Roadside selling also a danger

Carol Martindale,

Added 19 December 2012

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Yesterday when we introduced Rants & Raves on NATIONNews there was a wave of comments from our readers when we highlighted the unsightly scenes of parked cars with ‘For Sale’ signs popping up across Barbados. These cars are spotted parked just off various points of the ABC Highway and different roads for passing motorists to see. Overseas, this practice is called Wheeler Dealer Roadside selling and it has already sparked outcry and reaction from some international bodies which have highlighted the dangers and risks associated with the road side selling of vehicles. In Barbados there is no name for the new trend, but some people have been responding to the NATION’s rant saw nothing wrong with the practice and complained that it was even highlighted. NATIONNews did some research on this practice and the dangers and concerns raised by some organizations overseas. The Motor Trade Association of South Australia has condemned the illegal practice of selling used cars on the side of major roads after reportedly being the cause of a serious three car pile-up on Main North Road, involving a SA police car on Sunday July 8, 2012.  According to the MTA, the incident highlights the very real danger that cars for sale on the side of the road can cause and is calling for local councils to conduct a blitz to stamp out this practice.  MTA spokesperson, Liam Hunt, said the MTA has been warning both the community and authorities of the dangers that this practice can cause.  “Selling used cars on the side of the road is a dangerous distraction which, in this case, has caused a significant accident which is currently under investigation by SAPOL’s major crash investigation unit,” Hunt said. The MTA is also concerned that some of these cars may be riddled with problems. MTA's Mediation Centre receives a high number of calls from people who have been ‘caught out’ after buying a vehicle from these roadside sales venues. "In most cases, the buyer has little scope for redress and is left with a problem vehicle. While some buyers may think they are getting a bargain, the vehicle could actually have significant faults, be a previously wrecked vehicle, have a ‘wound back' odometer, or may even be a stolen vehicle." "Consumers need to be wary about buying vehicles in this way, its high risk, and there's no ‘come back' if something goes wrong." Officials at another organization – Wigans Council Licensing and Trading Standards - urged all prospective car buyers to steer clear of street sales. “How many times have you driven past a car, a van or a motorcycle parked up either at the side of the road or on spare land with a home-made sign on it?” asks council Licensing chief Maurice Dearden. “The person selling it may well be an unlicensed trader who won’t be offering any after-sales service, so, if you do decide to buy you could be parting with your hard-earned cash for what could very well be an un-roadworthy vehicle.” When we “ranted” yesterday about this practice, we looked more specifically at the eyesore it could create especially if this trend catches on, but the dangers associated are even more glaring. Local police officials are to get back to us with a comment. carolmartindale@nationnews.com Editor's Note: The information contained in this article relates to examples and concerns raised overseas and while it does not relate to Barbados, could offer some insight on what is now occurring here.  

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