With close to 110,000 vehicles currently registered on the roads nationwide, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is concerned with the emission of excessive black fumes from a vehicle’s exhaust, according to LTA Board Chairman, Vijay Maharaj.
“As vehicle emissions carry pollutants that can be hazardous to health, LTA is working to reduce visible smoke emissions with regular, stringent enforcement on our part, roadside driver awareness programmes, as well as education in communities and schools,” said Mr Maharaj.
He said that the common causes of black smoke emissions from diesel- powered engines include unclean engines and fuel, poorly adjusted fuel systems, the use of low quality lubricants, and driver attitude.
“Progress has been made in reducing vehicle emissions. Ten years ago, the level of smoke emissions in Fiji was at an unacceptable 70 percent opacity level. This has been reduced to around 50 percent opacity level, but we are aiming for a further significant reduction by 2018,” he said.
Up to 200 vehicles per month fail to comply with the smoke emission tests at LTA inspection centres. Each month, on average, 250 diesel-powered vehicles in the Central-Eastern, 200 in the Western and 50 in the Northern Division go through the emission test requirements set for such vehicles.
Defective vehicles are referred to LTA accredited motor vehicle workshops to repair and rectify the causes of high emission levels.
“The Authority does not seek to be excessively punitive for minor violations, but vehicle owners need to take responsibility to ensure they comply with the regulations and help reduce the level of vehicle emissions,” said Mr Maharaj.