Roadworthy tests applauded, or not
ROAD users started out applauding the new strict roadworthy tests aimed at taking dangerous vehicles off Efate’s roads.
Owner/drivers praised the efficiency of the Public Works Department staff and the increased test to ensure vehicles were insured and were carrying essential safety items such as spare wheels and jacks.
“It is a big improvement on previous years and now it is a real safety test,’’ one driver told The Independent.
But then the whole exercise then descended into pure farce during the week.
Drivers were complaining of being failed for having cracked number plates.
Then an owner/driver contacted The Independent to explain how his vehicle had been failed because it did not have enough water in the windscreen washer reservoir.
“This is not even required to have in the Act,” he said.
“It is good to see them raise the standard, but they should enforce the law, not create it and they should concentrate on the important safety matters.”.
“Another driver was livid when his older model vehicle failed because it had hub caps and wheels cannot be covered.
“This is an expensive vehicle and was designed by the manufacturer to have hub caps,’’ he said.
“This has nothing to do with safety whatsoever.’’
PWD senior foreman John Julliano said the new tests, including the use of hoists, are to ensure public safety on public roads.
“It is to reduce unworthy vehicles on our roads,” he said.
Mr Julliano also said the other purpose of roadworthies is to help care for environmental pollution impacts and maintain price control.
“As most of us know that the roadworthies also help the government revenue, we hope that what we do will help generate income to the government basket.
“Many of the drivers will not agree with what we are doing now, this was because of some misuse of money during the checking of vehicles some years ago.
“Some years ago, the team was not rm with their operations but this year will do the full operation.”
He said this is not a new law: “This law has existed since 1988 and we here to implement and make sure that this law under CAP 29 function successfully.
Under the Road Traffic Control Act Cap 29, a ‘public road’ means: for the purpose of this Act includes every road which is built or maintained at public expense and to which the public have access, or any road declared as public by the Minister.”
After the month of March 2017, in which the 3 months grace period will end, the Police will enforce the annual road tax law by confiscating or removing any vehicle on our public road within the Efate, Santo, Tanna and Malekula.
Furthermore, the Taxis act cap 49 is still in force until such time the Land Transport Act no. 4 of 2015 is implemented.
He said some vehicles have already been checked by the operation team.
“And vehicles that are three years old, the team will only check if the light, wipers and tyres are good enough.
Vehicles more than four years will undergo a full check-up meaning the team will check the full body of the vehicle.
“The team will make sure there is no leakage from the truck; check the steering system and other areas.”
He said vehicle owners have six steps to follow when bringing their trucks for roadworthiness.
“Firstly, the vehicle must have valid registration card from the customs department.
It must have valid vehicle insurance, a valid driver license and also the land transport authority must declare your truck as a public vehicle through permits.
“And also the valid licenses receipt for fire extinguishers plus the inspection fee by the finance department.
“A checklist to certify if the truck is worthy and if not then your vehicle is unworthy and will be dealt with municipal wardens plus police,” he said.
He said they will be using stickers to identify your truck if it undergoes worthiness inspection.
“A few years ago, people duplicated the stickers and the roadworthiness inspection forms to photocopy it but this year we have two different types of forms that will help us identify those who photocopied.
“Actually we did not apply everything when checking the truck - if we do full checkup on these vehicles there will be no much vehicles in Vila.”
Mr Julliano said this because most of the buses are second hand buses and most of their parts are not good enough.
When asked if the roadworthiness apply to government trucks also, Mr Julliano said it should be but they are still looking at it as the G plated trucks have no insurance.
“Public works cares for everyone, and I call on everyone for their cooperation to work together for a safe, better environment,” said Mr Julliano.
He called on to bus, public transport, taxi and private truck owners to go to the public works workshop to check their vehicles for roadworthiness.
He said any vehicle owner who did not turn up will face the municipal warden and the police.