New regulation may make annual car fitness certificate mandatory!

The government of India is planning to issue a new regulation wherein all private vehicle owners in Delhi must get an annual fitness certificate to ensure the road-worthiness of their vehicles.

Other states may also follow this regulation. Owners who fail to do so will either be made to pay hefty fines or in the worst case, their vehicles may be dismantled completely. However, it is yet to be known as to when this proposal will be implemented.

maruti baleno altura india photo
Photo: Owners of old vehicles will have to put in extra effort so that their vehicles receive fitness certificates

The fitness certificate proposal was made by the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) appointed by the Supreme Court. By ensuring the periodic road worthiness of private vehicles, EPCA aims to reduce accidents and break downs caused by old and unfit private vehicles that ply on the Delhi roads. EPCA has also demanded that the inspection and maintenance system be implemented in other states too.

Fitness Certification Process

The fitness certificate will only be issued by EPCA-authorized centers and new infrastructure will be required in OEM (original equipment manufacturer) service outlets. The transport authority will have the right to audit this mechanized system to ensure the credibility of the fitness certification process.  The fitness certification process will involve a series of checks in order to ensure the vehicle is road-worthy. The following table shows the checks that will be carried out before issuing the fitness certificate. Also read: Drunken driving: How much is too much?

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Once the authorities check these parts of the vehicle and are satisfied with the condition, they will issue a sticker with the month and year of expiry of the fitness certificate (similar to pollution certificate sticker). This sticker will have to be pasted on the corner of the front windshield.

Effects

EPCA expects that once the proposal is implemented, all vehicles will be road-worthy and lazy owners will be forced to periodically maintain their vehicles. The fitness certification process will ensure that old and unfit vehicles can no longer pollute and cause harm to the environment. The yearly fitness certificate process will also ensure that the vehicles’ papers are valid at the time of vehicle inspection thereby reducing malpractices and will also enforce road users to abide the traffic laws strictly. However, vehicle users will have to bear the burden by spending time as well as money to procure the fitness certificate annually. Also, if EPCA or transport authorities fail to audit the mechanized systems that issue fitness certificates, it may be used as a tool to push owners to buy spare parts unnecessarily and increase maintenance costs.