Traffic Police check a lorry at the Motor Vehicle Control Unit in Remera. (Timothy Kisambira)
Traffic Police check a lorry at the Motor Vehicle Control Unit in Remera. (Timothy Kisambira)

The equipment was on Wednesday handed over to the Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana by Rema director-general Rose Mukankomeje in the presence of the Minister for Natural Resources Vincent Biruta.

Traffic Police check a lorry at the Motor Vehicle Control Unit in Remera. (Timothy Kisambira)
Traffic Police check a lorry at the Motor Vehicle Control Unit in Remera. (Timothy Kisambira)

The equipment is expected to aid the Police during the implementation of Prime Minister?s Order, issued earlier this year, meant to curb air pollution caused by vehicular emissions and machines using petroleum products and curbing noise pollution as stipulated in Article 600 of the Penal Code.

The four emission testing machines are valued at Rwf52 million, while the three noise pollution meters are worth Rwf600,000.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Dr Biruta said the systems were in place to ensure that all vehicles undergoing technical inspection at the Motor Vehicle Inspection Unit will also undergo an emissions test after which they will receive a technical control certificate.

He added that Police officers had been trained on use of equipment and were ready to begin the tests in January.

Praying for patience, Dr Biruta said the tests were not meant to inconvenience motorists or members of the public but preserve and protect the environment.

Citing an example of a 23-year-old truck tested for emissions during the handover, the minister noted that it was not about how old a vehicle was, but how well it was maintained and use of the proper fuels that mattered.

?For a vehicle to be compliant, it doesn?t have to be new; but proper maintenance and use of the correct fuels that ensures it doesn?t pollute the environment,? Dr Biruta said.

He added that the levels of noise will henceforth be established using a noise meter to indicate if it had exceeded the limit.

Noise pollution

According to Rema, noise pollution in the country is determined when sound goes beyond 80 decibels.

?Now that Police have equipment to test the level of noise, it will be possible to use the standard level set to curb the pollution,? the minister said.

The meters will be used to establish the level of noise in entertainment spots, places of worship and factories.

Traffic and Road Safety department spokesperson Emmanuel Kabanda reminded motorists to have in mind that after the festive season, vehicles with environment polluting gaseous emissions will not be allowed to operate.

Kabanda said the emission test will be done through the inspection units at Remera in Kigali, Gishari in Rwamagana District and the mobile testing unit.

Collins Mwai, The New Times

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