New WOF system defended

Monday July 27, 2015 Written by Published in Crime
Concern over road accidents, including unwarranted vehicles, prompted police to stage an accident scene on their fl oat in Friday’s Annual Float Parade. Concern over road accidents, including unwarranted vehicles, prompted police to stage an accident scene on their fl oat in Friday’s Annual Float Parade.

Police Commissioner Maara Tetava has hit back at criticisms raised against the new warrant of fitness testing system introduced in the Cook Islands.

In a media release issued last Thursday, Tetava says he wants to assure those who own and use vehicles, that the new WOF system is designed to ensure that vehicles are properly tested or checked according to national standards by qualified mechanics in properly constructed garages or workshops before they are issued with a warrant of fitness.

“It is a safety issue for us, not a money issue as some are alleging,” says Tetava.

“We have stopped vehicles on our roads which are not roadworthy. Some of these vehicles have been issued with directives not to be used until they are repaired to road worthy standard.

“We have also had reports of mechanics and or garages in the past issuing warrants of fitness without properly testing vehicles. 

“Some vehicle owners have been alleged to move from mechanic to mechanic until they strike one who will issue warrants without their vehicles being roadworthy.”

Tetava says the new system will stop that from happening as the mechanics and or companies authorised as Approved Testing Authorities must prove they have met a list of requirements. 

They must also maintain those standards, as failure to do so may result in their authorities being revoked.

The Police Commissioner says the process to be followed is:

• Application process (standards are issued to the applicant, documents are completed by the applicant to justify grounds for application).

• Due diligence checks on applicants including mechanical qualification verifications of

mechanics are carried out by police.

• Inspection of premises to ensure compliance with National Standards are carried out by

Police and a member of the Warrant of Fitness Committee who is also a qualified and certified mechanic.

• Recommendations are made to the Commissioner of Police;

• Commissioner considers and endorses recommendations;

• Commissioner makes recommendations to the Minister of Police.

• The Minister of Police considers and approves the person(s) or firms as Approved Testing

Authorities.

• The Commissioner of Police issues notification in the form of a police certificate as directed by the Minister. 

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