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Arlington, Texas – Ever see a vehicle emitting excessive amounts of smoke on the road? You can do something about it, and your action could help the region breathe easier. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is celebrating 10 years of administering the Regional Smoking Vehicle Program, one of several efforts aimed at improving air quality in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Commonly known as RSVP, the program is designed to inform motorists whose vehicles may be emitting excessive smoke from the tailpipe and help them address the issue. With 10 North Texas counties in ozone nonattainment, RSVP allows North Texans to take an active role in the effort to meet the federal standard.
Driving a vehicle with excessive smoke from the tailpipe in Texas is a violation of the state's Smoking Vehicle Statute, which defines a smoking vehicle as one that emits smoke for 10 or more consecutive seconds and/or whose suspended smoke does not fully dissipate within 10 seconds.
If you see a vehicle smoking from the tailpipe for a prolonged period of time, you have two primary ways to anonymously report it.
Since 2007, when NCTCOG assumed responsibility for the program in North Texas from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, more than 40,000 reports of smoking vehicles have been received, with the majority of reports submitted online. While the phone is a viable option and can result in more accurate reports, it is important that people practice good driving habits and refrain from reporting vehicles while behind the wheel.
Owners of vehicles reported for belching excessive pollutants are sent a letter and brochure explaining the time and location their vehicles were reported, possible causes of the incident, and potential solutions.
Some motorists receiving letters could be eligible to receive assistance with vehicle repair or replacement through the AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program.
AirCheckTexas helps North Texans who meet the income criteria by providing vouchers of up to $600 to fix emissions-related problems and up to $3,500 to replace their aging vehicles. Income and vehicle requirements are available at www.airchecktexas.org.
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including 16 counties, 170 cities, 24 school districts and 30 special districts. For more information on the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans.
For more news from the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans/outreach/media.