As early as January 2006, when lead was banned from petrol and the sulphur content in diesel was reduced, government intended introducing measures to decrease vehicle emissions. Part of that strategy is to implement periodic vehicle testing (PVT) on South African roads.
In 2009, the departments of Transport, Minerals and Energy, as well as Environmental Affairs, began the call for the introduction of periodic vehicle testing. The Department of Transport sees the benefits of roadworthy vehicles in terms of road safety – at least 10% of fatal crashes can be attributed to unroadworthiness – especially considering that in South Africa, the average age of light vehicles is approaching 13 years, and trucks and buses 20 years.
According to the AA and Dekra, PVT could be implemented in South Africa later this year.
“The current thinking is to apply this to all vehicles ten years or older, and reduce the “qualifying age” each year until South African vehicle testing stations reach saturation point,” says Gary Ronald, Head of Public Affairs at the AA. “We expect the limit to be reached at six year old vehicles.”
The AA’s concern is the cost factor to the vehicle owner and the validity of the PVT certificate. The current debate is considering 12 or 24 months validity, and at what vehicle age this should apply.
Vehicle testing specialists, Dekra stress the way in which periodic testing can help the drive for improved road safety.
“The annual death toll on German roads has fallen from 20,000 to 4,500 over the past 20 years, despite a big increase in traffic volumes. Regular vehicle testing is playing a major role and I intend lobbying the SA government to ensure the system happens sooner rather than later,” says Dekra MD Garth Johnson.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1180