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Most aware of getting emissions test early

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Georgia's Clean Air Force recently published the results of its survey on motorists' confidence in the state's emissions-testing program.

"This year's study results reveal that motorists are becoming more aware of the program's mission -- to improve air quality in metro Atlanta," said Vicky Giles, public affairs coordinator of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

About 91 percent of respondents knew that keeping their vehicle properly maintained could increase the likelihood of passing an emissions test, according to the study conducted by Georgia's Clean Air Force (GCAF).

GCAF administers the state's Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program, and conducted the 14th annual survey, which is part of an annual quantitative study that tracks the awareness and attitudes about the vehicle-emissions-testing program.

"These annual studies help us determine how Georgia's Clean Air Force can better educate and serve metro Atlanta motorists, as we all work to improve air quality," said Giles. "Motorists are also more aware that testing early provides ample time to identify and make necessary emissions-related repairs before their renewal date."

While more residents recognize what it takes to pass the state's emissions test, many still may not know exactly why the test exists, according to Kristin Beck, service manager at Jiffy Lube in Stockbridge.

Beck acknowledged that the emissions test exists for its benefits to the environment. "I don't think people are aware of the benefits of having an emissions test," Beck said. "I think it does help with keeping the air cleaner."

The automotive service manager said motorists should not stop at maintaining their automobiles just to pass an emissions test. She said they also should consider regular preventative care for their cars.

"The better they keep their car," she said, "the better it's going to serve them getting from Point A to Point B, and back to Point A again."

GCAF's study includes 300 random, online surveys taken this summer, of motorists within the 13 metro Atlanta counties. The respondents are age 18, or older, and own a model year 1986-2007, gasoline-powered car or light-duty truck.

The study revealed that 87 percent of motorists (the same as in 2009) said information on the emissions-testing program was easy to understand and convenient to obtain. Some 68 percent of respondents reported a belief that the program is worthwhile.

Regarding the overall emissions-testing experience, the study showed that motorists were most satisfied with the convenience of the emissions-testing locations and the short testing time, which they gave an 8.8 rating, out of possible 10, and an 8.7, out of 10, respectively.

GCAF officials also noted that awareness of the advantages of testing early rose from 55 percent in 2009, to 63 percent in 2010.

For more information, visit the Clean Air Force's web site at www.cleanairforce.com, or call 1 (800) 449-2471.