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The Basic of Social Research

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Rationale

Applying the MVPI (Motor Vehicles Periodic Inspection) is mandatory for anyone who wants to renew a vehicle’s registration or buy a new vehicle in Saudi Arabia. There are various workshops across the country. However, there are only 25 sophisticated, government-established testing centres located in 25 cities in the entire kingdom. Vehicle inspection and testing should be carried out six months up to a maximum period of one year depending on vehicle’s category (MVPI, 2009). Every city has only one MVPI centre which is always crowded. Saudi Arabia has an area of approximately 2,250,000 km2 (870,000 square-metres) and an estimated population of 27,000,000 people. There are approximately 336 vehicles for every 100 people in Saudi Arabia. It is very cumbersome for such a huge population to depend on only 25 motor vehicle inspection centres. It means that in some areas, someone has to travel for about 200 km to have a vehicle inspected. Therefore, this paper seeks to establish the feasibility of conducting motor vehicle inspection in workshops instead of depending only on these 25 centres.

AIMS

  • This project aims at providing a feasibility study of the application of periodic vehicle inspection in local workshops.
  • It will also compare the testing requirements in these centres with those applied in New Zealand (WOF).
  • Information from this research is aimed at helping the motor vehicle industry to establish policies that would make periodic inspection of vehicles reliable and accessible by everyone in Saudi Arabia.
  • This study shall also aim at educating the participants on the requirements for hosting inspection centres and an in-depth understanding of the significance of keeping the vehicle in good condition in order to avoid accidents and environmental pollution.
  • The findings will be put in public libraries and distributed to the press for comparison, knowledge acquisition and criticism.

Research Question(s)

  • What is an MVPI process?
  • What is the significance of MVPI?
  • How can an MVPI process be carried out?
  • What are the weaknesses in the current standards (regulations)?
  • Who should perform (staff) an MVPI?
  • What equipments are required in order to perform an MVPI process in automotive workshops in KSA?
  • When is the MVPI process conducted?
  • Why should an MVPI process be localized?
  • What are the advantages of having an MVPI in local workshops? Does this present any demerits?
  • What are the social implications posed by MVPI?
  • What are the technical implications of localising MVPI in KSA?
  •  What are the environmental implications of localising MVPI in KSA?
  • What is the economic feasibility of setting up an MVPI section in a workshop
  • LITERATURE BACKGROUND
  • WOF in New Zealand

In New Zealand, a sticker is issued in order to certify that the vehicle is in a sound state. The owner of the vehicle is expected to put the sticker at the top right corner of the windscreen to show that the vehicle has been successfully inspected. It should remain there until the next time that the vehicle is serviced. Absence of the sticker on the windscreen translates to a significant fine to the owner of the vehicle. Formal training is provided for technicians andit offers a good platform for addressing the challenges experienced at the workplace (VTNZ, 2012). In addition, automotive service technicians with good problem-solving skills and other related knowledge should be exposed to a variety of opportunities where they can develop their careers. Hence, there is a need to understand how the problem of distance and overcrowding is solved via WOF in New Zealand and how Saudi Arabia can adopt New Zealand’s strategy.

MVPI in KSA

Vehicle owners in Saudi Arabia are well-versed with Motor Vehicles’ Periodic Inspection. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires that every vehicle owner takes his vehicle for periodic inspection to confirm whether the vehicle meets safety regulations and road-worthiness. Any vehicle that fails the test must not be driven. There is a need to conduct basic checks before taking the vehicle for MVPI. Some issues that are investigated include brakes, lamps, the silencer (no smoke should emanate from the silencer) and the general cleanliness of the vehicle. However, spraying the vehicle could land the owner in trouble because dripping oil could be mistaken for leakages. In addition, it is advisable to wash the vehicle a day before inspection in order to avoid dirt sticking on the wet vehicle.  Finally, one should carry a warning triangle and a portable fire extinguisher when going for inspection (MVPI, 2009).

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At the MVPI centre, every passenger-service-vehicle owner is expected to pay SR73 and submit his or her original istemara and iqama whose details are entered into a computer. Other vehicles have different rates. The vehicle is then left in the custody of the inspector, although, the owner can watch as the vehicle is investigated. Apart from the visual inspection, other procedures are automated. However, the visual inspection is the most problematic stage. The automated tests are sophisticated and systematic and they include headlight testing, a hydrocarbon test, a brake test, and an undercarriage inspection test. After the test, a sticker is put on the windshield. The results are also printed in a document and given to the car owner. Those who fail the test are only given a document with no sticker (MVPI, 2009). The problem is that the technicians do not explain the cause of the failure. The owner is expected to take the results to another counter to know why he or she failed. In addition, the repairs must be done within 14 days and the car brought for retest.

In most cases, vehicles fail tests because of very small reasons like torn seats, carbon monoxide content, dirt on the chassis number, or a simple scratch. This proves that the mood of the technician could determine the outcome of the test, just as the case is in many government agencies (MVPI, 2009). Furthermore, immediately after the test, technicians from various workshops are ready to pounce on vehicles that failed the test for repairs which are normally expensive. Surprisingly, no vehicles have been recorded as having failed the retests. It is amazing how accurate and exhaustive these repairs are!

Methodology

A literature research will be conducted on MVPI in the library. The research will be conducted in databases with various publications on the influence of the transport sector on environmental degradation. Additionally, the Internet has become a reliable source of secondary data. Therefore, a detailed web search shall be conducted about MVPI. Other websites hosting discussions on periodic MVPI processes will also be closely followed. The paper will begin by discussing the current MVPI system in Saudi Arabia and compare it with the WOF system in New Zealand. The focus will be on finding the best solution for the research question and establish the feasibility of establishing a similar or modified system. Therefore, the entire research will focus on discussion of the research questions and finding the best-fit solution to the MVPI hurdle.

Methods of Data Collection and Analysis

The research will mainly use secondary methods of data collection. The library will be a major source of documented information on vehicle inspection in Saudi Arabia, particularly on background information on how the MVPI system was introduced and how useful it is for the transport industry. The MVPI website will also be a major source of data on what the process exactly is and how it is carried out. Through the Internet, the research will collect data on the criteria for being a member in any particular service station (MTA, 2005). In addition, the VTNZ website will provide information about the WOF system in New Zealand. All the information will be collected from pre-existing information on websites and other databases that have information dealing will the periodic inspection process in Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.

On the other hand, primary methods of data collection shall involve carrying out a study in which Saudi Students studying at Unitec will be the respondents. Observations made on the inspection process will be discussed in the data analysis stage.

A total of 10-20 participants will be involved in the research: 10-18 drivers/vehicle owners from Saudi will be chosen among the students as well as 2 teachers who have received scholarships and study at Unitec. Sampling will be used in order to determine how these participants shall be selected. However, participation will be voluntary. The data will be analysed using descriptive data analysis technique where the data will be summarised and inferences made on the applicability of the MVPI system as well as the possibility of introducing the inspection process across Saudi Arabia.

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