It’s been more than 19 years since all forms of vehicle safety inspections were abandoned throughout Peru leading to thousands of unsafe cars, taxis and buses using the countries roads.
Its not unusual to see at least one car or truck missing its headlights, it quite normal to ride in a taxi with no working speedometer and commonplace to see tyres barely inflated. Something you definitely always see are trails of thick black exhaust fumes spewing out of the back of older cars and buses. These fumes coat the streets, walls, railings and trees of the cities, as well as the populations lungs, with layers of dusty residue.
In Lima starting today, and the rest of the country at some point in the future, all this may hopefully begin to change as safety and emissions inspections begin. In San Martín de Porres and Villa El Salvador two inspection sites have been set up that hope to check up to 1,200 cars per day each. Passing standards will probably be set quite low, taking only the worst of the worst off the streets. Car owners will be expected to pay $14 US and bus owners $25 for the mandatory checks. Transport unions are not pleased.