In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
Random smog checkpoints by the state's Bureau of Automotive Repair are becoming more frequent thanks to a recent financing boost. Targeted are cars made from 1976 to 2007. The voluntary tests are part of the agency's push to bring state air quality into compliance with federal standards. What do you think about surprise smog tests?
AS I UNDERSTAND it, they post no advance notice of these smog checkpoints. There is little or no signage indicating what they are doing, and with a heavy California Highway Patrol presence at these checkpoints, I'd imagine the general public has no clue these are completely voluntary.
I'm sure most are intimidated into letting them do the test. But, since you don't get a smog certificate if you pass, and there are no penalties if you fail, really, what's the point? I'd be annoyed if I was in a hurry and they wasted my time.
Frankly, I think the money could be put to much better use. You already have to have a smog certificate to renew your registration, so I'd imagine the cars that can't pass smog are either getting smog certificates on the "gray market" or are running around without a current registration.
I've seen cars drive down the road spewing black smoke from the tailpipe, drive right past a police car and not get pulled over. Doesn't seem to be the priority that it should be, and I think these "random" checkpoints are a bit ridiculous and solve nothing.
I THINK THE idea is ridiculous. State program -- who's paying for this? If the program is voluntary and no ticket or fine is issued, how will this help bring air quality up to federal standards? It is an absolute waste of money.
THIS IS ANOTHER waste of money for the city and government. We have cars and trucks from other states, and trucks coming from Mexico. What are they going to do to them? Nothing? It's no wonder why the state of California can't balance a budget.
I DON'T BELIEVE that the checks are fair considering many of the bigger polluters allowed to get away with it.
Sure, vehicles contribute to air quality pollution. But, what about the factories that are allowed to just throw out pollution into the air and our waterways as if it mattered little. What about the heavy metals and chemical plants that similarly pollute with very little to worry about? Instead, the politics and propaganda of those involved point at automobile-related pollution making them the boogeyman to our health, while virtually closing off any exposure as to the others. And, they let the others buy pollution credits in order to be stamped OK as meeting their goals, when in reality if is faking out the public.
Where is the equal treatment there? It is the little guys who take it in the shorts and this is but another example. Everyone must be treated fairly and equally, or else the system is obviously corrupted (which I think it is).
Ralph A. Hernandez
RANDOM SMOG CHECKS? Are you kidding? In order to get license plates renewed, you have to pass a smog check, and get a certificate every other year. It's a waste of time. Why not use those resources to enforce the "no cell phones while driving" law? By my estimate, one in every 20 drivers are still violating the law and drifting all over the road. Apparently the fines are not big enough.
Geez, random smog checks. What a ridiculous idea!
This week's question:
What's your favorite U-pick fruit, what is you favorite farm to pick it at and why?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.