The need for vehicle owners to make auto care a priority in order to forestall road crashes which is on the increase in recent time in Nigeria, formed the crux of the recent interview with the Coordinator of Kwara State Vehicle Inspection Service (KWAVIS), Engr. Tijani Ibrahim Adebayo.Excerpts:
What is automated vehicle inspection all about?
It is a clear departure from the old way of checking vehicles or ascertaining their road worthiness, wherein motorists present their vehicles and the officer check the visual aspect of these vehicles like the visual, tyres and windscreen among others. The world has gone technologically; in most developed countries, they have gone beyond checking of vehicles manually.
So, what is done in developed countries is the use of automated system like what we are doing here in Kwara State Automated Inspection Service (KWAVIS).
Majorly, what we do is automated way of vehicle inspection; to check the condition of vehicles; to ascertain the road worthiness and how healthy the vehicles are. That is what the state government has brought to ensure that all vehicles are properly checked and cared for.
So, what KWAVIS is all about is ascertaining the road worthiness of vehicles using newly sophisticated machines and systems.
Is the automated inspection in stages?
Yes it is. There is the emission, top visual- where we check everything with hands and eyes, there is also the machine based headlight test, alignment test and underneath inspection.
This type of inspection create opportunity for vehicle owners to know their cars better and guard them against extortion by roadside mechanics because the tests would show them exactly the faults their cars have.
What makes KWAVIS distinct from the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), is there an overlap of responsibilities?
There is no overlap of responsibilities; we are partners in progress. The difference is that the VIO is into the administrative aspect of the process like issuing road worthiness certificate.
But, the technical aspect like checking vehicles with automated system is done by us because we have trained engineers and personnel that work on the machines. So that is where we come in using the machines and the computers mainly to check condition of the vehicles.
So, invariably we are working together because the process starts from them (VIO) and pass through us and also ends with them. So, without their process ours is not complete; we synchronize our activities to make it a whole process.
Not many Kwarans know about the automated system of vehicle inspection, what measure has your office devised to create awareness for motorists in particular?
We are making a lot of efforts and one of such is through social media and we also create awareness on the road. We are just starting and the sky is even the starting point not the limit.
We also have flyers, which we give to vehicle owners, we go on media like radio, embark on what we call enforcement and awareness. So, we approach garages, private and commercial vehicle owners on the road to enlighten them on the new system.
It is a continuous process; we are still deeply into public awareness. We have plans of expansion because presently we operate from the headquarters, which is the only one in the state for now. This is just the pilot centre, soon we will be having centres all across our zones in Kwara for accessibility of the service by vehicle owners in all parts of the state.
What determines pricing for automated inspection at KWAVIS?
The pricing is done based on the vehicle categories. The price for a vehicle of higher engine capacity will be more than the one of lower capacity. Also the purpose for which the car is used; a commercial vehicle owner will pay more for the service than a private car owner.
The commercial vehicles pay more than private because they renewed their papers twice a year while private owners renew once annually.
So, essentially, the purpose of the vehicle and the engine capacity, places the vehicles into different price categories, which are affordable.
What are the challenges faced by the establishment as regards operations?
Like the saying charity begins at home. Government parastatals and agencies should lead by example. If people see that even government vehicles are being presented at the automated centres, they will be encouraged to present theirs too. Government can help the project to grow.
However, in terms of equipment and personnel we have adequate number. The personnel are capable but not been fully utilised. Presently, we have technical capacity for the vehicles coming in.
Sincerely speaking, the essence of this, is for safety aside the revenue aspect of it. Safety of the vehicle, safety of the vehicle owners and road users.
What other innovations should vehicle owners in Kwara expect from KWAVIS in the nearest future?
Plan is underway for a Driver Training Test (DTT) whereby before you get your driver’s license, you will need to go through a Computer Based Test (CBT) to know if you have the requisite knowledge about the road.
Some people are driving but don’t know the road signs, and they are there in different languages.
We also plan to automate the system of renewing vehicle particulars to make the process seamles
Message to motorists
It is important for vehicle owners to check the status of their cars. People should take care of their vehicles the way they take care of their bodies.
Once you are in a vehicle that is your life at that particular time, but most car owners are nonchalant. Someone will know that the brake of his car is not working and he will tell you that he knows how to manage it. You don’t manage hazards. You don’t have to wait till something bad happens.