23 August 2017

Drivers aged 24 years and under were the target of free vehicle safety checks at recent Winter Pit Stops across the Bay of Plenty.

The Winter Pit Stops are provided by road safety partners Bay of Plenty Regional Council, New Zealand Transport Agency and local council road safety coordinators and have been running for two years.  They guide drivers using the TWIRL (Tyres, Windows, Indicators, Rust and Lights) approach and are conducted to educate on the importance of vehicle checks in reducing road safety risks.

The Rotorua pit stop was run with the assistance of student mechanics from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, who helped undertake the TWIRL checks after training from a NZ Transport Agency staff member.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Road Safety coordinator, Jenny Mack, says having young student mechanics from across the Bay of Plenty assist is a great way to target young drivers and to get the message across of the importance of vehicle checks in winter.

“We hope young drivers are now more aware of just how important it is to do a regular tyre, window, indicator, rust and lights check before they set off on their journey,” says Ms Mack.

Rotorua Lakes Council road safety coordinator Reade Nikora says “Often young people are driving older cars that need checking more regularly. The wait between vehicle Warrant of Fitness checks is substantial and it’s important drivers are regularly checking their cars to ensure they are safe and reliable to drive, especially in the winter.”

Mr Nikora says “Tyres are particularly important as they are the only thing keeping you on the road. Checking the amount of tread you have could be the difference between getting to your destination safely and being involved in a serious crash.”  

Drivers received a free TWIRL pack including a handy tyre tread checker and a guide to help them conduct their own safety checks at home.

For more about TWIRL safety checks visit https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/choosing-the-right-vehicle/check-your-car-safety-basics/