Roadside vehicle emissions tests are being carried out on motorists in South Lanarkshire, with the council threatening to fine motorists £60 if their car exceeds emissions limits.
As part of an ongoing campaign to “improve the quality of the air we breathe”, council environmental health officers have been tasked with testing the emissions of vehicles at various locations throughout South Lanarkshire over the coming months.
Vehicle emission testing is a basic aspect of an MOT test, but according to the council faults and defects which cause air pollution emissions can develop in less than a year after an MOT, and local councils have been provided with the authority to carry out their own emissions testing.
Under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emission) (Fixed Penalty) (Scotland) Regulations 2003, councils are charged with checking vehicles at the roadside and can issue drivers with a £60 fixed penalty notice.
However, if the driver ensures that the vehicle is repaired within 14 days and can demonstrate that their vehicle no longer exceeds the emissions limits, then the council will waive the fine.
The council said that air quality in the area was good with “great strides” made in recent years to tackle pollution, but that “there are some pockets of poorer air quality” – usually in urban locations where more vehicles are found.
A council spokesperson said: “We can’t avoid breathing the air that surrounds us. That is why it is so important that we all take action to protect this very essential and precious resource.”
In addition, South Lanarkshire has also issued advice to motorists on looking after their vehicles in order to reduce emissions, as well as urging them to make alternative travel choices away from motor vehicles where possible.
The council’s website advises motorists of the following to reduce emissions from their vehicles:
- Make sure the vehicle is regularly maintained – check the tuning, emission controls and tyre pressures
- Don’t make unnecessary journeys – short trips use a lot of fuel, especially if the engine is cold – walk, cycle or use public transport as much as possible
- Only use air conditioning or climate control when you need it – these systems use additional fuel
- Reduce your speed- driving slower than 60mph will reduce emissions, save fuel and also save money
- Drive smoothly- hard acceleration and sharp braking increase fuel consumption
- Switch off your engine- if you are stuck in traffic for more than a minute turn the engine off
South Lanarkshire council said: “The decisions we make about how we look after our vehicles, how we drive our vehicles and the alternative travel choices that we make will all have an impact on our air quality. Even these small changes could help reduce pollution.”