NC: If you test new-car emissions then test old ones too

I'd like to know why I pay $30 every year to make sure my car is not emitting any toxic fumes, while old cars and trucks continue to emit not just a little but plumes of noxious smoke. This morning while driving to work on Riverside Drive, an old pickup was spouting two columns of dark, gray smoke. Even though I had my air conditioning on, the noxious fumes filled my car making it hard for me to breathe. My 95-year-old mother, who is on oxygen, began to pant for breath, so I was forced to take a detour, making me late for work.

I am outraged that this is allowed on our roads. I am happy to comply with rules about emissions, but what good is it if everyone is not also forced to comply?

— Carolyn B. Pidgeon
Asheville

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4 thoughts on “NC: If you test new-car emissions then test old ones too

  1. Piffy!

    [b]Even though I had my air conditioning on, the noxious fumes filled my car making it hard for me to breathe.[/b]

    yeah, no irony there.

  2. bobaloo

    Here’s your simple answer: It would be a hardship on the poor who can’t afford newer cars to bring them up to emissions standards. It’s that simple.

    Personally, I think they should eliminate it all together for the same reasons the author states: It’s really helping no one as the cars with real emissions problems are exempt. It’s just another money making scheme for the state.

  3. brebro

    I thought it was because vehicles older than 1996 did not have the required OnBoardDiagnostic computer hook-ups that are required to run the emissions inspection tests.

    In any event, the NCDENR has anticipated this person’s concerns and FAQs thusly:

    “I have noticed vehicles on the road with excessive smoke coming from their exhaust system. How can I report a smoking vehicle? [Back to Top]
    If you see a car, truck, or bus anywhere in North Carolina with dirty smoke coming from its exhaust for more than 10 consecutive seconds, write down the license number, date, time, and location you saw the smoking vehicle.

    Report the smoking vehicle, within 30 days, by submitting an online reporting form on http://daq.state.nc.us/motor/smoking.shtml or by calling (919) 733-1766. You do not have to give your name.

    The North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will then notify the owner in writing that his or her vehicle may be contributing to air pollution by smoking excessively. The DAQ will also provide the owner with information about how car maintenance will improve the vehicle’s performance.”

  4. Ken Hanke

    I thought it was because vehicles older than 1996 did not have the required OnBoardDiagnostic computer hook-ups that are required to run the emissions inspection tests.

    That’s a bingo! The thing is that there are ways of testing emissions other than the one used on the newer vehicles, but that would cost money rather than make it.

    I do like the fact that your newer car can be kept off the road for not passing while the older car gets sent information on how to improve its performance.

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