According to statistics, there are 1,680,000 motorcycles in Taichung City, ranking third in the country. It means 3 out of every 5 citizens in Taichung are using motorcycles, thus emitting approximately 8,501 tons of hydrocarbons every year. Hydrocarbon may affect the respiratory system and the central nervous system and it is also a precursor to ozone. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced late last year that air pollutants, smoking, and ultraviolet were highly carcinogen.
According to the Environmental Protection Administration data, a motorcycle emits more pollutants per passenger than a car, large and small in size. For example, a bus emits about 15.5 kg of hydrocarbons every year or about 0.39 kg of hydrocarbons every passenger every year; a small passenger car emits approximately 2.75 kg of hydrocarbons per person per year; and a two-stroke motorcycle emits approximately 3.42 kg of hydrocarbons per person per year. In other words, the emission amounts of a two-stroke motorcycle are eight times of a bus. Moreover, according to the Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government, which has complied statistics on the number of reported cases on vehicles causing visible exhaust pollution, 89% of the cases were related to motorcycles, followed by diesel vehicles (9%) and petrol cars (2%), indicating that our citizens really denounced motorcycles for emitting air pollutants.
In accordance with the Air Pollution Control Act, motorcycles shipped out of factory for five years should have their exhaust inspected every year. This regulation has been enforced for more than 10 years and 70% of the motorcycles registered in Taichung City have been carrying out the yearly check as required, indicating that there are still 30% of motorcycle owners ignore their responsibility to check motorcycle exhaust regularly. Their motorcycles are most likely a major source of air pollution when traveling on road.
To strengthen control on exhaust from motorcycles, the Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government takes the initiative to notify by postcard every motorcycle owner of the regular check every year. In addition, the EPB will screen out those motorcycles whose exhaust has not yet been regularly checked through the license plate image recognition system and notify them to complete the check before the deadline. Moreover, with the support of police units, the EPB will also strengthen exhaust inspection on the roadside from time to time. It is hoped that every motorcycle owner has his/her vehicle checked and maintained regularly or take the public transportation system. “Let us reduce air pollution and safeguard our air quality together,” said the EPB.