$150 un-roadworthy car fine

From April 1 police and Tauranga City Council parking wardens will be working together to check cars are up to scratch, and any that aren’t face a $150 fine.

A police officer and Tauranga City Council parking officer check a car tyre for defects.

The upcoming TWIRL - tyres, windscreen, wipers and mirrors, indicators, rust and lights – initiative is a new set of checks police will be doing around the country aimed at improving vehicle safety.

The initiative supports the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) safety campaign to shift more responsibility onto motorists for their car’s roadworthiness and less reliance on just having a warrant of fitness.

Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Ian Campion says the focus is on making cars safer and educating drivers.

“Tyres will be one of the first things we’ll be checking in the Western Bay of Plenty. Tyre condition and pressure are two things that can easily deteriorate between warrant of fitness safety checks and poor tyre quality has an extremely high potential to cause serious harm.

“Drivers with worn tyres may be given an infringement, even if they have a current warrant of fitness.”

Tauranga City Council’s parking team leader Kevin Nally says parking officers have been trained to detect tyre defects and they’ll be checking for a number of faults such as baldness, cracks and bubbles and issuing fines if required.

“We are supporting NZTA’s national safety campaign by adding the ‘twirl’ to the set of checks we currently make and worn or bald tyres may be liable for a $150 infringement per tyre.

“It’s the driver’s responsibility to maintain the vehicle and ensure it is in roadworthy condition at all times.”


TWIRL Checklist

It doesn’t take long to give your car a quick safety check. Just give it a regular ‘twirl’ and take it to an expert if anything is wrong.


Check the tread depth. Minimum legal depth is 1.5mm but the more tread you have the better the grip and the safer you’ll be.

Check the tyre pressure – correct levels are usually found on the inside door frame.

Look for cracks or bubbles in the sides.

Look for sharp objects stuck in the tyres.

Windscreen, wipers and mirrors

Check your wiper blades for wear and tear.

Clean your mirrors and windscreen outside and inside.

Get your windscreen fixed if it’s chipped or cracked.

Check your windscreen washer fluid is full.


Put your hazard lights on and walk around the car, checking all indicators are flashing.


Look for obvious areas of corrosion that can weaken the car’s structure.


Check lenses are clean and not cracked or hazy.

Check your headlights, reversing lights and brake lights are working. Check your back lights by reversing close to a wall and looking at the reflection in your rear view mirror.

Visit www.nzta.govt.nz/checkyourcar for more information.


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