Editor’s comment on limo destruction derby event

Paul Gibson, Editor of TheChauffeur.com speaks his thoughts on the VOSA exercise to destroy a number of expensive limousines…

“I’ve always supported the work of VOSA, much to the disgust of a number of operators within the limousine industry.

When we witnessed the crushing of a Ford Excursion back in 2011, we supported the message being sent out, which was that VOSA was threatening to simply crush illegal limousines – as far as we are aware, this hasn’t happened since.

I’m all up for getting illegal, crooked operators off the road to let the businesses who have invested their money in being totally legal get the customers they deserve. However, I’m really finding it hard to understand the whole point of this particular exercise.

Of course it’s going to be difficult to remove the roof from a Hummer limousine, it would be rather worrying if it was easy! I wonder how easy it would be to cut passengers from a large coach or bus?

We must remember there are legal limousines out there such as the Hummerzine COIF which VOSA has approved. To my knowledge, I think the roof area has actually been strengthened or modified to improve the strength.

I’m confused as to who this message is being directed at. It wouldn’t be to the general public as they wouldn’t give two hoots how long it takes to destroy a limousine. Would the industry stop buying Hummers because of this? I don’t think so even if it is a VOSA approved HummerZine!

Perhaps this latest message should go to the large number of American Coachbuilders who have spent millions of dollars over the past decade to develop the H2 limousine. There hasn’t been one reported case of a fatality in a limousine in the UK, so doesn’t this fact alone make them a very safe form of transport? I’m sure there a more deaths in old vehicles and kit cars built in someone’s garage. So many questions with still so few answers.

I do think the effort VOSA puts into educating the industry on how they can become legal is poor. The agency should be working closer with the industry and key contacts within the trade association more, as many years were spent trying to form a good relationship with VOSA. This seems to have vanished which is really sad as I witnessed all the effort made to form one.

Apparently, these vehicles could have been profits from crime, so I’m the first to support the fact they are taken from the owner. But, let’s try and think logically about how this looks – it look absolutely dreadful on VOSA and I think there might be a few sore heads over how this exercise has come out.

I’m sure the industry will make up its own mind about what it was all about and what VOSA was trying to achieve. I really hope the future will bring more campaigns to actively address industry issues rather than scaremongering the public and operators. I’m keen to continue to work with VOSA in the future to educate operators, but I would like to see some different tactics in future months rather than cheap publicity stunts, which is exactly how this looks.”

See our videos from the event here

Paul Gibson

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