A new law in Maryland sets up a smoke-testing plan for heavy duty trucks.
The random tests will be performed at weigh stations, inspection facilities or "safe locations along roadways." The law initially sets up five teams to inspect diesel vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
Maryland vehicles that do not pass the emissions test will have to make repairs and take a retest within 30 days. Out-of-state owners whose vehicles fail the test will be required to send proof of repairs to the police agency that cited the violation.
Failure to make the repairs will result in a fine of up to $1,000 for both in- and out-of-state trucks. For Maryland truck owners, it also will mean revocation of vehicle registration. Out-of-state owners will be reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
"For far too long, large diesel vehicles have not had their emissions tested like most passenger cars in Maryland," said Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening. "This is a health issue, an equity issue and an issue that has received widespread support from the trucking industry. Reducing harmful diesel emissions will make a difference, particularly for our elderly citizens, our young and the 600,000 citizens suffering with respiratory problems."
State Sen. Jennie Forehand, co-sponsor of the legislation, said "every time I saw smoke belching from a truck or bus, it made me wonder why trucks didn't have to be inspected for emissions like our cars."
The Maryland Motor Truck Assn. supported the legislation, which goes into effect July 1, 2000.
You can view the legislation at http://mlis.state.md.us/1999rs/billfile/HB0590.htm.