Motor vehicle inspection pushed

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    Roadworthiness. Vehicular accidents are taking more lives than COVID, an industry association says.

    The Vehicle Inspection Center Operators Association of the Philippines (VICOAP) yesterday pushed for the implementation of the Motor Vehicle Inspection System program to address the inefficiency in testing for roadworthiness of vehicles using modern technology.

    In a virtual press briefing, VICOAP said the Philippines is Asia’s “sick man” when it comes to road safety, with vehicular accidents reaping higher fatalities than the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    This lapse, which has relegated the country to the tail end when it comes to the roadworthiness of its road-driven vehicles, can be corrected by upgrading the current testing methods using modern technology that brings a higher degree of accuracy and transparency, it added.

    The association pointed to the urgent need to address this inefficiency which causes more than 12,000 deaths among Filipinos annually due to road accidents as compared to 10,000 caused by the COVID-19.

    In 2019, the Metro Manila accident reporting and analysis system annual report showed that 100,933 accidents incurred damages to property in the city alone. From a global perspective, a World Health Organization global road safety report named road traffic injuries as the leading killer of children and young people.

    The same report noted that road traffic injuries have a total cost of about 2.6 percent of the entire country’s gross domestic product.

    “This issue cannot continue. We aspire to be the premiere country when it comes to road safety. The program for improving testing for roadworthiness has been long overdue, and we can catch up by starting operations as soon as possible,” said Iñigo Larrazabal, VICOAP president.

    VICOAP said its private motor vehicle inspection centers (PMVIC) perform globally accepted tests using automation, reducing human error and other untoward influences that may affect the outcome of a test. Testing takes only 15 minutes.

    “What we are doing is transparency through technology. We have a 70-point testing system that will check the roadworthiness of your car when you register it. We test many things from seatbelts, brakes, to headlights,” Benson So, VICOAP internal vice president, said on testing for light vehicles and cars.

    In contrast, the test being conducted by private emission testing centers only checks and assesses the quality of smoke belching out of the vehicle.

    One PMVIC test for an automotive vehicle costs P1,500 plus value added tax annually, while a motorcycle test charges P600.

    Larrazabal said increase in testing fees reflect the increased work to be done to ensure that only the safest of vehicles are allowed on the roads.