Hello Massachusetts motorists!
Now that the year has drawn to a close, I thought I'll review 1997 for us and look ahead to 1998.
The biggest news in the past year was the last minute passage of a new state inspection program. Renamed "Emissions
Check-up," the program will involve the present equipment check every year and a new rolling dynamometer test
every other year. Vehicles will be placed on a set of rollers and tested for pollution emissions while driven by
'technicians' at speeds up to 55 mph. For the first time in Massachusetts, diesels, trucks and busses will also
get tested. This program is supposed to be in place next summer and officially started in 1999.
The details are still sketchy, but there will be three exceptions to pollution-testing:
There are also a couple of details still to be resolved:
But there are some other questions that are not being answered by the Department of Environmental Protection:
1. The effectiveness of the program: According to the latest research, automobiles cause less than 30% of all air-born pollution. How will the other 70% be addressed?
2. Qualifications of the 'technicians.': Typically, states have been subcontracting the pollution tests to private companies. There are numerous reports of damages caused by inexperienced operators hired by these companies. The reports list everything from clutch and transmission damage to actual collisions.
3. Inconvenience to the motorist: Since the new and more expensive equipment will not be available at as many testing stations as now and since the test itself will take longer to accomplish, longer waiting is to be expected. How much longer will all of this take?
If you are concerned as I am, please write or call:Department of Environmental Protection
LOOKING AHEAD: The biggest news for the coming year is the upcoming ballot "Should the Tolls be Eliminated on the Massachusetts Turnpike?" What do you think? Don't forget to voice your opinion in the November elections. Till then, happy New Year to all. And for safety sake, please sound your horn loud and clear at every speed bump you come across!
MA NMA Activist, email@example.com
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