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news release

Contact: Jeff Lamm
RELEASE: October 8, 1998

Half-Year Results For Truck Emissions Testing Program

New Jersey has stopped and checked diesel exhaust emissions on more than 60,000 trucks since starting the nation’s first roadside testing program on April 1, officials announced today.

Nearly 5,000 truck operators have been cited and issued summonses because their vehicles were emitting excessive levels of pollutants.

"As New Jersey proceeds with implementing the enhanced emissions test for cars, residents should be aware that we are already addressing pollution from trucks," said Transportation Commissioner John J. Haley Jr. "As a heavily-traveled corridor state, we must ensure that the trucks traveling through New Jersey are operating properly and not emitting excessive levels of pollutants into our air."

Haley noted that air pollutants can aggravate respiratory illnesses and ailments. More than 1 million New Jersey residents suffer from chronic respiratory disease, according to the American Lung Association.

Since April 1, ten teams have been conducting random roadside emissions testing of heavy-duty diesel trucks throughout the state. Both New Jersey-registered and out-of-state trucks are stopped and tested.

From April 1 through September 25, a total of 61,598 trucks were stopped by the roadside emissions teams. Of this total, 51,805 trucks were released after passing a visual pre-screening process. During this step, inspectors look at the exhaust and determine if it looks too dark because of soot and other pollutants.

The remaining 9,793 trucks were given the emissions test after being selected during the pre-screening process. Of the 9,793 trucks tested, 4,931 passed the emissions test and 4,862 failed.

Upon failing the emissions test, the vehicle operators were issued summonses. The first offense fine is $700, with a reduction to $150 upon proof that the vehicle has been repaired. The second office fine is $1,300, with a reduction to $500 upon proof of repair.

"The focus of the program is getting vehicles repaired so truck exhausts are as clean as possible," said C. Richard Kamin, Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles.

In addition to random roadside testing, an annual diesel emissions test has been required since July 1 for all New Jersey-registered trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 18,000 pounds or more. The state has licensed more than 200 Diesel Emissions Inspection Centers to perform the test.

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