Mandatory Technical Inspection Results: 114,830 Cars Fail, 117,640 Pass

Of 232,470 cars which took the mandatory technical inspection from January 2018 to February 2019, 114,830 cars failed and only 117,640 passed.

The information was released by the non-governmental organization Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) which studied the results of the inspection launched on January 1, 2018.

The first stage of the mandatory testing required trucks of over 3.5 tons and passenger cars with more than eight seats to undergo safety checks.

The second stage was launched on July 1, 2018 and required all vehicles registered to state entities to undergo a mandatory check, which was followed by the third stage from October 1, envisaging inspection of all automobiles with 3.0 engines and above.

From January 1, 2019, the government launched the final phase of the campaign and required all other vehicles to undergo mandatory testing.

The cost of inspection for cars is 60 GEL. If a car fails the test the first time, its owner is given a 30-day period to fix the identified problems. Re-inspection is free of charge.

The IDFI notes that in 2018, due to their being no technical inspection, the amount of fines imposed on drivers amounted to GEL 1 million and car owners spent more than GEL 16 million during the first stage of inspection.

The NGO report reads that a total of 232,470 cars were tested from January 2018 to February 2019. 80,999 vehicles out of total 114,830 which failed during the initial stage applied for repeated inspection, as a result of which 4,330 failed to pass the testing again and 76,669 vehicles were approved.

Of the twice-failed 4,330 cars, 4,032 were tested a third time and 2,150 failed to meet the requirements again. 1,182 of those cars managed to pass the third inspection.

The organization says the largest number of vehicles that were inspected were M1 category vehicles which have no more than eight seats. According to the study, 63% of motor vehicles tested during the inspection conducted in 2018-2019 were M1 type and counted 79.5% of tested cars during the re-inspection.

IDFI says the newer the cars, the fewer the irregularities. The percentage of vehicles issued in various years which failed the inspection is as follows: 2001-2005: 40%, 2006-2010: 33%, 2011-2015: 28% and 2016-2019: 20%.

The organization highlighted that the Audit Report 2018 had revealed old and technically faulty cars are the main source of air pollution. According to the Audit Report, the quantity of exhaust and its harmful effect largely depends on the engine type and other technical parameters of cars. Most vehicles ten years and above are technically defective, thus pose a threat to the air quality in Georgia.

In 2019, the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee of the Parliament of Georgia published a report on the air condition in Tbilisi, which reads that the main cause of atmospheric air pollution in Tbilisi is the exhaust of motor vehicles.

The IDFI says that the Ministry of Internal Affairs does not keep a record of the reasons specific cars could not pass the inspection.

“In light of the fact the State fails to record the reasons why motor vehicles were found faulty, it is difficult to determine the problems of the existing auto park, estimate the damage to the environment and have a clear picture how problems have been eliminated at the second stage,” the NGO said.

However, the organization added that the inspection had brought positive results, and the majority of owners of defective cars had managed to fix the flaws prior to re-inspection.

During the inspection process, some questions arose as to whether inspectors are properly equipped and trained to inspect cars. However, the test centers claim that a high standard of inspection is met, with much of the work carried out by computers.

In October 2018, the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance announced fraud had been discovered in relation to a number of technical inspection centers.

A statement from the Investigative Service said that as a result of investigative activities, 10 centers for vehicle technical inspection were identified in the regions of Tbilisi, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Imereti, Kakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti, whose employees were falsely issuing passes for municipal and privately-owned vehicles.

Under the Georgia-EU Association Agreement signed in 2014, Georgia is obligated to ensure all vehicles are in line with EU standards.

By Thea Morrison

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10 June 2019 17:28