The initiatives are detailed in a new report by the Ministry of Transport, Vehicle Fleet Emissions Control Strategy – Summary of Submissions.

“The Government has recognised that smoky vehicles are an issue that needs to be addressed. The bus used by the Alliance in the last election campaign which belched diesel fumes is probably a good example,” said Transport Minister Maurice Williamson.

A first step will be to amend traffic regulations to enable police more easily to identify excessively smoky vehicles on the road. In addition Cabinet has given the go ahead to investigating complementary measures, such as the ’10 second’ rule used in Australia.

The 10 second rule involves a vehicle owner being sent a warning letter if their vehicle is observed emitting smoke for 10 seconds or more. If the vehicle is then spotted a second time the owner receives a fine.

In addition to the smoky vehicle initiatives the Government says it will:

  • Review the Ambient Air Quality Guidelines and air quality monitoring methods.
  • Develop a rule to formalise an emissions standards regime for vehicles entering the national fleet.
  • Review the automotive fuel specifications.
  • Assist the vehicle service industry to improve its knowledge of modern engine technologies.
  • Provide the information and tools necessary to enable the use of environmental capacity analysis and local traffic management to tackle local air quality problems.

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