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Microdotting Compulsory from September 2012


The microdotting of motor vehicles will become compulsory from September 1.

This follows the gazetting on Friday of amendments to the National Road Traffic Act approved by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele.

The technology, which involves the application of thousands of small discs about the size of a grain of sand containing a unique identification number for each vehicle, is expected to play a vital role in reducing the more than R1 billion annual loss caused by the theft and hijacking of vehicles.

From September 1, all motor vehicles registered for the first time will need to be fitted with microdots that comply with the requirements of standard specification SANS 534-1. In addition, all motor vehicles requiring a police vehicle clearance certificate will need to be fitted with microdots from March 9 next year.

Graham Wright, the chief executive of Business Against Crime SA (Bacsa), welcomed the gazetting of the amendments to the act, stating yesterday that it would go a long way in fighting vehicle crime.

Wright said these changes followed more than a decade of consistent and sustained effort by Bacsa and various parties in the government and business to secure the identity of vehicles.

"The application of microdot technology to all motor vehicles will strengthen the police's ability to identify stolen or hijacked vehicles," he said.

The pervasive and enduring nature of microdot technology enabled the marking of many motor vehicle components and parts, which meant the police could now identify parts from stolen vehicles even if the vehicle had been "chopped up" for the illegal spares market.

The process involves spraying about 10 000 small dots on about 88 different positions on a vehicle.

"Microdots are the most cost effective, easy to use and enduring technology available in securing and preserving the identity of a motor vehicle."

He said Bacsa commended Ndebele for ensuring that this important legislation was enacted, and the police for their ongoing commitment to ensuring that this approach was operationalised.

He also applauded the various sectors of the business community, including the manufacturing industry, for their proactive commitment to implementing the technology as a contribution towards the fight against crime in South Africa.

The microdot discs are typically applied in various locations of the vehicle through hand held, low pressure, spray systems, together with a suitable adhesive.

Confirmation of vehicle identity is done by simply extracting a sample of the material and subjecting it to observation through a low-powered easy-to-use microscope. These have already been distributed to the police.

The microdots are extremely difficult to remove once applied and serve as a lasting reminder of the original identity of the motor vehicle and its parts. Another advantage is the relatively low cost of applying the microdots.

March 15 2012 at 05:00am
By Roy Cokayne

Independent News Paper

Microdotting Compulsory from September 2012

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