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Compulsory rego inspections – worth bringing back to the ACT?

By Reprobate - 24 June 2008 40

Some recent posts about the driving skills (or lack therof) in Canberrans mentioned the increasing number of cars about town with blown headlights or brake/tail lights. I also notice that about 1 in every 10 cars in your average carpark have tyres that are marginal for tread at best or downright bald – especially on the outer edges. Then at least once every day I’ll see some smokey old dunger blasting along leaving a smoke haze that your average reggae audience could only dream of. These are all blindingly obvious things that just don’t seem to get picked up. What about dodgy brakes and stuffed steering components?

Given there is insufficient police numbers to – well – police these laws, and I havn’t seen any operation or evidence of the supposed Random Vehicle Inspections since about 2001, is there a need to re-introduce annual vehicle inspections?

Bring back annual vehicle inspections?

  • It might make me feel better about my neighbour's crap-box - that's worth inconveniencing the whole city for. (13%, 27 Votes)
  • No thank you (54%, 113 Votes)
  • Yes please (33%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 209

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I know it’s much more convenient for us (and the Government) to simply pay up our rego fee without having to dick about with inspections, getting stuff fixed that doesn’t make the car any cheaper to run and lining up at a Shopfont with the inspection paper. However, NSW – which has annual inspections (now for cars over 5yo only) – is introducing an electronic pink slip inspection report that reports online from the inspector to the RTA, which should address part of that problem.

At the moment, in theory, you could buy a new car and not have it inspected to make sure it was safe as long as you owned it – 10, 20 years or more. Sure, you’d probably replace the tyres when sparks came off them in corners and the brakes when the grinding metal sound got too loud – or turn up the stereo – but otherwise, nada. Service places could suggest replacements but I’ve seen people just pay for the oil change, grab the keys and drive off – after throwing the snotty, screaming fruit of their loins in the back seat. Bear in mind too that many owners of budget new cars – Hyundais, Kias, current model Barinas etc – just adopt a disposable product attitude to their car and it never goes in for a service.

I am not advocating the old “turn up to a Govt inspection station and wait in line for half a day before some old git who’s cranky cause the last car like yours dripped oil on this head fails your car because the number plate is 0.05mm below the Prescribed Standard” days. There are heaps of places which are Authorised Inspection Stations these days around town who do inspections for interstate transfers so that shouldn’t be a problem. Yes, you’ll still have a percentage of cars passed through that shouldn’t be on the nod and a wink of a mate. And you’ll still have a number of people driving around unregistered and not giving a stuff. But the overall numbers of roadworthy cars should improve – shouldn’t it? And maybe – just maybe – even one fatal accident due to a vehicle fault could be prevented?

What’s Your opinion?

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40 Responses to
Compulsory rego inspections – worth bringing back to the ACT?
bigred 10:16 pm 24 Jun 08

would prefer they increased the number of vehicle inspectors and let them enforce road rules as well, esp tailgating.

turbodewd1 9:30 pm 24 Jun 08

Compulsory inspections are largely a waste of time. The number of accidents caused by faulty cars is ultra tiny.

cranky 9:16 pm 24 Jun 08

Rego checks have to be a case of diminishing returns. Sure, you will ping broken bulbs, worn tyres, oil leaks etc, but there is no evidence to suggest that these have the slightest impact on the accident rate.

Heavily modified suspension on the doof doof brigade’s vehicles can create severe handling problems, and is to be discouraged.

Funny coloured lights should be pinged if they don’t work. Otherwise why worry? So they’re diferent.

We already have a bureacracy in place to police the motor vehicle registration requirements. They apply the law as they see fit, with no comeback for the hapless motorist. It is a major gripe of mine that these people are unaccountble for their decisions, and our political masters seem to have decided the whole mess is in the too hard basket. I would like to explore if the Ombudsman could have some impact. Even losses in court cases do not deter these individuals from applying the same decisions to the next identical situation.

I, for one, will be interested in the Australian Motorists Party (if it runs) at the next election, to swing the bureaucrat/motorist equation back towards the centre.

p1 9:08 pm 24 Jun 08

And if not every year, then every two or three years would still be an improvement on right now. Though personally I think that an increase in vehicle inspectors roving, an enough police that they have the time to occasionally pull someone over for a simple blown tail light would be a better option.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 9:01 pm 24 Jun 08

Yearly inspections are a great idea. Adopt the NSW model where you can get your safety inspection done (and the results sent electronically to the RTA), buy or renew your greenslip online (with validity sent electronically to the RTA), pay your rego online, and pay your comprehensive insurance online. One inspection and the rest takes ten minutes on the laptop.

Having someone do a basic check of tyre safety, brake effectiveness, steering and structure and working lights goes a long way, I think.

ant 8:49 pm 24 Jun 08

Huh. Could just report 99% of all Harley Davidsons for their ear-shattering exhausts. Evidently that’s no longer prohibited.

Deano 8:28 pm 24 Jun 08

You can always report defective vehicles yourself

Duke 8:19 pm 24 Jun 08

(I should have said that at least all of the VN hot pink tail lights were in working order – not sure how many laps around Civic the guy could have done before being defected tho!)

Duke 8:17 pm 24 Jun 08

I don’t see many bombs around these days but see lots of bald tyres and dodgy modifications.

Some notable examples:

Seen yesterday, VN Commodore with hot PINK tail lights!

Lots more of those little 4cylinder utes with the arse ends dragging and front end raised.

Other utes and coupes with back window entirely covered by a sticker (usually FOX?!)

White courier vans with tyres scrubbed bald (drive well clear of them in the rain)

WRXs and old BMWs so low you get sparks from the exhaust hitting the road.

It doesn’t really bother me because the above mentioned drivers will eventually learn the hard way and I don’t miss that massive lineup at the Dickson motor vehicle registry.

I-filed 8:12 pm 24 Jun 08

TOTALLY in favour of compulsory annual inspections in cars over five years old – provided the rego station gets with the times and opens on weekends and till 7 pm. Remember the queues in the olden days, all the way down past the back of Daramalan? Yes, there are at least five times as many blown headlights, missing brakelights etc as there were when the rego system was in place. Do they still do roadside inspections? I haven’t seen one in action for more than three years.

ant 7:52 pm 24 Jun 08

I got my car in 94, the dealer took it for its initial inspection, and it’s never had one since. I’ve let the rego expire a few times when overseas, and have actually renewed it by mail or online from the US! It’s a great system, the NSW thing is nuts, you have to go wandering around amassing “slips” of various different colours, massive nuisence.

In Qbn, they have some “Inspector” vehicles cruising around a lot with pink lights, however someone said they only do trucks. The ACT mobile inspectors could get serious and set up roadblocks and snaffle everyone, I reckon, if there was concern.

I do wish they’d have a look at the headlights on the newer cars, they’re too blo0dy bright.

MelonHead 7:42 pm 24 Jun 08

el said :

At the moment, in theory, you could buy a new car and not have it inspected to make sure it was safe as long as you owned it – 10, 20 years or more.


At the moment, vehicles require them every 5 years.

And if you think the passing a ‘roadworthy inspection’ done by most local servos makes a car ‘safe’, you’re dreaming.


I purchased a used vehicle in NSW November 2001. It was inspected the next day here in the ACT and has been registered at all times since then and NOT ever been inspected. It was built Nov ’96, so it is getting on.

My brother bought a new car here in the ACT in ’98 or ’99. He still has it. This has NEVER been out of rego and never had an inspection!

Any one else got a story to back me up, or prove I am not playing the game?

futto 7:22 pm 24 Jun 08

I have seen over the years plenty of inspectors. They roam the public parking bays. There was a day at work that three or four guys got defects, mostly bald tyres so i know they do get around.

I’m pretty happy with the current arrangement thank you. The less the government has to do with me and vice versa, the better.

el 6:55 pm 24 Jun 08

At the moment, in theory, you could buy a new car and not have it inspected to make sure it was safe as long as you owned it – 10, 20 years or more.


At the moment, vehicles require them every 5 years.

And if you think the passing a ‘roadworthy inspection’ done by most local servos makes a car ‘safe’, you’re dreaming.

Vic Bitterman 6:44 pm 24 Jun 08

I’d support a compulsory rego insection each year….

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