A cracked chassis, missing
dashboards and suspension held together with rope are just
three defects found in cars stopped by Rotorua police in a
warrant of fitness crackdown.
Ten cars were found to be so dangerous they were immediately
ordered off the road.
Rotorua police teamed up with the New Zealand Transport
Agency for Operation Waltz, a night-time check of 552
The agency's Midlands manager David Pearks said there was a
noticeable improvement in compliance by "boy racer" vehicles
but they were disappointed by the discovery of many cars that
did not comply with warrant of fitness standards.
"Some of the faults we found included a vehicle driven by a
dad taking his son to the ball that had a cracked chassis, no
approved seatbelts, the air ram unit protruding through the
floor and it had an unapproved suspension unit, all of which
resulted in it being unsafe for those riding in it as well as
to other road users," Mr Pearks said.
The Midlands team has been working with police in Rotorua
since 2010, targeting vehicle standards. This time it
coincided with the school ball season.
Mr Pearks said similar operations were important in ensuring
the vehicles driven by young drivers were safe and met
warrant of fitness standards.
"It's sad that young drivers still are putting themselves,
their friends and other motorists at risk by driving in
unsafe vehicles. This operation identified some basic
standards were not being met.
"There is no excuse for not having seatbelts [or having] worn
tyres to the rim and an unsecured fuel tank."
Mr Pearks said while the number of fatal and serious injury
crashes involving teenage drivers had dropped nationally from
475 in 2008 to 257 last year, in the Bay of Plenty the figure
had remained unchanged. Last year, 25 Bay of Plenty teenagers
were involved in serious and fatal crashes.
"Road crashes are still the single biggest killer of
teenagers in New Zealand. We are working with police and
other organisations to reduce this number by ensuring the
vehicles they drive in are safe."
Mr Pearks said with an average of one teenager killed on the
roads every week, the country's teen crash rates were still
among the worst in the developed world and it was important
for parents to do their part by making sure the vehicles
their teens drove were up to standard.
- By Alison King of the
Rotorua Daily Post