Clean up your car - smoking kills

Roadside tests on emission standards to commence this month

Roadside checks on vehicle exhausts will start in Wandsworth on July 21 as part of a new assault on air pollution in the capital. Drivers whose vehicles fail to meet the required standard will be handed a £60 fine - reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.

The emissions tests will be carried out by an approved contractor working for 28 of London's 33 boroughs. Suspect vehicles will be flagged down by a uniformed police officer. The checks will take just two minutes and measure carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons.

Vehicles which have recently passed an MOT or are regularly and professionally serviced should meet the emissions test. Steps which can be taken to reduce pollution include driving within the
speed limit, avoiding rapid acceleration and sharp braking and not keeping the engine running when stationary.

Cabinet member for regeneration and transport Kathy Tracey said:

"The vast majority of London's boroughs have signed up to this new initiative. We are aiming to make a real improvement in air quality by encouraging all motorists to ensure their vehicle meets the legal standards.

"Most of the worst offenders are likely to be older vehicles. The message to all drivers must be get your vehicle in shape now before you get pulled in for a spot check."

Road vehicles contribute over 60 per cent of the two important pollutants known to affect ill health - fine particles (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Poor air quality damages health and quality of life, particularly affecting the most vulnerable in society - the very young and older people.

Health issues associated with air pollution include respiratory diseases, heart problems, bronchitis and asthma.

Income from fixed penalty notices will be go to the Department for Transport. Most is likely to be used to fund the testing programme.

7th July 2003

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