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Polluting Cars

October 23, 1994

Re "Polluters Beware: Smog Sentries Will Soon Be Manning Their Posts," Oct. 10:

While I wholeheartedly support the SCAQMD's determination to crack down on the relatively few vehicles that produce the lion's share of the air pollution, I must protest the planned, massive giveaway of taxpayer funds to subsidize the repair or replacement of the offending vehicles.

Of course the crackdown will "disproportionately affect certain economic classes." It only takes a little common sense to realize the majority of the offending vehicles are older, poorly maintained vehicles that are owned by people who can't afford to properly maintain them. But since when is it the taxpayer's obligation to pay for the maintenance of private individuals' vehicles? If their tires or brakes don't meet the minimum legal safety standards, should we pay to repair those too? If the owner can't afford liability insurance, should the taxpayers purchase that too? This is totally absurd.

If someone can't afford to properly maintain his car (and purchase insurance), then he can't afford to drive it. If he continues to drive it after being cited, then the vehicle should be impounded. Period.

E. ROSS ROBERTS

Whittier

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