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Old 01-14-2015, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
1,530 posts, read 2,521,479 times
Reputation: 907

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I've read that devices that detect vehicle emissions via laser used to be set up on the side of freeway entrance ramps in DFW and Houston. If it detected too high of emissions, you would be notified by mail that you have to take the vehicle to a state emissions center and prove that the car could pass emissions or fix it. I don't remember having seen one in the four years I've lived here, but I may have not known what it was and not thought much about it.

I'm curious about them. I've only managed to find a few references to this - three or four posts on car enthusiast forums and one newspaper article - and they were all a few years old. Maybe people don't consider them a huge deal, but I don't think I've ever tried to research anything that was so difficult to find information about. I'm sure if I looked up red light cameras in Texas, I'd find more references than I could count and it's a very similar concept.

So what's the deal with these things? I haven't read of any instances of people being cited but did read of people who saw them. They may have been testing them at the time and never put them into actual use. Did the government quickly decide they weren't a good idea and abandon the idea, or are they still being used and people are incredibly apathetic about them?
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Prosper
6,268 posts, read 12,170,727 times
Reputation: 9332
I've never heard of this. I can't see how it would work in a real world setting like you describe, because there are too many variables.

In the past, with the tailpipe sniffer test, the car was put on rollers and held at a steady rpm to get a reading. Driving on the highway for example, a car could go cruising by at an "acceptable" rpm range, but what if the driver had it floored to get up to speed and rpm was much higher? That would skew the emissions results.

I just don't see how it could work in the field for every car, all the time. I bet it would lead to a lot of false positives.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:11 AM
 
7,327 posts, read 8,175,452 times
Reputation: 5422
Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
I've never heard of this. I can't see how it would work in a real world setting like you describe, because there are too many variables.

In the past, with the tailpipe sniffer test, the car was put on rollers and held at a steady rpm to get a reading. Driving on the highway for example, a car could go cruising by at an "acceptable" rpm range, but what if the driver had it floored to get up to speed and rpm was much higher? That would skew the emissions results.

I just don't see how it could work in the field for every car, all the time. I bet it would lead to a lot of false positives.
I lived in Vegas and LA for a while back in the day and these things were common. The idea was to nab people driving seriously polluting cars. I remember a newspaper story detailing why poorly running old cars can put out more pollutants than 15 or 20 newer cars.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
1,530 posts, read 2,521,479 times
Reputation: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
I've never heard of this. I can't see how it would work in a real world setting like you describe, because there are too many variables.

In the past, with the tailpipe sniffer test, the car was put on rollers and held at a steady rpm to get a reading. Driving on the highway for example, a car could go cruising by at an "acceptable" rpm range, but what if the driver had it floored to get up to speed and rpm was much higher? That would skew the emissions results.

I just don't see how it could work in the field for every car, all the time. I bet it would lead to a lot of false positives.
I would think so too, which may have led to them not being used. The normal pipe test measures the concentration of certain gases in the exhaust while it seems like this one measures the total amount of gases emitted. You can expect a Hennessey Viper with its turbocharged 8.6L engine at full throttle and near redline to emit many times the amount of gases as a grocery getter with an engine smaller than some motorcycle engines that's casually accelerating.

I've found where an article was posted to two different automotive forums but I can't find the original article itself. Here's one of the forum posts including a few people saying they've seen the testers. The article is in the first post.

Roadside emmisions testing | Mustang Forums at StangNet
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