The levels of noise and air pollution, particularly by public and commercial vehicles in major towns has reached near-crisis levels and the decision to change the rules to provide for more regular inspection of vehicles will go a long way in enforcing compliance with acceptable standards.
Before they become law, however, there is need for robust public engagement to ensure that once they are passed, the public will support the inspection as a way of mitigating pollution.
As it is, pollution has been blamed for high cases of respiratory diseases, particularly among children and vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, and it is not acceptable that the public carries the burden of keeping them healthy when the problem lies squarely with the individuals who own these vehicles.
One of the steps that the National Transport and Safety Authority ought to take before enforcing the proposed rules is to ensure that it has enough expert staff and contracted agents who can do the job without creating either backlogs or shortcuts. In the past, attempts to be more vigilant in motor vehicle inspection were marred by lack of enough personnel and long queues that formed around the few gazetted inspection centres.