Air PollutionThailand

Pollution Control Department sets checkpoints for black exhaust

PHOTO: Black exhaust checkpoints are active now and restrictions are tightening next April. (via Island Diesel)

Not only has the Pollution Control Department set up 20 checkpoints to find vehicles with black exhaust emissions on the roads going in and out of Bangkok, but they announced tighter regulations for next year as the country attempts to reduce the PM2.5 air pollution issue.

Cars older than 7 years, along with trucks and diesel cars were being stopped at checkpoints including one on Rama 2 in front of the Big C shopping centre and tested both visually and with a filter. The filter-based test needs to show no more than 50% exhaust, while the visual test can’t see more than 45% black exhaust.

If a vehicle failed either of these tests, they were flagged and their usage was suspended. Drivers were given a 30-day window to fix their exhausts to reduce black emissions in order for the vehicles to be permitted to be driven again.

Outside of Bangkok, the PCD also set up inspection checkpoints in 15 other provinces and suggest they may be establishing even more black exhaust emission testing points next month and in January as changes in the weather in Thailand make high airborne particulate matter readings more prevalent.

In an effort to reduce black exhaust and airborne dust in the Greater Bangkok area that encompasses the capital city and 5 surrounding provinces, the department will implement more stringent rules starting on Songkran, April 13 of next year. The new regulations will set a 40% limit for the filter test instead of 50%, and use the Ringlemann method with a 30% cap on emissions.

So far this year, around 200,000 vehicles were inspected by the PCD, with 3,511 of them being cited for failing the black exhaust emissions test. 1,589 of those vehicles were able to be repaired within the 30 days allotted, while 1,922 vehicles were not repaired and were banned from driving in Thailand.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.