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Roadside Investigators test pollution levels

Pollution on the side of the road is a real threat

It is no secret to Southern California residents that the air is unclean, in fact anyone who has traveled the 5 freeway during heavy traffic can still taste it in the back of their mouth.

But how bad is it really? If you walk down the street just how much are those tailpipes affecting your pipes? How strict should emission restrictions be ?

Testing the pollution

Tail pipeDuring the month of September, ultraviolet and infrared sensors were used to measure the pollution coming from each car that drives our freeways every day.

A program put together by the South Coast Air Quality Management District in an attempt to seek out vehicles that do not meet emissions requirements and either get them fixed or get them off the road altogether.

The solution lies in offering offenders the option of volunteering for a program which will pay for up to $500 in emissions system repairs or $1000 to get a pollutor off the streets.

Sadly enough we can’t just blame the pollution on the older cars. Much of the problem is cars whose engine has more than 100,000 miles on them, no matter how old they are.

The facts

Clean air

Fact: 10% of the vehicles produce over 50% of the pollution on California roads, that is staggering.

The California Inspection & Maintenance Review Committee found last October that 40% of vehicles that needed repairs to pass their mandatory smog check fell out of compliance in the weeks and months that followed the smog test.

One of the longterm goals of this program is keeping heavy pollutors compliant to emission regulations all the time and not just in preperation for their smog inspections.

The reality

In the end the issue here is not about restrictive controls on the people, the issue here is the health of our planet and those of us who love it.

Pollution in the air we breath is a real threat, especially here in the Southland. The air in Southern California is some of the worst in the nation and our children are the ultimate victims, the children whose lungs weaker for the amount of pollution we put in the air every day.

Every little bit helps, and keeping your car up to snuff is an important responsibility you have not only to yourself but to the everyone who wants to breath in L.A.

Be sure to do your part and check out our sections on Fuel efficiency and Hybrid cars for more information on saving the planet one car at a time.