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Media Release Road to Safety Update Hero

MEDIA RELEASE 19 March 2020

New Zealand’s roads will never be safe unless its vehicle fleet is well-maintained says the MTA

The Motor Trade Association has welcomed today’s announcement of $3billion to address road safety issues and implement the Road to Zero safety strategy.

But MTA Advocacy and Strategy Manager Greig Epps said the association is looking to see a significant portion of that money going into ensuring the existing fleet of 3.9m passenger vehicles is well-maintained.

“We support the direction of the Road to Zero strategy,” Mr Epps said. “We were particularly pleased to see that the safer vehicles is a key component of the draft strategy.

“What’s required now is funding to make that a reality.”

Mr Epps around half of vehicle owners surveyed by the MTA admitted not having done anything to maintain their vehicle since their last warrant of fitness inspection.

“That’s not ok,” he said. “You cannot assume a Warrant is a 12-month ‘get out of jail free’ card.”

NZTA’s own data showed that last year 41 percent of vehicles failed their warrant of fitness inspection,” Mr Epps said.

“For 90,000 of those vehicles we can find no evidence that they were re-presented to ensure that failed components were fixed.”

He said the MTA had also seen data showing that 15 percent of fatal crashes in 2018 involved some form of vehicle factor. Key components that are causing concern include lights, tyres, brakes, steering, and suspension.

Mr Epps said the MTA wanted more New Zealanders to understand their responsibility to maintain a safe vehicle on the road and know what to do.

“In our submission on the draft Road to Zero strategy, we suggested that along with attitudes to alcohol and speed we need to change our behaviours when it comes to vehicle maintenance.

“We strongly believe that a module on vehicle safety, care, and maintenance be included in the driver licensing regime. Around 67 percent of respondents to MTA surveys have agreed with this proposal.

“This action, along with safety messages reminding drivers to keep an eye on the condition of their vehicle, would be money well spent from the $3billion package announced by Minister Twyford.”