The Public Works Department (PWD Road-worthiness Inspection Supervisor, Jean Juliano, says the Department of Customs would need to work closely with vehicle importers

to ensure that only those vehicles that comply with the laws of Vanuatu are allowed on the roads of the country.

He made the comment in response to complaints that the lights on some of the vehicles are not amber as required by the law. “Some of the vehicles such as American Ford and some others don’t have amber indicator reflection on their lights as required by the Vanuatu law, but red color and this provides confusion for people using the road. “This is one of the items. And also the black emissions from vehicles is unlawful under the Vanuatu law because it is unhealthy for the people, but there is no equipment yet in place to properly measure the rate of emission,” Juliano added.

Right-hand drive vehicles are not allowed in Vanuatu under law, but any importation and use on the road is subject to the approval of the Minister of MIPU, he said.

Less than a thousand vehicles have already checked from over 4,000 vehicles altogether in the country. The Vanuatu traffic law required vehicles to be checked for 77 items, but PWD only check for a couple of them to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers, road users and visitors in general.

“Now, there is a lot of vehicles in this small city and we make sure every vehicle complies with the criteria for road-worthiness, for safety purposes.”

The regulation had been in effect since 1998 but never enforced until now, on the instruction of the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat.

“It is now 36 years after independence and it is now time to enforce some of the features of the law to properly check vehicles. “We are working on an amendment to the traffic law to properly cater for better road-worthiness inspections to fulfill the need for safety on the roads of the country,” he said.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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