Warrants ‘illegal’ - WOF group

Monday March 12, 2018 Written by Published in Crime

All warrants of fitness that have been issued in Rarotonga since July 2016 are effectively illegal and invalid, claims local business owner and Warrant of Fitness (WOF) committee member Eric Short. 

It was revealed at a Road Safety Council meeting on Thursday night, that not one garage has been certified to issue warrants by the WOF committee since 2015.

The committee was initially established to ensure all testing stations in Rarotonga met the standards required of them in issuing WOFs.

They were granted a year-long licence by the police in July 2015 to inspect all testing stations, their equipment, and employees to ensure that these standards were maintained. However, the WOF committee has not been recertified since the expiration of their licence in July 2016.

The committee has been unable to certify testing stations since that date. Without the proper certification being obtained by testing stations, all WOFs that they have issued would appear to be invalid.

Short says numerous attempts have been made by the WOF committee to regain their authority to certify testing stations. However, he says Police Inspector John Strickland refuses to communicate with the committee, effectively having left them in limbo for around three years now.

The effects of this could be catastrophic says Short. “We’re back to putting cars through (WOF checks) haphazardly” he says.

“Some are driving around with their suspension nearly falling off, yet they’ve got brand new warrants on their windscreens.”

Short says police could be liable if there was an accident as a result of an invalid WOF being issued. He is calling for non-terminating licenses to be issued to testing stations, with regular check-ins and inspections to be carried out by the WOF committee. He says the best way to issue WOFs in the future would be to establish a single testing station that tests all cars on the island.

CINews attempted to contact Strickland for comment, but was told he was unavailable.

Meanwhile, its uncertain if the WOF committee will be recertified anytime soon. In the meantime, WOFs continue to be issued by testing stations that have not been certified via the proper channels for over two years.

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