Potential reductions to the frequency of WoFs feature in all the options proposed so far by Government as part of its Vehicle Licensing Reform (VLR) review. MTA is concerned though that a reduction in frequency could lead to increased fatalities and injuries, and is asking the public to vote and have their say at www.handsoffthewof.co.nz.
Commenting, MTA spokesperson Ian Stronach said “The public have literally got really ‘hands on’. Even though we are just days into the campaign, we have had thousands of visits to the site already, with several thousand people taking the time to record their vote. Hundreds have provided comments to us as well.”
The campaign, fronted by motorsport legend Greg Murphy, uses a wide range of television, press, magazine, radio, online and social media channels. It has been designed to ensure that all New Zealanders are aware of the options being proposed and the potential consequences.
Government’s own data shows that over the next decade, depending on which option is chosen, there could be between 7 and 84 additional fatalities and between 16 and 179 additional serious injuries. They believe that they will be able to mitigate against these risks through measures like additional enforcement and educating motorists about the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and servicing.
Earlier efforts to bring about far-reaching changes similar to this, such as ending drink-driving, prove that it takes many years and involves huge cost. There is little indication that Government either knows what the actual costs to bring about long term change might be or that it has adequately figured those costs in to the ‘savings’ it says will come from its proposed changes.
Stronach says “Many of the comments we have received through the website have been very full and detailed, illustrating that New Zealanders view this issue seriously and are concerned. While Government is calling for formal submissions, we think that making the feedback process simpler and quicker will ensure that more people get to have their say.” “We encourage everyone with any interest in road safety to vote online and have their say and follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter,” adds Stronach.