People, Environment

Technical Inspection Law Strictly Enforced

Traffic cameras have helped identify vehicles without a technical inspection sticker.Traffic cameras have helped identify vehicles without a technical inspection sticker.

About half a million vehicles lacking technical inspection stickers have been impounded in Tehran, according the city’s top traffic police official.

Speaking to ISNA, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Mehmandar, chief of Tehran Road Traffic Police, added that more than half a million cars have been fined by the police for lacking technical safety stickers over the past nine months.

“The violations have been registered by police officers and street cameras,” he said.

Pointing to car owners who tamper with their license plate numbers to evade detection, the official said over 1,500 such vehicles were impounded and their owners have been fined and referred to judicial authorities for the violation.

“Some 22,000 highly polluting cars also faced legal action since the beginning of the [Iranian] year (March 20),” said Mehmandar, adding that dealing with polluting vehicles has always been a priority of the police, especially in cold seasons.

The crackdown on polluting vehicles is part of a scheme involving the implementation of Low Emission Zone, which became operational in certain districts of Tehran in October 2016 after months of delay due to a lack of infrastructure.

Based on the LEZ scheme, vehicles failing to undergo a technical test are scanned by cameras and fined 500,000 rials ($12) per day upon entering the odd-even traffic zone (where cars are allowed to enter on alternate days depending on the odd and even number of the license plate.).

This required a centralized network to allow cameras to have access to inspection data that were unavailable until that date.  

Nevertheless, several officials argue that the plan is not the “real” LEZ scheme but the “technical inspection scheme” since it only prohibits the entry of cars lacking technical inspection stickers, regardless of their emission levels.

“The current phase is only meant to encourage car owners to refer to inspection centers so as to prepare the ground for the launch of the real LEZ scheme,” Navvab Hosseini-Manesh, director of Tehran’s Vehicle Technical Inspection Headquarters, said earlier.   

Tehran has been struggling with high levels of pollution in recent weeks in spite of occasional rainfalls. As a stopgap to tackle the capital’s poor air quality, an air pollution committee (comprising representatives from the Department of Environment, Tehran Municipality, education and health ministries and the law enforcement) decided to extend the traffic zone restriction in central Tehran by two hours until at least Tuesday. The scheme is in effect between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.


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