Vehicle inspection a stitch in time

20Sep 2016
The Guardian
Vehicle inspection a stitch in time

TRAFFIC police are scheduled to commemorate the national road safety week, with massive inspection of motor vehicles, apart from public education on safe use of roads.

Police said that education platforms would be in place to create public awareness on road safety, including rules and regulations to avoid accidents.

The road safety week is expected to be conducted on September 26 under the theme: ‘No road crashes-We want to live safely.’

According to police sources the vehicle inspection will cover all motor vehicles, motorcycles and auto rickshaws.

In 2015 two public institutions signed a landmark agreement for vehicle inspections locally for road worthiness, a move that was expected restrain defective motor vehicles on the roads and reduce incidents of accidents caused by faulty automobiles.

The two institutions; namely Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and National Institute of Transport (NIT), hinted well that they were working on strategies to introduce compulsory testing for all vehicles, saying the move will help reduce accidents caused by mechanical and electrical faults and as well check environmental pollution by defective vehicles.

Previously, inspections of imported vehicles were conducted abroad due to the fact that the country lacked a facility and human resources to conduct the tests locally.

Importers had to pay money, in foreign currencies, to agents abroad who were commissioned by TBS to conduct inspections in a few selected countries. In countries where the agents did not exist, TBS would only conduct tests on few parameters as it lacked the capacity to carry on complete tests.

In the year 2010, the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had estimated that a total 12.16bn/- was lost in revenues between the year 2002 and 2009 through inspection of vehicles abroad. The committee stressed then that it was high time the exercise was conducted in the country.

The state-owned transport institute has now been allowed to inspect vehicles at its newly launched state-of-the art facility at Mabibo area in the city.

The facility has the capacity of testing 100 cars per day but is being expanded to handle 400 vehicles daily.

In the past, when the tests were conducted abroad vehicles found to be defective were not allowed in the country.

Vehicles will now be allowed to enter the country without inspections but they will not be permitted on the roads until checked by NIT.

We should emphasise that importers purchased vehicles found to be faulty must be required to conduct maintenance of defective parts at local garages after which a re-inspection will be conducted to ascertain whether it meets standards set by TBS or not.

We hail the transport institute for building the capacity to conduct the testing locally, noting that the remaining challenge should spread the service to other parts of the country.We are also of the view that rolling out the testing will enable authorities to introduce compulsory periodic testing..

The institute is the only facility which offers a bachelor degree in automobile engineering; in addition, all vehicle inspectors including those from the traffic police are trained by NIT.

We hope that traffic police vehicle inspection will give authentic results to identify faults and thus reduce road accidents caused by defective vehicles.

We are also told that police checks will be conducted on brakes, steering wheel, suspension, emission transmissions, electrical systems and assessment of general condition of the vehicles before being allowed on roads.

The remaining challenge is however to roll out the service countrywide since it is evident that the existing facility at NIT can hardly test all imported vehicles.

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