TRANSPORT: Have Your Car Checked Free
Recent Western Cape Business News
Participating vehicle testing stations around the country will offer motorists free safety critical checks of their cars from Monday, December 1 until Saturday, December 13. The two-week long campaign, an initiative promoted by the Retail Motor Industry organisation, is aimed at helping to make South Africa’s roads safer, especially since increased traffic volumes are expected on major routes over the festive season.
In previous campaigns involving checks of more than 1 400 vehicles, between 89% and 92% were found to have defects relating to safety critical items – including brakes, tyres, steering and lights.
Ferose Oaten, president of the RMI and a member of the National Vehicle Testing Association – which has arranged for the free checks to be carried out – says that by driving non-roadworthy or unsafe vehicles, drivers become directly responsible for road deaths.
Details of participating stations in the various provinces can be obtained by contacting the RMI’s Regional Office in each region. A list of workshops at which repairs can be made will be available at each station.
“The test stations have again pledged their resources to perform these tests free of charge,” says Jeff Osborne, CEO of the RMI.
Safety critical items that will be checked include:
• All lights including indicators;
• Seat belts;
• Front and rear tyres;
• Brakes front and rear;
• Parking brake;
• Steering mechanism – steering control arm, steering box and tie rod ends;
• Front and rear suspension;
• Exhaust system;
• Wheel alignment;
Osborne says many road fatalities can be avoided if vehicles are roadworthy. “Periodic testing aimed at ensuring vehicle safety is crucial in the fight to reduce road carnage,” he says. “Especially now, with the festive season just around the corner, people planning to venture on holiday trips should make a safety check a priority.”
According to statistics released by the Department of Transport following a recent transportation study:
* About 17% of all mini-bus taxis were fitted with at least one worn tyre, while 3% had at least one tyre fitted that was damaged;
* About 19% of all trucks had at least one smooth tyre and 20% had at least one damaged tyre;
* Around 2,20% of light motor vehicles, 5,30% of mini-bus taxis, 1,40% of buses and 2,20% of trucks had defective front headlights;
* About 2,00% of light motor vehicles, 4,00% of mini-bus taxis; 2,50% buses and 4,40% trucks had at least one defective tail light;
* Defective brake lights affected 5,10% of light motor vehicles, 8,80% of mini-bus taxis, 4,80% of buses and 8,00% of trucks.
“In the absence of appropriate regulation for annual roadworthy inspections, responsible motorists should submit their vehicles for a safety check once a year. It is well worth the effort and can mean the difference between life or death,” says Osborne.
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