    We routinely elect people like this :)

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  8. lofty (1,316 comments) says:

    I agree with Chris, mileage not time causes wear and tear. (in general terms)

    I am a little more than surprised at Matthew Dearnaley though, he is normally a lot more analytical than this article shows him to be.

    If DPF can garner the truth of the statistical data required to make an even handed article, in an apparent short space of time, and it seems without much research required, Matthew could and should have done so also.

    What about the need to warrent trailers etc every 6 months, when they probably have not moved much in that time, crumbs my boat and trailer sit for months over winter as a large garden ornament, but still I have to hook up and drag it down to the local MTA member for a needless inspection and bit of paper.

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  9. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Lofty – I’ve known presumed good boat trailer wheel bearings to seize up nice & tight over the course of one winter.. and it’s not always immediately apparent that this has happened, especially if the tow vehicle is some kind of automatic V8… so you can potentially get halfway to the lake before you realise that she’s noisy and she’s getting noisier! :-)

    But yes, I agree.

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  10. thedavincimode (6,777 comments) says:

    Those of you cheerleading the relaxation of the WOF rules may not have noticed the recent proposal to engage private contractors to do on-road checks as part of this package. If you want some inkling of what that might descend into and happen to know any truckies, ask them what they think of the “God Squad”.

    But on the other hand, perhaps on a hot day with a car full of grumpy kids, you’ll look forward to spending half an hour on the roadside wishing you could take the pencil off the guy who flagged you down and shove it up his arse.

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  11. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    That is strongly disputed by the AA, which says mechanical defects are implicated in only 2.5 per cent of vehicle crashes and are the sole cause of just 0.4 per cent.

    What they don’t mention about this as well is what percentage of these failures would be detected by a WOF check? Unless you start doing crack test analysis of all load bearing components, you will never rid the road of mechanical defect related crashes.

    … but still I have to hook up and drag it down to the local MTA member for a needless inspection and bit of paper.

    Why do you not exempt your trailer for 6 months of the year then? No WOF required.

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  12. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Better they concentrated on unregistered and uninsured vehiicles, In other countries like UK 3rd party cover is complusory and you have to proof registration in order to get it.
    Fact is those who insure and register their vehicles are paying for the morons theiving arseholes who dont.

    Cops should set up road blocks in the usual suspect suburbs and take and crush all vehicles not WOFed registered or insured. That would get a whole lot of wrecks off the road and halve the death toll.

    Betcha the cops can tell us that a big percentage of deaths are in non WOFed unregistered uninsured vehicles.

    But the Gumint moron pricks wont do this because their gutless wonders worried that they would be attacked as racist and targeting the poor.

    Well FFS they are the ones that are causing the deaths on the road you morons and you knowingly let them keep killing innocents.

    Pieces of shit.

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  13. voice of reason (490 comments) says:

    Judging by the heading I thought this was a post regarding the NZ cricket press conf this morning

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  14. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    I have a 47 year-old sports car. I put no more than 600 Km’s on it each year but I am still required to get a WoF for it every 6 months irrespective of only having driven it about 300km between WoF’s

    I welcome the move to an annual WoF.

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  15. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    You only realise what a load of namby-pamby bollocks this is when you drive in a jurisdiction where no such regime exists. And not once in the decade I’ve been doing so have I read or seen a news item in which road deaths were attributed in whole or in part to faulty vehicles. Of course that’s not to say that is never the cause, but in a state with vastly greater distances (and thus higher average mileage per year per vehicle), vastly more vehicles and no mechanical checks*, that strongly suggests the figure is below even 2.5 percent.

    I still remember years ago in NZ driving my old but reliable car into a mechanical workshop for a WoF only to see the guy’s feet leave the floor as he stuck his entire upper body into the engine compartment (engines didn’t fill every centimetre of the bay then), only to emerge and claim he could “smell an exhaust leak” and that he wouldn’t issue a WoF unless I paid for the supply and fitting of an entirely new manifold. Needless to say I drove off and took it into another place in a different town, where it passed.

    The entire system establishes legalised highway robbers, who can claim anything is wrong with your vehicle, demand to be paid to fix it, and then have the weight of the law behind them to see you punished if you refuse.

    Heart attacks and similar sudden onset medical conditions behind the wheel must also account for a tiny proportion of accidents. Are we to legislate so that greengrocers can tell obese people they need to eat healthier, and that if they don’t immediately buy a sack of cabbage they’ll be barred from the roads? Or gym instructors allowed to mandate an exercise program?

    As Redbaiter succinctly put it, it’s nothing more than “cronyist fake businessmen and shiney arsed bureaucrats combining to loot motorists”.

    * Unless a police officer sees a car on the road they suspect is unroadworthy, in which case they pull it over, inspect it and if necessary sticker it, as in NZ.

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  16. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Rex –

    I have no objection to the substance of your comment…

    but how do redbaiter or yourself know that bureaucrats have shiny arses? I’d really like to know. ;-)

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  17. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    RRM – a walk down Lambton Quay on any sunny weekday at lunchtime will offer you all the proof you could need. You’ll be dazzled by the shine coming off the sweaty receding hairlines of those coming toward you, and off the shiny fat arsed cheap polyester suits of those heading away from you. And the men are even worse :-D

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