The Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Public Works has asked the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) to improve the Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis) software.
This, the committee says, will help to capture all the information on vehicles undergoing certificate of fitness (CoF) to minimise road accidents.
Maltis, which became operational in May 2015, has helped to address a number of functional problems DRTSS was facing.
During the committee’s tour of Auto Tech Services office in Lilongwe yesterday, it was established that Maltis does not detect defects to do with ball joints and other vehicle suspension problems.
Auto Tech is one of the companies that bid to offer CoF services to improve service delivery by reducing congestion.
The committee’s chairperson, Victor Mbewe, in an interview after the tour, said despite the machines being modern, they need more software to capture all the defects on a vehicle.
He said: “The machines have impressed us, but what we are not happy with is the fact that other problems on a vehicle cannot be detected. Now, the essence of a car having CoF is that it should be fully fit and not part fit.
‘We expect those who are in charge of this to add software, which can detect all defects on a vehicle and not partly fit.”
A member of the committee, Werani Chilenga, told the meeting that some vehicles, including his, had passed the CoF test despite having problems with suspension.
DRTSS director Jacques Manong’a admitted that the challenges are indeed there, but pushed the blame to inspectors on the pit, saying they need to do a thorough job by physically checking the cars to ensure that they are in good condition.
“This is a new system, and as is the case with any new system, we expected some challenges. Some of our officers are in South Africa undergoing training on how they can manage this new system,” he said.
Auto Tec director Mohsin Salim challenged the committee members to undertake inspections at the company even without notice as this will help them to improve service delivery.
“We agree that there are some challenges, but they will be rectified as we go along,” he said.