Thursday, May 22, 2014

What's Your Smoke Say About Your Brakes?

What do your emissions say about your brake pads?
I happened to be behind, and beside, this 'rolling chimney' on Ave. Septima today.

Believe it or not, Bogotá does have pollution laws, and vehicles are supposed to have passed a test and carry a certificate saying they meet pollution regulations.

This particular bus obviously: Either didn't take the test, bribed the certificate issuer, cheated at the test, or used some other stratagem to keep polluting.

That's bad enough, as is the authorities' deliberate ignorance of polluters (this bus was on it way to pass by the Ministry of the Environment's HQ on Ave. Septima), which contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year from dirty air.

But there's an even bigger issue here. If this bus was able to ignore pollution laws, then what about its mechanical condition? Its steering? Its brakes? Is its driver licensed?

Days ago near Bucaramanga a bus carrying kids from church burst into flames, killing 23 children and severely injuring many others. The bus did not have its mechanical revision certificates up to date, its driver had no license and it was overloaded, amongst other violations.

How many of Bogotá's old buses and other vehicles are potential death traps because their owners and operators have ignored the laws and authorities haven't bothered to enforce them?

How's your transmission today? How many of Bogotá's old buses comply with the law?
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Daniel Krohn said...

I am sure you have seen the air quality monitoring device right off La Septima in the hippie park. You know, that big box that is painted with pastoral pictures of kids frolicking in a clean and unpolluted green environment. I seriously question why that box is even there in the first place. You don't need an air quality monitor that gets blasted by smog 24 hours a day to tell you that the air quality sucks.
I sometimes think the people in charge of Bogota (and Colombia) purposely lie to themselves and offer up meaningless gestures, in order to convince themselves that they are actually addressing relevant issues and doing their jobs. It's funny, you see all of these decrees, rules and promises, but nothing ever happens. Colombians are long on ideas, but seem to have no clue in translating such things into reality.

G3nsteiN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel said...

You nailed it Daniel. Here, they often seem to think that writing a nice law solves the problem.

In fact, there has been a flurry of news coverage recently about air pollution, but all we've heard from environmental officials are self congratulations about a supposed reduction in air pollution, which is hard to believe.