VACC, the peak automotive industry body in Victoria, has called for Victoria Police to be given resources to conduct year-round random vehicle inspections.

VACC runs a Vehicle Safety Campaign and supports Victoria Police initiatives to reduce the road toll. VACC collects vehicle safety data and releases the results quarterly to the media. The third quarter results for 2011 make uncomfortable reading.

VACC’s Five Point Safety Check figures reveal 36.37 per cent of vehicles on Victoria’s roads are unsafe. 2,054 vehicles have been tested so far this year, of which 747 failed a basic safety inspection.

The Five Point Safety Check is an additional inspection of the five key safety features of a vehicle, namely, tyres, brakes, lights, steering and restraints. The check is provided free of charge to motorists when a car is serviced by a participating VACC repairer.

“There are more unsafe vehicles on our roads than people realise,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

“With the school holidays coming and as families take road trips to see friends and relatives, the chances of coming across one of these unsafe vehicles are even higher.

“To know that one in three vehicles on our roads is unsafe is a major concern.

“Until mandatory testing is introduced by the Government, VACC calls for Victoria Police to be resourced to conduct random vehicle inspections throughout the year. A road-side blitz in June resulted in a number of defect notices being issued to motorists and some cars were towed straight to workshops for immediate repair. However, this should not be a one-off activity. If motorists knew they could be pulled over at any time, in any place, as they can for random drink and drug tests, they would pay more attention to the condition of their vehicle.

“At the very least, the Government should do more to educate motorists about the importance of regular vehicle maintenance and safety checks. The cost of vehicle repairs can be daunting but so is the prospect of a tyre blowing or brakes failing. There are certain responsibilities that come with owning a vehicle and regular servicing is one of them,” Mr Purchase said.

Continue for VACC’s January to September Five Point Safety Check Figures.