Owners of moped cars have not had to take their vehicle through technical inspection so far, but the Transport Administration is planning to impose a requirement that would obligate owners to get their vehicles inspected.
The Transport Administration's land vehicle unit chief Jürgo Vahtra said there are several reasons to obligate technical inspections. For example, the mileage for registered four-wheel moped cars in Estonia tends to run high - 60,000 km on average - which means a lot of moped cars are nearing their expiry date.
"As a result, the technical condition of many moped cars is poor in many cases and vehicles need major repairs," Vahtra said.
In addition, Vahtra said used moped cars are mostly brought from Finland after the vehicles no longer pass technical inspections there. "Since the prices of moped car spare parts are high, part installation is often abandoned in search of a cheaper way to get the vehicle moving again. For example, a non-functioning caliper is shut off by closing the end of the brake pipe. As a result of such 'repairs', some vehicles only have one wheel breaking," Vahtra said.
Another issue is illegal reconstruction, since there are no post-checks. Vahtra noted that while the maximum number of seats allowed in moped cars is two, there are multiple four-seat moped cars driving around in traffic. The seats, seatbelts and fastenings are not up to safety requirements.
"There are also vehicle identity changes, where the license plates of an old moped car are lifted onto a new one," he added.
Vahtra said the main problems in traffic when it comes to moped cars are non-functioning brake systems, rusted frames and details falling off the cars.
"Data from the Estonian Motor Insurance Bureau, 65 percent of all moped car accidents have been caused by the driver. By improving the technical condition of the moped cars, we are trying to decrease the number of accidents caused by technical deficiencies," Vahtra said.
He added that the requirements for moped car inspections will be the same as for regular vehicles: the vehicle must be taken to an inspection site after a certain period. Vahtra added that since moped cars are inspected as motorcycles, the prices for inspection will likely be lower to those of regular vehicles.
The Transport Administration added that the start of the obligation is unknown, as the amendments to the regulation are not yet drawn up.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste