Fire departments to offer free emissions test under new law

Thanks to a new law, Indiana fire departments will soon be able to offer free vehicle emissions tests.

Hoosier motorists are encouraged to regularly check their vehicles for carbon monoxide leaks, which can poison drivers and passengers.

A vehicle can be compromised after hitting a pothole, being in a fender bender, or from normal wear and tear.

State Representative Woody Burton knows first-hand how dangerous this odorless and colorless gas can be.

“My wife and I were riding in her car, it’s a three-year-old car so fairly new, and we noticed we were both starting to get headaches. Well, my past experience as a mechanic told me something was not right with the car. I took it to the dealership and discovered that that catalytic converter had come loose and carbon monoxide was leaking into the cabin of the car,” he says. “They’re so tight that you don’t realize it when you have the windows rolled up that the ventilation system brings it right back into the car, and it can kill you.”

Carbon monoxide can reach harmful levels within vehicles, creating dangerous situations for drivers and others on the road.

To save lives, Burton sponsored a new law so Hoosiers can voluntarily request free emissions tests on their vehicles.

Beginning July 1, fire departments may provide vehicular carbon monoxide testing to community members.

Representative Burton was asked to work on the new law after a high school student died in a car crash because the vehicle’s exhaust system had degraded and circulated carbon monoxide into the cabin of her car.

“She was going to the mall with her boyfriend, she started getting a headache, she passed out. He started rushing to the emergency clinic, he passed out. They wrecked the car and she died. It was carbon monoxide poisoning,” says Burton.

“The fire departments agree and want to support free testing of cars. It takes about 10 minutes. There’s no expense to the consumer or the public, they just do it as a service.

Leaks in the exhaust system can happen in any vehicle. If you notice you’re getting headaches while driving your vehicle, or you want to know if its free of leaks, contact your local fire department.