As Californians we’re forced to deal with the nuisance of getting our vehicle, or vehicles, smog checked every other year. It’s a pain. Still, we all do it or suffer the penalties. But, interestingly enough, big rig trucks that run on diesel actually are immune from this hassle. In fact, people in close proximity to ports, railroad stations, and warehouse hotspots where these trucks are a constant, and which blow all sorts of toxic exhaust into the atmosphere, would undoubtedly be miffed to learn of the loophole in California state law.
Fortunately, Senate Bill 210, put together by state Senator Connie Leyva, D-Chino (San Bernardino County), would put an end to this disastrous loophole. The bill would mandate a complete inspection not unlike the long time smog check on passenger vehicles for diesel trucks that exceed 14,000 pounds. Furthermore, the bill wouldn’t just apply to heavy trucks registered in the state but all trucks from anywhere that cross into California territory.
Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition of Clean Air, says, “This is the most important air quality bill of the year.”
The good news about this piece of legislation is that it would make adapting to clean air standards mandatory. Instead of depending on voluntary self-reporting or the unreliable periodic inspections of large trucks, being compliant would be required. This way no more unnecessary pollutants would be poisoning the air.
A Fair Requirement
In fact, this bill could not make more sense since all California car and even light truck owners are forbidden from getting a vehicle registration without getting a smog test. Why shouldn’t the same rules apply to these monster trucks capable of spraying toxins into the air.
The other good news when it comes to this proposed bill is that a long list of allies including the Sierra Club, the American Lung Association and the League of Conservation Voters.
On the other hand, the California Trucking Association is not a fan as it worries about more fees and the effect of them on their bottom line. Additionally, the California Farm Bureau Federation is concerned that the compliance timeline will might negatively impact harvest schedules.
What do you all think? Is it only fair these trucks are subject to the same rules as passenger cars?