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Thursday, September 06, 2007

CALIFORNIA BILL REQUIRING ANNUAL EMISSIONS TESTS FOR VEHICLES 15 YEARS AND OLDER DEAD FOR THE YEAR

SEMA News

CALIFORNIA BILL REQUIRING ANNUAL EMISSIONS TESTS FOR VEHICLES 15 YEARS AND OLDER DEAD FOR THE YEAR

SEMA-opposed legislation (AB 616) that threatened to require annual smog-check inspections for vehicles 15 years old and older has been rejected by the Senate Appropriations Committee, after having been approved previously by the full California Assembly and the Senate Transportation Committee. The bill also would have required that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which would be used to scrap older cars. The bill is dead for the year.

“SEMA members, car clubs and individual hobbyists across the state loudly and forcefully objected to passage of this bill,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “Ultimately, the lawmakers in Sacramento heard their message.”

SEMA and its grassroots lobbying organization, the SEMA Action Network (SAN), opposed the bill for several reasons:

* AB 616 ignored the minimal impact vintage cars have on air quality.
* AB 616 ignored the fact that vehicles 15 years old and older still constitute a small portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reduction.
* AB 616 ignored the fact that classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven.
* AB 616 would have increased costs by creating an annual inspection fee for owners of these vehicles.
* AB 616 represented another attempt to scapegoat older cars.
* AB 616 would have dramatically impacted the ability of fixed- and low-income motorists from owning and driving their older vehicles.

“We are especially indebted to those legislators who opposed the bill because it would have placed an undue burden upon car owners simply because their vehicle is older than an arbitrary date set in law,” McDonald added. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.

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