SMOKING VEHICLE E N F O RC E M E N T What is it? Shared Impact and Benefits North Carolina G.S. 20-128.1 “Control of Visible • NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen) that form ozone come Emissions” prohibits any gasoline-powered motor from both smoking and non-smoking vehicles, vehicle registered and operated in the State from but smoking vehicles tend to emit more hydro- emitting visible air contaminants under any mode of carbons and fine particles. All contribute to operation for longer than five consecutive seconds. poor air quality, so cleaning up smoking vehi- This law allows police departments or air quality cles makes a visible contribution to cleaner air. agents to enforce the regulation. There are also provisions in North Carolina for citizens to report • As citizens witness enforcement of smoking ve- smoking vehicles. Clearing the roads of smoking hicles, the public associates this activity with vehicles helps clear the air, which makes breathing overall efforts to clean up the air, and may be a little easier for everyone. encouraged to act individually to improve air quality. • This action contributes to a better quality of life Costs in the region because well-tuned cars release fewer harmful pollutants that citizens must en- Assuming that salaried officers patrol 24 dure as smoking vehicles pass by. hours a day and seven days a week, no costs would need to be incurred in terms of additional personnel. This Action Item can How long does this take to be implemented as a implement? POLICY The time to implement this action will vary by ORDINANCE jurisdiction. Once a decision is made that PROGRAM local law enforcement officers will actively enforce the General Statute, implementation can be immediate. The Bottom Line • The NC General Statute authorizing the enforcement of visible emissions has existed since 1971. • Smoking vehicles contribute many pollutants to the air—significantly more than well-tuned vehicles. • This action is particularly easy to implement because the law is already in place and police and/or air quality personnel already exist to enforce this law. Interested? Read on! PAGE 2 S M O K I N G V E H I C L E E N F O R C EM E N T W h o n e e d s t o b e i nvo l ve d i n i m p l e m e n t a t i o n ? • Local governing board (to endorse a pol- • Local inspection and maintenance icy stepping up enforcement of the stat- garages and mechanics ute controlling visible emissions) • Community groups • Local law enforcement agencies • Environmental groups • Local air quality staff • Citizens Action Steps 1. Read the Basic Information section below. 2. Endorse, at the local governing board level and the enforcement agency level, stepped-up en- forcement of the smoking vehicle regulations. 3. Include public involvement by promoting North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s (NCDAQ) Smok- ing Vehicle Reporting program, or initiate a local program to receive citizens’ reports. Upon re- ceiving a citizen’s complaint, NCDAQ staff send a letter to the vehicle owner informing them their vehicle has been reported and recommends repairs. 4. Educate law enforcement officials about why smoking vehicles contribute to our air quality prob- lems and that poor air quality poses a threat to sensitive populations such as children and the eld- erly. 5. Inform the public through press releases and news outlets that regulation enforcement is planned to protect threatened air quality. 6. Consider a short-term enforcement blitz/initiative at the beginning and end of each ozone season (beginning of May and end of September) to publicize the statute, similar to law enforcement ef- forts to combat littering. The initiative would educate the public and acquaint police officers with the regulation. This approach is very similar to the “Click It or Ticket” campaigns used success- fully to increase seat belt usage. 7. The program could begin with warnings and graduate to greater enforcement actions. These greater actions would use procedures established for cited violators to demonstrate compliance within 30 days of citation, such as providing receipts for repairs or copies of re-testing results from a certified inspection station. 8. Track the number of vehicles identified and repaired. Resources • Costs vary depending on the method of enforcement chosen (complaint basis, short-term enforcement initiative, trained staff reports, roadside pullover by law enforcement agencies, etc.). • This could be done as part of regular patrols and done within the context of a “warning-only” program, thereby taking very little time. • Complaints from the public could all be directed to the existing North Carolina Division of Air Quality web site, which is organized to receive smoking vehicle reports and issue standardized notification/ violation letters. • Vehicles with visible emissions can indicate a problem with the engine. Repair costs range from $60- $400. S M O K I N G V EH I C L E E N F O R C E M E N T PAGE 3 W h o ’s d o i n g t h i s ? A number of states have programs with enforcement measures for smoking vehicles: • Nevada DMV Smoking Vehicles Program- enforcement after multiple complaints http://nevadadmv.state.nv.us/emission_svor.htm • Denver region work group on Smoking Vehicles initiative http://www.raqc.org/high%20emitter%20work%20group/June%2017/061702summary.PDF • Broward County Smoking Vehicles - enforcement measures http://www.broward.org/smokingvehicle.htmv • South Coast Air Quality Management- Cut-Smog http://www.aqmd.gov/smog/cutsmog.html • Boulder, CO smoking vehicles enforcement http://www.ci.boulder.co.us/buildingservices/environment/smokingv.htm • Mecklenburg County's 'Smokin' & Chokin' Program http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/luesa/air+quality/public+interest/vehicle.asp • The North Carolina Division of Air Quality http://daq.state.nc.us/motor/smoking.shtml Additionally, a number of states and regions have voluntary programs: • Texas Smoking Vehicle Program- complaint format system. Citizen notifies TCEQ, then TCEQ notifies smoking vehicle owner along with suggestions. http://www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/air/ms/smokingvehicles.html • Ventura County Voluntary Program http://vcapcd.org/smoking_vehicle_program.htm • The Bay Area Voluntary Smoking Vehicle Program http://www.baaqmd.gov/pie/smv.htm • Tucson Smoking Vehicles (report suggestion to car owner) http://www.deq.co.pima.az.us/air/newsrelease/SVHotline.html • Des Moines Smoking Tailpipe Program http://www.state.ia.us/dnr/organiza/epd/air/news/03May16.htm ANY jurisdiction having law enforcement as a part of its local government responsibilities can implement this program. Additionally, it is wise for both public and private fleet managers to pay attention to smoking vehicle issues as a part of the regular maintenance program. Basic Infor mation • Currently South Carolina has no Smoking Vehi- • Diesel-powered vehicles, in addition to having cle enforcement legislation. visible emissions present for longer than 5 con- secutive seconds, must also be shown to be • Reporting of vehicles with smoking tailpipes is emitting contaminants “equal to or darker than a possible on the web or via email to the NC Divi- shade or density of twenty percent (20%) opac- sion of Air Quality at http://daq.state.nc.us/ ity.” Air Quality enforcement experts note that motor/smoking.shtml only certified “smoke readers” can make this de- termination accurately. In other words, enforce- • North Carolina statute G.S. 20-128.1 “Control of ment of diesel-powered vehicles requires a Visible Emissions” (see attached text) makes higher level of training and, therefore, cost to en- the detection of violations among gasoline- forcement agencies. powered motor vehicles much easier than among diesel vehicles. PAGE 4 S M O K I N G V E H I C L E E N F O R C EM E N T Basic Infor mation (cont.) • “Smoke” produced by vehicles is usually a result from City and County departments to identify of burning oil or “oil blow by” and is produced by and ticket smoking vehicles. very poorly maintained vehicles. E. Roadside Pullover-- conducted by local law enforcement • A substantial effort in the Denver area has iden- F. Complaint System tified a number of potential strategies to reduce smoking vehicle emissions. A combination of As found in An Analysis of Strategies to Repair the more feasible actions is proposed for this re- and Retire Smoking Vehicles on the Front gion. Denver considered a number of strategies Range. A draft for discussion purposes only. including: Presented to the Regional Air Quality Council Workgroup on Smoking and High Emitting Vehi- A. Inspection and Maintenance: more frequent cles, May 28, 2002. inspection of automobiles that fail the Smok- ing Vehicle Visual Inspection • Smoking vehicles enforcement is not a cure-all, B. RSD4000-- an enhanced remote sensing pro- because NOx is not visible—so smoking vehicle gram enforcement has only a minor impact on NOx C. Hotline Enhancements-- to identify and in emissions. It is important that additional strate- form smoking vehicle owners of options to re gies more specifically aimed at NOx reduction pair their vehicles. be implemented if the jurisdiction wants to ad- D. Trained Staff Model-- volunteer field staff dress ground-level ozone formation. Tracking Progress • Let Centralina Council of Governments know when you’ve implemented this action by con- tacting Carol Lewis at 704-348-2730 or email@example.com so that we can document your actions. • Track the number of vehicles warned as well as those cited. Of those cited, note the ultimate out- come of each case (e.g.- sold the vehicle, passed inspection with repairs, appeared in court and found guilty/not guilty, etc.). FAQ ’ S Q: What vehicles are currently required to be emissions tested? A: In North Carolina, all gasoline-powered vehicles (except motor homes and motorcycles) less than 25 years old and registered in the following “emissions” counties: Wake, Forsyth, Guilford, Durham, Cabar- rus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Orange, Rowan, Stanly, and Union will require an exhaust emission test by December 31, 2005. For additional FAQs about North Carolina smoking vehicle law, see the DMV website at: http://www.dmv.dot.state.nc.us/enforcement/emissionsinspections/faq.html S M O K I N G V EH I C L E E N F O R C E M E N T PAGE 5 Intersecting Interests ENHANCED OZONE AIR AWARENESS AWARENESS CLEAN AIR POLICY Smoking vehicles Reducing the number An effective Clean releas e harmf ul of smoking vehicles Air Policy should chemicals into the on the road will help consider the broad air that have been decrease the amount range of air pollutant linked to a host of of ground-level sources, including health problems, ozone. smoking vehicles. particularly respira- tory ailments. Fo r M o r e I n f o r m a t i o n • To register a smoking vehicle complaint, fill out a Smoking Vehicle Complaint Form at: http://daq.state.nc.us/motor/smoking.shtml • For additional information at the NC Division of Air Quality, contact: ♦ Ernestine Hicks, phone: (919) 733-1766 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org ♦ Laura Cole, phone: (919) 733-1482 or email: email@example.com ♦ Donnie Redmond, phone: (919) 733-1481 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org • North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Division of Air Quality – Motor Ve- hicles - http://daq.state.nc.us/motor/ • In Mecklenburg County, http://www.CharMeck.org/Departments/LUESA/Air+Quality/Public+Interest/ vehicle.htm • For additional information at Mecklenburg County Division of Air Quality, please contact: (704)336- 5500, FAX 704-336-4391, e-mail MCDEP01@Co.Mecklenburg.NC.US PAGE 6 S M O K I N G V E H I C L E E N F O R C EM E N T North Carolina General Statute Part 9. The Size, Weight, Construction and Equipment of Vehicles. § 20-128.1. Control of visible emissions. (a) It shall be a violation of this Article: (1) For any gasoline-powered motor vehicle registered and operated in this State to emit visible air contaminants under any mode of operation for longer than five consecutive seconds. (2) For any diesel-powered motor vehicle registered and operated in this State to emit for longer than five consecutive seconds under any mode of operation visible air contami- nants which are equal to or darker than the shade or density designated as No. 1 on the Ringelmann Chart or are equal to or darker than a shade or density of twenty per- cent (20%) opacity. (b) Any person charged with a violation of this section shall be allowed 30 days within which to make the necessary repairs or modification to bring the motor vehicle into conformity with the standards of this section and to have the motor vehicle inspected and approved by the agency issuing the notice of violation. Any person who, within 30 days of receipt of a notice of violation, and prior to inspection and approval by the agency issuing the notice, receives addi- tional notice or notices of violation, may exhibit a certificate of inspection and approval from the agency issuing the first notice in lieu of inspection and approval by the agencies issuing the subsequent notices. (c) The provisions of this section shall be enforceable by all persons designated in G.S. 20- 49; by all law-enforcement officers of this State within their respective jurisdictions; by the personnel of local air pollution control agencies within their respective jurisdictions; and by personnel of State air pollution control agencies throughout the State. (d) Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in G.S. 20-176. (1971, c. 1167, s. 10.) Part 12. Sentencing; Penalties. § 20-176. Penalty for misdemeanor or infraction. (a) Violation of a provision of Part 9, 10, 10A, or 11 of this Article is an infraction unless the violation is specifically declared by law to be a misdemeanor or felony. Violation of the re- maining Parts of this Article is a misdemeanor unless the violation is specifically declared by law to be an infraction or a felony. (b) Unless a specific penalty is otherwise provided by law, a person found responsible for an infraction contained in this Article may be ordered to pay a penalty of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00). (c) Unless a specific penalty is otherwise provided by law, a person convicted of a misde- meanor contained in this Article is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. A punishment is spe- cific for purposes of this subsection if it contains a quantitative limit on the term of impris- onment or the amount of fine a judge can impose. (c1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person convicted of a misdemeanor for the violation of any provision of this Chapter except G.S. 20-28(a) and (b), G.S. 20-141(j), G.S. 20-141.3(b) and (c), G.S. 20-141.4, or a second or subsequent conviction of G.S. 20- 138.1 shall be imprisoned in the State prison system unless the person previously has been imprisoned in a local confinement facility, as defined by G.S. 153A-217(5), for a vio- lation of this Chapter. (d) For purposes of determining whether a violation of an offense contained in this Chapter constitutes negligence per se, crimes and infractions shall be treated identically. (1937, c.407, s.137; 1951, c.1013, s.7; 1957, c.1255; 1967, c.674, s.3; 1969, c.378, s.3; 1973, c.1330, s. 34; 1975, c.644; 1985, c.764, s.20; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c.852, ss.7, 17, c.1014, s.202; 1993, c.539, s.379; 1994, Ex. Sess., c.24, s.14(c).) Prepared by Centralina Council of Governments in collaboration with Catawba Regional Council of Governments, August, 2003.
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