Govt mulls two-yearly roadworthiness tests

The government is looking at the possibility of introducing roadworthiness tests for private vehicles every two years, a senior traffic official said at the launch of a national road safety campaign in Durban on Thursday.

Thabo Tsholetsane, the acting executive manager of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), was speaking at the launch of Operation Juggernaut — a campaign focused on eliminating unroadworthy vehicles from the country’s roads.

He said government was ”doing a study” to see how often roadworthiness tests could be carried out.

Asked if RTMC was thinking of implementing a statutory roadworthiness testing requirement for ageing vehicles, Tsholetsane said that heavy-duty lorries as well as public transportation vehicles were currently required to undergo a roadworthiness test every year.

”With 7,3-million vehicles on the country’s roads we may not be in a position to test these vehicles. We have been doing a study to see if these tests can be done.

”I suspect if this [mandatory roadworthiness testing] does happen, it will be done every two years,” he said.

Launching Operation Juggernaut, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said that between 10% to 15% of all fatal crashes in the country involved unroadworthy vehicles.

He said the operation would be implemented during February and would become a part of the Transport Department’s rolling enforcement plan.

While he welcomed the decrease in the death toll during the festive season, Radebe said that on average, 36 people were killed every day on South Africa’s roads.

Operation Juggernaut would ensure that traffic authorities would be able to stop and check 200 000 public transport and freight vehicles, Radebe said.

”Government has committed more than R63-billion in the next four years to be used on our road infrastructure networks to enable our public transport operations to function efficiently.”

He also referred to the R9,2-billion that the government has allocated to public transport for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

However, Radebe would not go into details about the plans for public transport.

”We have money budgeted for a dedicated mass transport system. We also have plans for intelligent transport systems. We will be unveiling new plans.

”Public transport is enjoying a priority in government,” he said, adding that the government’s budget allocation for public transport had increased every year in recent years. – Sapa

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