Four-wheelers flop safety test (August 10, 2001)

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BRAMPTON, Ont. — A safety blitz aimed at the weekend warriors who routinely clog the highways out of the Greater Toronto Area on their way to cottage country, nailed 212 of 237 passenger cars inspected for safety infractions.

“To see that many fail is a surprise,” Sergeant Ken Sluman of Peel’s regional traffic unit tells local media. “You’d figure they’d get repairs done before the inspection.”

All of the cars inspected at the Brampton Public Works Yard were required to attend by the Ministry of Transportation after being tagged for previous safety problems — and were actually given the opportunity to fix the problems prior to going under the microscope.

Only 25 cars passed the inspection and 16 failed to show. For most, the licence plates were removed and the driver had to have the car towed to a mechanic to be brought up to snuff. Charges are pending for the no-show drivers who didn’t have a reasonable excuse.

Defects included a car with warped front tires pointing in different directions and one with its seats almost dislodged. Others had cracked windshields and shaky mufflers.

“Quite a few people were hostile about having to go through the inspections,” adds Sluman. “Their rationale seemed to be ‘Why are you making me (have to) pay for repairs or buy a new car?'”

The crackdown was a combined effort of Peel police, the environment ministry, the transportation ministry and several Brampton-area mechanics.

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