Defective vehicles, one more cause of traffic on Lagos roads
This article was triggered by the news report titled: ‘More questions than answers on ending Lagos gridlock’ of The Guardian newspaper on July 8, which detailed the Lagos Transportation and Traffic webinar organised by the United States Consulate General in Lagos with the theme, ‘The never-ending story, Lagos traffic congestion: What can be done? Will it be done?’
Without fully rehashing the report given, I would want to simply commend the organisers, speakers and contributors for the very valuable points put forward. It would, however, seem that one major contributor to the unending traffic wasn’t captured in the webinar and that is the effects of defective vehicles on the highways. Beyond being a major cause of accidents on the roads, defective vehicles are notorious for causing heart-wrenching traffic for so many Lagosians.
In the pursuit of a holistic management of Lagos traffic congestion, there is a greater need for the public to embrace the use of technology, as deployed by the Lagos State government, to address the issue of defective vehicles causing horrendous traffic on the highways.
Currently in Lagos, the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) operates 16 Lagos Computerised vehicle inspection service centres (LACVIS), capable of inspecting all kinds of vehicles. The benefits of these LACVIS centres are enormous. Since it was introduced in 2017, LACVIS operations have led to the automation of the renewal of roadworthiness certificates such that vehicles are expected to undergo series of inspection on the safety requirements before the owners are issued the roadworthiness certificates.
These inspections, carried out on computerised test lanes, check for defects from emission to brakes efficiency. Other tests carried out include steering and alignment, suspension, headlamps test, topside and underneath inspection, among others.
Despite the myriads of tests carried out on vehicles, the turnaround time is within the range of 15 minutes for saloon vehicles and SUVs, and 20 minutes for trucks, tankers and trailers. There have been cases of vehicles having over 60 defects at a go. It isn’t far-fetched to conceive the idea that such vehicle is a potential traffic-causing agent.
To those who have been compliant and have patronised the centres, they have been full of gratitude to the state government for its resolute determination to reduce carnage to the barest minimum on the roads. The vehicle inspection report given after the inspection details the defects discovered and they are advised for quick repair. And as such, they are equally grateful for getting good value for the money paid to renew these documents.
Obviously, it is not yet Uhuru for the state as there are still cases of non-road worthy vehicles plying the highways. However, before we lay blame, as usual, on the enforcing agencies, we should be introspective to answer simple questions such as how well have I played my part in ensuring that traffic is reduced to the barest minimum.
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