Time to 'ring the alarm bells' on dodgy vehicles

VACC says the number of dodgy vehicles on the state’s roads means it’s time to "ring the alarm bells"

By Ruza Zivkusic | April 12, 2011

The number of dodgy vehicles travelling on Victorian roads has reached alarming levels, according to the state’s peak mechanic’s group.

Thirty-five percent of cars, utes, vans and trucks tested by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) had faulty brakes, tyres, lights, steering and restraints.

The figure is the highest ever recorded by VACC since vehicle safety data was first collected in 2005, which is obtained through a voluntary five-point safety check program.

VACC Executive Director David Purchase is calling on drivers to better maintain their vehicles.

"Every quarter we produce our figures and consistently, the data indicates that approximately one in four vehicles are unsafe," Purchase says.

"This alone should be enough to cause concern but now the figure has crept up to 35 percent, we really do need to ring the alarm bells.

"This is not a publicity stunt to scare motorists into the arms of our members; this is a genuine attempt to highlight the fact that too many unsafe cars, utes, vans and trucks on our roads are not well maintained."

Ninety-three infringement notices were issued last month during a week-long safety blitz across Melbourne. Almost 200 trucks out of the 249 had defects.

"The aim of operation hazard was to help the heavy vehicle industry understand that the use of unsafe or unroadworthy vehicles will not be tolerated and to increase the perceived risk of detection of non-complying heavy vehicles," VicRoads Regional Director Nial Finegan says.

Some 732 warrants were served during the operation, with $171,956 recovered in fines.

Finegan says the operation targeted heavy vehicle steering, suspension and braking capabilities.

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