Letters: Shift AirCare to broader tests

Dear Editor,

Recently, I have been counting faulty lights on oncoming vehicles while driving around. The latest count was on the Fraser Highway, from 224th to 264th Street.

In five miles, I counted 12 cars with a light out, and two with lights dimmed by poor lenses.

Statistics tell us that there would a similar number of vehicles with light problems travelling in my direction.

Twenty plus such problems in so short a distance should be totally unacceptable, even by this governments’ standards.

Years ago, I can remember, I was pulled over by the RCMP after a couple of days with a light out. Clearly, today, they are completely abrogating this responsibility.

What other safety and maintenance problems are these drivers ignoring, putting all our lives at risk?

Our current provincial government, pandering to political populism, plans to do away with AirCare at the end of December, even though 70,000 vehicles still fail each year.

With the tremendous improvement in emission reduction for new vehicles and the elimination of older smoke pots, many of these current failures must be chronic repeat offenders who, without the testing, will slide into being even worse polluters.

Perhaps we can give our AirCare centres a new lease on life by adding safety inspections for cars and commercial rigs.

We could follow New Zealand’s system. Because they import large numbers of used cars from Japan, all used cars entering the country must be inspected before licensing. New cars are exempt for three years, while cars over 10 years need a six-monthly inspection.

This way we could continue with AirCare and train testers to higher mechanical standards, while additionally, we would eliminate vehicles illegally jacked up and widened, which cause numerous unnecessary windshield repairs.

Because testing stations were built with such high roof clearances, it would be possible to incorporate the safety testing of commercial vehicles, say once a year, which would put private commercial testers which issue fraudulent safety certificates on notice.

Studies done in UK, with spot checks of commercial vehicles, show much higher failure rates for Irish vehicles where testing is done privately, as compared to UK vehicles which are done in government facilities.

It would be nice to see some moxie and initiative for a change.

John Howard, Aldergrove

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