Checking smoky vehicles
I refer to the letter headlined 'How to deal with smoky vehicles' (January 3).
I believe that the enforcement actions taken by both the transport and environmental protection departments are quite similar. However, in the case of the EPD, the identification of a polluting vehicle is somewhat more clear-cut. When a smoky vehicle is reported, the EPD will require it to undergo an exhaust emissions test. If a vehicle repeatedly fails this test it will be subject to deregistration.
A case of a 'dangerous attachment' on a vehicle seems to be far more difficult for the Transport Department to prosecute. A vehicle with a suspect attachment may be subject to inspection. However, it must be proved that the attachment (e.g. bull bars) is of an aggressive nature before the department may take action against the owner.
An interesting example is the beautiful Jaguar ornament (10cm-long chromium-plated pouncing jaguar) fitted to the bonnet of Jaguar cars. In a number of countries such obtrusive devices are banned. It has been proved that bonnet-mounted ornaments, obtrusive door handles, wing mirrors and other front-end attachments are 'pedestrian unfriendly' in vehicle-against-pedestrian collisions - that they are likely to increase the degree of injury sustained.
I am not sure precisely how many prosecutions the two departments have made.
I believe that we must enforce all local regulations a lot more firmly than seems to be the case at present.
IAIN SEYMOUR-HART, Chai Wan