The MTA poll

The Government is considering changing the requirement for WOF checks from six monthly to annually for some vehicles. Only vehicles less than six year olds do annual checks. Most countries only require a WOF every two years or so.

The WOF checks costs $250m a year, so obviously the garages represented by the Motor Trade Association (MTA) are not keen on reducing the frequency. They’d probably like monthly checks.

Now the MTA has announced:

 A recent telephone survey of 1,000 drivers, completed by the Motor Trade Association (MTA), showed that 63 percent were concerned to some degree about the possibility of fewer WoF inspections as a result of the current Vehicle Licensing Reform process.

This raises so many questions. It appears the poll was done by the MTA itself, rather than by a research agency that follows the international and national code of practice ofr market research and polling.

Also the statement “some degree” conceals more than it reveals. This may be 60% were “a tiny bit concerned” and 3% “very concerned”. The MTA has not made available the actual results – just some cherry picked numbers.

The survey showed 98 percent of drivers agreed that WoFs are a valuable safety check, and an important part of road safety. More than half (56 percent) agreed that they would not feel safe on the road if WoF inspections were to become less frequent, emphasising the role that the current system plays in reassuring motorists.

New Zealand’s current vehicle inspection regime means vehicles less than six years old are required to undergo a WoF inspection every 12 months, with vehicles older than this being inspected every six months. The survey also showed there was clear support (67 percent) for retaining the frequency of WoFs as is.

Again we are not shown the actual question asked, or what questions were asked before this question.

The MTA has sent this release to all MPs, as I understand it. I hope they will now release the full poll report showing who conducted it, how the sample was selected, what exact questions were asked, and the full results. Then MPs and the public can draw their own conclusions on it.

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