Report: 400,000 cars driving on New Zealand roads without WOFs
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While it has been over a year since the first Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, the effects of the pandemic restrictions are still painfully obvious, especially on the financial front.
As a result of financial hardship caused by the pandemic, low-income families are struggling to cover vehicle-related costs, and warrant of fitness rates have slipped because of this.
This slip has given New Zealand’s Motor Transport Association (MTA) a reason to ask the government for funding to help low-income groups pay for vehicle inspections and repairs.
An estimated 400,000 cars on Kiwi roads are driving around without current warrants of fitness, which only serves to make these roads even more dangerous for users.
MTA statistics show that the number of crashes where the vehicle's current health was a factor have jumped from five per cent back in 2013 to eleven per cent in the last three years.
With an $85 million government grant, the MTA estimates that it could save around 50 lives per year on New Zealand roads, a programme that would “quickly pay for itself," according to MTA advocacy and strategy manager Greig Epps.
“These are vehicles that are actively registered but have no record of a recent WOF. This is a significant vehicle-safety risk to the lives of the people driving these vehicles, their passengers, and other road users,” he adds.
“We believe financial hardship is a significant factor in the decision to present a vehicle for WOF testing and that this needs to be addressed with a specific programme of support through the Ministry of Social Development for vehicle repairs.”