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Drive-by Emissions Tests start


Drive-by Emissions Tests start

Drivers can test their vehicle’s emissions from today with the Auckland Regional Council’s “Drive-by emissions tests” programme – the latest ARC initiative to improve the Auckland region’s air quality.

The drive-by emissions tests have been scheduled for 14 sites around the Auckland region throughout April only.

A remote sensor operated by NIWA measures the emissions from individual vehicles and immediately displays a “good”, “fair” or “poor” rating on an electronic sign further down the road. The drive-by test measures carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. “These are all invisible pollutants, so this machine will tell you if your car has a poor emissions rating whether it is smoky or not,” said ARC air quality scientist Kevin Mahon.

“The tests will help us build a picture as to how many badly polluting vehicles are out there on Auckland roads, what type of vehicles they are, and what kinds of emissions they are producing.”

“There’s also a benefit to the public, in that drivers can find out if their vehicle is polluting,” said ARC Environmental Committee chair Brian Smith. “We will not be contacting any vehicle owners as a result – this programme is not being used to dob anyone in. But we do encourage all owners of vehicles with a poor emissions rating to have your vehicle serviced immediately.”

Poorly maintained vehicles emit far more air pollutants than well-maintained vehicles and the ARC is encouraging everyone as part of its Big Clean Up campaign to tune their vehicles every six months.

“The drive-by test is designed to test vehicles under normal driving conditions, so drivers do not need to slow down. The test may not work if you drive too slowly,” said Mr Mahon.

The remote sensor is being operated on single lane roads, mainly motorway on ramps and off ramps, so that emissions from individual vehicles can be calculated. The remote sensor has been provided by the University of Denver and has been used around the world. The equipment is operated by NIWA and University of Denver staff, and will be staffed while at the testing sites.

A tentative schedule of testing sites is attached. The sensor does not work on rainy days and rainy days will be rescheduled – MEDIA NOTE: CONTACT SITE MANAGER TO CONFIRM DAILY LOCATION.

The public can phone the ARC on 366 2000 for daily details of location.

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