Malta’s police issue roughly 110 fines every year against vehicles who emit excessive toxic smoke, new figures have revealed.
Following a parliamentary question from MP Ivan Bartolo, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri revealed that in 2020, police issued 124 fines against drivers whose vehicles emitted fumes. It was one of the largest ever issued since 2013.
The figures, which cover the years 2013 to 2020, reveal that police issue an average of 112 fines per year. The fewest police ever issued was in 2019, when just 79 were dished out.
Over the time frame, a total of 901 such fines were dished out. When taking into account the hundreds of thousands of cars on Malta’s roads, the figure is worryingly low.
Malt’s congestion problem has exacerbated air pollution in the country each week, with around 15% of the country living with respiratory illnesses. Around five people die every week as a result of air pollution.
Since 2005, the government has employed the ‘Clean Air’ SMS system, which allows people to report vehicles belching smoke and polluting the environment. However, it is unclear how many messages actually translate into action.
In 2018, the Times of Malta reported that it was one out of every 40 texts sent in results in an emissions test.
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