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One in seven public transport vehicles flunk new safety tests

About one in seven public transport vehicles have failed safety checks in the first week of a new programme by the Department of Land Transport (DLT).

Of the 7,088 vehicles tested nationwide September 2-11 in attempt to improve the standard of public transport, as many as 1,020 have failed.

The department ordered land transport offices nationwide to conduct a full check-up of public transport vehicles and drivers, DLT director-general Peerapol Thavornsubhajaroen said. “The check-up campaign is expected to take three months to complete,” he said. “During the first week (September 2-11), we already performed checks on 7,088 vehicles and found that 1,020 of them failed the evaluation.”

Peerapol said 1,212 of the tested vehicles were regular route vans, 2,381 were non-regular route vans, 2,219 regular route buses, 838 non-regular route buses, and 438 minibuses.

Vehicles failed the evaluation mostly because of a low-quality brake system, excessive black smoke emissions or an unauthorized modification to engines and gear systems, he said. “We ordered the owners to fix their failed vehicles and bring them back for another check-up within 15 days.”

There was better news concerning the public transport drivers, with three of 10,236 drivers failing the exam.

“We have already advised them how to prepare themselves before taking a remedial exam.”

The director-general said the vehicle tests include checks of the engine, vehicle body integrity, brake system, wheel alignment, lights, smoke emissions, acoustics, as well as ensuring there were no gas leaks.

The physical check-up for drivers include physical fitness, color blindness, reactions, eyes (depth and width perception), as well as a test on their general suitability as a public transport service provider.

Operators of public transport can bring their vehicles and drivers for a check-up at all land transport branches daily from 8.30am to 4.30pm, said Peerapol.

 The Nation

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