Garages may be authorised for vehicle inspections

Vehicle inspections could soon be conducted by authorized garages and car dealerships in a bid to reduce pressure on traffic authorities.

The Southern Municipal Council in its weekly meeting yesterday unanimously approved the proposal and referred it to Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa for implementation.

The Interior Ministry has backed the proposal and informed the council, in writing, that studies to privatise the service were being conducted by the Traffic Directorate, which plans to start a trial phase next year.

There are around 650,000 registered vehicles in the country with half of them eligible for annual inspection at the Traffic Directorate in Riffa.

Traffic rules in Bahrain exempts new cars from inspection but vehicles aged five and older need to be checked regularly.

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A special centre for vehicle inspections was opened in the Muharraq Governorate earlier in the year, but Southern Municipal Council chairman Ahmed Al Ansari said it only covered 20 per cent of vehicles.

He claimed that majority of car owners visited the directorate at once creating traffic congestion.

“We can’t change people’s attitude of showing up at the end of the month or the beginning of a new month to have their cars inspected for renewal even though they have three months prior to the deadline,” he said.

“The whole road network is suffering from associated problems as people queue their vehicles outside the directorate, causing unnecessary traffic jams that stretch out to the nearby Educational District which is already faced with traffic problems.

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“Imagine, we are speaking about an average of 30,000 vehicles showing up in the same five day period every month – 1,000 vehicles an hour is enough for the disastrous scenes we are witnessing.”

Mr Al Ansari, whose constituency covers Buhair and Riffa where the directorate is located, said the proposal would also allow the Traffic Directorate to become a regulator instead of a service provider.

“Privatize the service by allowing authorized garages to inspect vehicles and report the outcome online for the renewal to be made or not, with everything being done completely online,” he added.

Source Credit: Gulf Daily News

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