Tobagonians are asking for an extension of the moratorium for vehicle inspections due to “circumstances specific to Tobago.”
Currently, there are two vehicle-testing stations on the island, one at Sylvester’s Auto Centre at Carnbee and the other, VMCOTT at Shaw Park.
Yesterday, Sylvester’s Auto Centre was closed. Owner Anthony Sylvester said he, too, felt frustrated by the current situation.
“I have had to turn away scores of customers. Since December 20, I ran out of stickers and paperwork, so I have been unable to do anything. As much as five days ago I was promised that I would receive a batch of stickers, receipts and so on. Today is Friday, and I am still waiting. I just have to keep turning away customers,” he said.
At the VMCOTT compound un Shaw Park, however, there was a long line of people waiting to have their vehicles inspected. One of them, Andre Lincoln, said Tobago should be given special consideration.
“We don’t have enough inspection centres in Tobago. We used to have two, one in the east and the owner died. Then we had one to service the entire island. This one at VMCOTT only opened a month ago, and still that’s not enough for all the vehicles on the island,” he said.
Another motorist, Nigel Wallace, also believed Tobagonians need extra time.
“In addition, there not being enough garages certified to do the inspections, we have had several instances where the stickers and receipt books they sent to Tobago were not enough. Carnbee does not have any.
“I came here two days ago and they could not do any inspections because they didn’t have any stickers, but they got some last night (Thursday), so everybody flocked here today,” he said.
Wallace said he did not believe all of the vehicles waiting on inspection would be checked before the end of the day.
However, Secretary in the Division of Infrastructure Quarries and the Environment Kwesi DesVignes agreed with Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan that citizens have failed to use the five months granted to them to become compliant with the law.
Des Vignes said he assigned officers from the division to visit service centres in the weeks leading up to the December 31st deadline to ensure things were in place for the anticipated increased activity and there were no long lines of people seeking inspections.