- Category: Getting Along
- Published on Tuesday, June 05 2012 01:24
- Written by Rod Hughes
- Hits: 414
The battle between car inspectors and motorists who want to get around the regulations continues. One of the favorite ploys is to switch tires on the car going into inspection, changing the bald ones for newer ones.
Then, of course, once the car passes the Riteve mandatory inspection, the old tires go back on, presumably to continue life until they blow out, hopefully at low speed so the car doesn't lose its sense of direction.
One would naturally suppose that the driver would be more interested in keeping his family and other riders safe, but that is not the Tico mindset. Many yearn for the old days when one slipped a bribe to the mechanic, then ran his vehicle until something broke or it crashed, whichever came first.
The highway safety council, Cosevi, think they have the silver bullet to end the practice -- they would mark the tires with the cars' license plate number. Then Riteve inspectors check for coordination yearly.
Cosevi director Sulvia Bolanos is well aware of the trick and says that there are places where one can rent new tires on short term, returning them for a refund after the inspection.
Marvin Salazar, Cosevi specialist, explains that the change will require a change in regulations by the Ministry of the Economy. It is not just the case of marking the tires. In the first place, someone would have to be designated for the marking job or the bar code on new tires incorporated into registry information.
But Erick Herrera, manager of the country's Bridgestone tire manufacturing plant here, cautions that if Cosevi doesn't watch it, the new measure could alter the composition of the tires, weakening them and making them unsafe.
He suggests "branding" the sidewall with a hot iron with the plate number. Certainly he would not recommend cutting into the tire to make the letters and numbers, which would structurally weaken the casing.
Comment: This makes good sense. But if bureaucrats can make the procedure more complicated, one can count on it.
For instance, what happens if one destroys the marked tire in a pothole? Would one have to register the new tire at Cosevi? Could "tire rustlers" alter the "brand" to coincide with the license? The regulation could create an entirely new kind of criminal activity...