Motorists will occasionally come across vehicles, both Malaysia-and Singapore-registered, that emit thick clouds of black smoke every time they accelerate.
The yearly vehicle inspection does check for smoke emission, but this is not frequent enough as the vehicle can develop a problem a few weeks after the inspection and go on to pollute the air for several months.
Increasing the diesel tax will not solve the problem, and only hurt those who have little choice other than to drive diesel vehicles.
Instead, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) can tackle the smoke emission problem in the following ways:
• Check and refuse entry to foreign vehicles with obvious smoke emission problems - telltale signs of which include blackened areas around the back bumper - at our land checkpoints.
• Encourage motorists to report vehicles with serious emission problems to the LTA.
• Have LTA officers stationed on overhead bridges to catch vehicles with emission problems.
• Fine both drivers and companies that own vehicles with obvious emission problems yet continue to use them.
Ng Peng Hock