SB 435 has passed out of the California Senate Transportation & Housing Committee and is expected to be on the California Senate Floor before the end of April. This measure calls for smog checks, beginning in 2012 for motorcycles 2000 model year and later for owners to be able to re-register them. The California Motorcycle Dealers Association has concluded that there is not enough benefit and that there is the potential for discouraging potential owners. The author of the bill claims that including motorcycles in the smog check program will eliminate 5.2 tons of smog daily. That is a tiny amount compared with the 1,406 tons of smog produced every day from all mobile sources. This is not something any motorcyclist can ignore as we will be seriously affected by this bill.
Although similar bills have been proposed in the past with virtually zero success, SB 435 is actually a threatening proposition, no doubt fuelled (partially, anyway) by California's massive debt and tough economic times. Two cities in Arizona have actually passed similar bills and tests have shown that there was no significant reduction in measured emissions levels. Regardless, here are just a few reasons why SB 435 is bogus and needs to be curtailed:
* Motorcycles do not contribute enough pollution to warrant being included in a smog check program.
* Motorcycles, because of their low mileage usage and a much higher gas mileage than cars or trucks, represent less than 3-percent of the total for all mobile source emissions--that percentage equates to just 0.00002-percent of bikes driven in Los Angeles during the week compared to cars.
* The cost to implement and conduct a motorcycle smog check program will cost California more than the value of the emissions it's estimated to save.
* A smog check program for motorcycles will discourage a new motorcycle purchase and encourage infrequent usage owners to stop using them.
* Motorcycle smog checks were eliminated in one Arizona county when the program did not reduce emissions enough. *If motorcycles have to be returned to stock condition, finding original parts for older bikes will be impossible because historically, not enough spare parts were made.
What can you do to make sure this doesn't pass? If you live in California, you can contact the California State Department of Transportation Senators who wrote this bill (their contact information is below). You can also find your state senator and ask them to vote "NO" on SB 435. Do that by accessing www.senate.ca.gov, click on district maps, click "Your Senator", enter your information. Lastly, the AMA has set up this "direct action" letter link http://capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertID=12937506 that you can send to your state representatives.
CA State Department of Transportation Senators:
Sen. Allen Lowenthal (Chair) , Fax 916 327 9113 / Ph (916) 651-4027
Sen Robert Huff (Vice Chair) , fax 916 324 0922 / Ph (916) 651-4027
Sen. Fran Pauley, Fax (916) 324-4823 / Ph (916) 651-4023