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  (Source: Detroit News)
New program hopes to provide a boost to hybrids, put more eco-friendly cars on the road

With increased concerns about global warming and soaring gas costs, the U.S. and Canadian governments are looking to provide relief to consumers checkbooks and the environment by stepping up efforts to get old, dirty, inefficient autos off the road.  A variety of state-level efforts are aimed to provide help to lower-income families in purchasing newer, more efficient transportation.

Leading the way in the U.S., perhaps surprisingly to some, is Texas, the iconic face of the U.S. oil industry.  The traditionally conservative state is launching a large $45 million annual program aimed at providing subsidies to help get polluting autos off the road.  The effort is named "Drive a Clean Machine" and is only available to Austin, Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth area citizens with low incomes and a car over 10 years old.

A family of four must make $63,000 or less to qualify.  Texas has the second most vehicles of any state, with 8.7 million total on the road.  The vehicles eligible for the program must also fail an emissions test and be drivable to a dealership under their own power.

The program will offer those that qualify up to $3,500 to help in their purchase of a new or (newer) used vehicle.  Andrea Morrow, a spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says the program has been a phenomenal success, replacing 11,000 elderly vehicles.  "It's a great way to get those older vehicles off the roads," said Marrow

Citizens buying a hybrid are eligible for $3,500, while those buying traditional autos can receive a $3,000 in voucher form to buy a truck up to two years old or a car up to three years old.  All vehicles must be $25,000 or less and be on a state-approved list.

Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing Detroit's Big Three, Toyota Motor Corp., Daimler AG and six others, said his group strongly encourages such efforts.  While encouraging newer auto purchases will help the auto companies, he says the big thing is that it helps the environment and consumers.  "We strongly support efforts to get older, less-efficient vehicles off the roads and help consumers," said Territo.

Indeed there is evidence that much of the nation's auto population is becoming increasingly decrepit.  The economy has been getting hammered, with June being the worst month on the stock market since the Great Depression, and consumers are feeling the pinch and hanging onto older vehicles, afraid to spend. 

R.L. Polk in a recent 2007 study found that the average age of autos on U.S. roads is 9.2 years, only tying a 2006 study.  Light truck ages are up to 7.1 years on average, the highest level since 1998.  However, efforts may be working -- Americans junked 13 million vehicles in 2007, or 5.2 percent of all vehicles, a rise from 5 percent in 2006.

California is offering a similar program to Texas.  California has the most vehicles in the nation, with 33 million cars and trucks, or 13.5 percent of the nation's auto fleet.  The state is offering $50 million a year to give lower-income the chance to enjoy newer vehicles.  The program will give those eligible either $1,500 for a new vehicle, or $500 to repair their current vehicle.  While the program from the state's Bureau of Automotive Repair is aimed to help lower income citizens it does not check or require specific levels of income.  The program scrapped 16,000 vehicles last year, replacing them with new vehicles.

The state remains concerned as the California's Air Resources Board predicted that by 2010, thirty percent of the state's vehicles will be 13 years old or more.

Finally, Canada is joining the U.S. in offering subsidies to scrap older cars.  Canada is launching a major program Jan. 1, which it hopes will get 50,000 vehicles off the road, or about 1 percent of the nation's fleet.  A total of $92 million has been allocated to the program.  Vehicles must be running to qualify.  The three-year program will offer citizens $300 cash or a discount on a bicycle or a public transit pass in exchange for their old car.  Canada's environment minister John Baird states that the program will "get Canadian's smog-causing, gas-guzzlers off the road."

Local Canadian governments also have a variety of programs, some of which are ongoing, others which are complete.  These programs include the "Cash for Klunkers" in Kelowna, British Columbia; "Bye Bye Beaters" in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Nova Scotia; and "Steer Clean" in Halifax.

While eliminating old autos certainly provides environmental benefits in cleaner and more limited emissions and provides consumers with more safety, reliability, and cost savings in gas, the programs remain controversial.  For the time being though, it appears that if anything the subsidies will only see increased adoption across the nation, thanks to strong reception.

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$3K off a $25K vehicle + low income = wtf
By Screwballl on 7/1/2008 12:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
if the people are low income, they likely can't afford anything over what the $3000 itself would cover much less a $15-20,000 vehicle. Most low income people could only afford a $500 car or with this subsidy, a $3500 car, nothing close to new or within the 10 year old timeframe except maybe a 2000 Kia with 150K miles, but at that point the Kia is likely putting out as much pollution as their old 1989 Honda Accord they traded in, but with worse gas mileage.
I honestly wouldn't mind a subsidy here in FL, I could trade in my 10mpg beast for $3000, plus $3000 subsidy for a $6000 vehicle on the list.. then after a few months, sell the $6000 vehicle to get something I want (but with better gas mileage than the 10mpg beast).

RE: $3K off a $25K vehicle + low income = wtf
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 12:31:45 PM , Rating: 4
then after a few months, sell the $6000 vehicle to get something I want

The exact reason I'm against this.

RE: $3K off a $25K vehicle + low income = wtf
By walk2k on 7/1/2008 6:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter what they do with the new car, the old junker is still off the road, which is the whole point.

RE: $3K off a $25K vehicle + low income = wtf
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 7:35:08 PM , Rating: 4
Just keep sucking on that "free" government money teet. One day it won't be there anymore.

By herrdoktor330 on 7/1/2008 11:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. While the thought is nice, this is pointless. If government really wanted to do something about this, they'd lean on the Auto Industry to make more affordable and energy efficient cars.

A while ago an Indian company, Tata, released a car called the Nano which got 60+ MPG and was $2500 new. What would be refreshing is if the federal government would "rework" the roadworthy standard to allow something like this to fly in the states. Granted, there's no way this car could pass an American crash test. But I see it this way: if they managed to create an incentive for poor folks to ditch the guzzlers and go with something smaller, that might help reduce the number of cars that would totally crush a Nano in an accident. And it can't have a worse impact rating that the SmartCar.

RE: $3K off a $25K vehicle + low income = wtf
By oab on 7/1/2008 11:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
The smart car actually has a fairly good impact rating.... It got a "G" in the IIHS frontal offset, and side impact tests.

The Tata Nano doesn't even run on gas, it runs on compressed air, so it's 60mpg equivalent, and compressed air is a horrible method of powering a car (efficiently), however it's really cheap, and safer than a moped. If only because you can't fall off it when someone hits you.

By coolsam2 on 7/2/2008 12:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
doesn't even run on gas!!!! yes it does - on petrol - as we like to term it in India - or gasoline - as americans put it.. as for safety ratings I can't comment - but it be definitely good enough for in-city driving..

By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2008 10:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
The smart car actually has a fairly good impact rating.... It got a "G" in the IIHS frontal offset, and side impact tests.

Thats nice. Too bad it tied for absolute dead WORST in passenger safety rating. Who cares how good the car holds up if the people inside are turned to hamburger ?

RE: $3K off a $25K vehicle + low income = wtf
By FITCamaro on 7/2/2008 6:56:26 AM , Rating: 2
You can drive that death trap if you want.

By foxtrot9 on 7/2/2008 4:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
Slowly over time as everyone downgrades to small go-carts, it will make them safer as there is less chance of a semi-truck rolling over you

RE: $3K off a $25K vehicle + low income = wtf
By strikeback03 on 7/1/2008 12:48:28 PM , Rating: 2
When a friend of mine moved to Texas last year, she flew instead of driving since her 97 Saturn was a POS, then bought a car once she got there. Ended up with an 02 Grand Am with 15k miles for $8000. With a subsidy something on that order should be doable for a lot of the target market (income range up to $64k) and should still be plenty clean enough.

By Screwballl on 7/1/2008 2:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
Those making around $25K or more should be fine with a $10-15K vehicle but it it those under that income bracket that this whole WTF is for...

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 7/2/2008 3:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well they should aim for low income families/people first. The average income for a family of 4 is around $43,000 in the USA. So this report is saying if you earn $20,000 over the national average income you are in the low income bracket? That's about 50% more then the average income.
The target should be around $20,000 or less then they could give out $8,000 to $10,000. This would get low income families out of old beast of cars.
Best solution...lower Government spending so you can stop taxing low income families - or lower tax amount from 25% to something like 5% (reduce taxes to all, not just low income). Let them and everyone else take home more pay, so they can spend it where they need it. Not where the Governmnet thinks it should go.

RE: $3K off a $25K vehicle + low income = wtf
By foxtrot9 on 7/2/2008 4:39:08 PM , Rating: 3
You do realize that in the US we use a progressive tax rate - meaning that low income familys (making less than 20k) probably pay around a 7% in taxes....but yeah we should tax the wealthy productive people even more because they are so horrible for providing jobs to the unproductive folk

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 7/3/2008 2:56:30 PM , Rating: 1
Yep, though I don't think they get down to 7% however, the guys who make 20 million plus per year end up paying zero dollar in tax...that is after deductions.

By ICE1966 on 7/5/2008 9:58:56 AM , Rating: 3
WOW, lets give away more money to poor people. This country should have learned after the failure of welfare to help people get back on thier feet did not work. we people who have been getting government handouts almost thier entire life and they have never progressed past the welfare line. why, no motovation to do so. While I do feel for people who have had something tragic happen to them, and may have had to receive welfare help, thier are to many who are on welfare simply because thats what momie and daddy was on most of thier life. Most of these people just got a stimulus check and now we want to throw more money at them, i don't think so. We live a country where you have the opportunity to go to sachool and better yourself, hell the government will even pay for it. So, to me there is no excuse if you are the holder of a very low paying job, especially if you quit school, to expect every other tax paying person to furnish you with money to buy a car, to pay your bills, and keep your family up. Like I said, while I do understand this situation, I do not think subsidizing the poor even more will fix this. getting an education and putting forth the effort to do something more than holding out your hand for the check will be a better solution.

Nothing to see here. Move Along.
By Borfman on 7/1/2008 12:28:51 PM , Rating: 3
These programs have been tried before and all have failed to even make the smallest scratch in emissions.

If you go and look at the programs, they are pretty much set up to fail. People are driving these old cars because that is all many of them can afford let alone finance. If they can get financing, it’s at very large “high risk” interest rates. (And those buy here pay here places pray on people what can’t get other financing.)

This is just more Greenie PR BS that doesn’t work. Worse... It’s more of the same harass the car owners and leave all the major polluters doing business as usual.

RE: Nothing to see here. Move Along.
By afkrotch on 7/2/2008 1:14:28 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of ppl also want to keep their old cars, for varying reasons. Be it a classic, don't want to spend money, etc.

My parents can easily afford a new car every 4-5 years, but it doesn't make much sense to them to trade in a car that works perfectly fine. They drive around their cars for a decade before even considering getting a new car.

Me, I love my 96 Impreza. It was my 1st car and I plan on keeping it majority of my life.

RE: Nothing to see here. Move Along.
By kilkennycat on 7/2/2008 2:45:30 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto. My son's 98 Impreza gets 22 city, 28 highway and passes emissions by at least 5x. Goes up the local hills in near-freezing (very slippery) snow when a bunch of the SUVs and trucks end up parked at the bottom..... Great for ski-trips. No intention to change. Current BB value ~ $6000.

Another political "green" boon-doggle financed by printing money and further devaluing the dollar. The US Mint printing presses are already blowing fuses. Anyway, guess the sources of the majority of any new cars that would be bought with the rebate ... fuel-efficient low-cost IMPORTS from Toyota, Honda etc.... Either the hybrids or the far, far less expensive fuel-sippers like the Toyota Yaris or the Honda Fit. ( I personally own a Yaris which I bought in October 2006, just after Toyota started importing the car into the US. The hatch-back version of the Yaris has been a top seller in Europe for the past 10 years. It was pretty obvious at that time to anybody familar with world economic trends that the price of oil was going to continue its steep upward slope with the gas prices in the US following suit. )

RE: Nothing to see here. Move Along.
By Borfman on 7/2/2008 10:39:07 AM , Rating: 2
To be clear... I have a car that now qualifies as Classic in most states. It's 20+ years old. Gets as good milage or better than the 98 Impreza mentioned and passes emissions tests easily. Even the EVAP test that checks the fuel tank and gas cap for vapor leaks.

There are allot of reasons people have old cars. The point I meant to make is that the target of these programs are frequently people that don't have other options and a couple thousand dollar handout doesn't actually move many into cleaner cars. At best just slightly newer ones that may pass emissions today but probably won't for long.

Go around to the kinds of places allot of the target audience would be shopping. The prices frequently start at 3-4 thousand for real crap piles and go up from there fast.

By Zoomer on 7/2/2008 7:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
I would think that it would be better if they do a emissions pricing system.

For example, if a car exceeds emissions level x, levy a $400 pollution fee. If it exceeds emissions level 2x, levy a $900 fee. 3x, $1500, and so on.

It would be similar to the carbon trading system and help eliminate the real old junky polluters, vs. the 2000 mile collectible car would pass all tests easily.

By BansheeX on 7/1/2008 11:24:24 AM , Rating: 2
All vehicles must be $25,000 or less and be on a state-approved list.

Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing Detroit's Big Three, Toyota Motor Corp., Daimler AG and six others, said his group strongly encourages such efforts.

Okay, so first there are restrictions on what vehicles can apply for the subsidy, defined by government entity. So perhaps new startups like Aptera not associated with these giant autos won't get any sales from these offers despite making a worthy product. Already, we see a disincentive for innovation and a possibility for erosion of competition and unfair advantage as a result of this government intervention in the market. Strike 1 against free market principles.

Then in order for government to get the money it dishes out to people under the pretext of creating an "incentive," it first has to be taken from them. Roundabout nonsense that justifies itself based on the economic environment it creates, like picking a smoker's pocket and telling them you won't give it back to them unless they quit smoking. The intention and result might be well-meaning, but morally it is an unacceptable way of accomplishing the goal because it involves theft of personal property. Strike 2.

RE: Ugh
By fic2 on 7/1/2008 11:44:39 AM , Rating: 4
I am more for a set of requirements than a list of approved vehicles.

My requirements would be something like:
1. 5 years old or newer
2. at least 25 mpg highway
3. pass current emmissions test by at least 3x margin
4. pass a carfax history w/o a salvage title

that's about it.

BTW, my 9 year old Subaru passes by something like a 20x margin so it shouldn't be that difficult for a 5 year old car to do it.

RE: Ugh
By afkrotch on 7/2/2008 12:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
My 12 year old Subaru passes that with ease. Course it also only has 81k on the odometer.

Hey Gov't! Hire an economist!
By MADAOO7 on 7/1/2008 9:25:21 PM , Rating: 3
This is perfect example of wasting tax payers money and running up our deficit. We are literally spending money we don't have. Let's continue to value social welfare over education and paying our teachers properly. Let's just keep spending money on "programs of good intention with no economic value." I bet we can get a better reduction of CO2 by taxing SUV's with fewer than five people in their family, and giving tax incentives to power companies to get rid of their coal power plants and build nuclear power plants.

RE: Hey Gov't! Hire an economist!
By FastLaneTX on 7/2/2008 11:01:28 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about California, but Texas' budget is balanced and always has been. Even without an income tax, we have the money to afford this program, which costs less than $2 per resident.

I totally agree with replacing coal plants with nukes, but Texas already gets more of its power from nukes than coal, and the electric companies are already trying to do that with their own money and it's the tree-huggers that are blocking them. It's the "clean" NG plants that put out most of the CO2 in Texas.

Taxes on low-mpg autos (like SUVs and trucks) are becoming unnecessary; for the first time since the early 1990s, the F-150 is not the top-selling "car" in the US -- and it was beaten by four different cars this spring. SUV sales are also way, way down, and GM and Ford are shutting down plants all over the country that make them.

What we really need is a revamping of crash test standards so that high-mpg cars, long available in other countries, can be sold here to people that want to buy them. We also need to fix the diesel emissions rules that actually penalize high-mpg diesels.

RE: Hey Gov't! Hire an economist!
By Zoomer on 7/2/2008 7:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
Falling off the best selling list doesn't mean there isn't a crapload of these truck on the road.

I'd say raise the gasoline tax. $1-2 sounds more reasonable and, for a change, it might actually allow all the roads to be fixed up!

My brain just exploded
By BBeltrami on 7/1/2008 12:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
My first instinct on reading the article was to scoff and sneer at the silly idea.

Then the local paper boy passed by, delivering the morning news in his '77 custom van.

RE: My brain just exploded
By Rugar on 7/1/2008 2:20:19 PM , Rating: 3

By strikeback03 on 7/1/2008 11:15:48 AM , Rating: 4
Everyone has been advertising their trucks as the longest lasting for a while now, is it a surprise that is actually important to the owners?

Old news in California
By epobirs on 7/1/2008 12:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is not a new development. There have been versions of this here in the AQMD-ruled region of California since the late 80s. The primary sponsors were, ta-da, oil companies. The numbers indicated that old clunkers from the 60s and 70s, especially cars sporting a small V-8 where the current equivalent would be at most a four-cylinder, were responsible for a massively disproportionate share of pollutants. This was aside from mileage improvements achieved in even larger vehicles since those older ones were produced.

There were stumbles along the way, such as the discovery that the wrecking companies who were supposed to junk the purchased clunkers were instead reselling them on the sly, resulting in their only briefly leaving operation. In general, leaving the old land yachts solely as an item for car fanciers who don't drive daily and keep them well maintained, was a fairly cheap way to cut pollution rates.

Patience would work better
By phxfreddy on 7/1/2008 12:47:53 PM , Rating: 2
With ethanol they forced the river and now have a fuel with no energy gain and are really pressing the poor. In far away Brazil they are planting less food and more sugar cane for fuel crop. This car replacement program is an analog of this. Screw with the market and you ALWAYS go suboptimum. It is an exercise in ego and ignorance when you think you can choose for it. I do not care if you are unDemocrat or progressive(conservative) not f**k with the market

A family of four must make $63,000 or less to qualify
By Regs on 7/1/08, Rating: 0
By FastLaneTX on 7/2/2008 11:06:41 AM , Rating: 2
Nice try, but the median household income in Texas is $45k ($42k nationally), so well over half the population qualifies for this program. If anything, the limit should be lowered (and the incentive increased) since it's mainly the poor that drive low-mpg, high-pollution cars because they can't afford anything better.

By Rodney McNaggerton on 7/1/2008 7:40:06 PM , Rating: 2
Randy McNaggerton would like to inform you that those cars that are bieng "scrapped" are actually being sent to Mexico where they will continue to pollute the shit out of the environment, just not our environment.

By DOSGuy on 7/2/2008 3:32:45 AM , Rating: 2
The three-year program will offer citizens $300 cash or a discount on a bicycle or a public transit pass in exchange for their old car. Canada's environment minister John Baird states that the program will "get Canadian's smog-causing, gas-guzzlers off the road."

I apologize to Lewis Black for stealing his routine, but...

"$300? That's where you go, 'What is the federal government thinking? What do Congressman's children eat -- mites?' All $300 does is remind you how f***ed you are. You'd have been better off if your Congressman just came to your door and pissed on your foot."

I'm sorry, but where I live (in the nation's capital), a bus pass is $78.50 per month, and it's going to increase by 7.5% per year for at least the next 3 years. $300 won't let me ride the bus for very long, and it sure as hell won't help me buy a more fuel efficient car. I'm going to have to keep buying old cars like I always have. And yes, I could buy a bike for $300, but have you ever tried biking in a Canadian winter? They don't plow my street until 6 pm anyway, so forget about working during the day. Plus, once there's a good windchill, I'm going to be risking frostbite and hypothermia, and I'll lose way more than $300 recovering in the hospital. They think $300 is an incentive? What century is John Baird living in?

By SilthDraeth on 7/2/2008 9:51:16 AM , Rating: 2
Texas at least runs it's government at a surplus and not a deficit, so if they want to try this program, I see no reason they shouldn't.

And they say you can qualify if you make less than $63k a year for a family of four. While I make about $36k a year for a family of four and I can afford a $25k vehicle. So I am sure the people this will benefit people it is targeted at.

By Reclaimer77 on 7/2/2008 10:34:44 AM , Rating: 2
I drive a 1994 Mazda Protege' that some old couple was selling for peanuts. Its been one of the best damn cars I have ever owned.

When, and if, I decide to 'upgrade I'm not going to hold my hand out and expect the taxpayers to subsidize my decision.

Programs like this are garbage.

why why why
By puckalicious on 7/3/2008 7:32:27 AM , Rating: 2
This does nearly nothing to reduce overall emissions, and does not seem to be nearly enough to actually help low income families. The $300 Canadian incentive is a joke.

Why are we spending money on cars instead of public transportation? Having more public transportation is a much better way to reduce emissions.

Just wow
By Pythias on 7/25/2008 5:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
I love the idea of taking on a new car payment because of the mileage my old car gets. Lets see: $200 a month for gasoline on my car which is payed for or $150 a month plus $400 a month for a new vehicle.

That's genius! I'll just run right out an do that!

By Nik00117 on 7/1/2008 6:16:10 PM , Rating: 1
I have a 1989 BMW (almost 20 years old) it gets about 23-24 MPG. We europeans have been in diesels getting 50+ MPG for YEARS NOW. In fact my friend has a older 2001 I believe which gets 50+ MPG better then most shitty hybrids, and it costs half as much.

This program is completely stupid. This is exactly why this whole global warming shit needs to be washed down the drain.

I'm even a car sales man, and although if they implemented it it'd be of huge benefit for me (get a lot of poeple into a car they otherwise couldn't afford) i'd still hate it.

Amazing stupid!

Please fill us in.
By d0gb0y on 7/1/08, Rating: 0
By FITCamaro on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ah....
By masher2 on 7/1/2008 11:22:03 AM , Rating: 5
While I can't support any government subsidy, this one is much less braindead than most. A single 1970s-era vehicle with a maladjusted carbuerator and bad rings can produce more toxic emissions than 10,000 new cars.

While I'd prefer a simple "pass the emissions test or else" solution, getting them off the road with a subsidy isn't that bad.

RE: Ah....
By mattclary on 7/1/2008 11:31:17 AM , Rating: 2
So, smart individuals will go buy a junker for $400 and receive a $3000-$3500 subsidy. :thumbsup:

RE: Ah....
By Lonyo on 7/1/2008 11:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
Not when you have to buy from a list.

RE: Ah....
By mattclary on 7/1/2008 11:56:30 AM , Rating: 1
Noooooo... You buy a junker to get the subsidy when you buy something on the list. The junker isn't your ultimate goal, it is to game the system to get the free money.

RE: Ah....
By AnnihilatorX on 7/1/2008 12:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well "A family of four must make $63,000 or less to qualify"
You got to be on low income anyway so you ought to not have a nice car already.

RE: Ah....
By Spuke on 7/1/2008 12:28:26 PM , Rating: 3
I don't about your areas but $63k a year isn't "low income". Not even in California. It's plenty for a typical car like a Camry or Accord.

RE: Ah....
By vapore0n on 7/1/2008 1:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
for a family of 4? Oh yes it is.

RE: Ah....
By Spivonious on 7/1/2008 1:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
If $63,000 is low income for a family of four, then 95% of the people in my county have low income. And a lot of them have more than two kids.

RE: Ah....
By tehbiz on 7/1/2008 2:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
low income is not synonymous with poor.

RE: Ah....
By walk2k on 7/1/2008 3:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where you live, but in CA $63k George W. Bush 2008 FunBucks is low income for a family of 4.

Getting junkers off the road is a good thing, I can think of a lot worse things to spend tax dollars on (like a fruitless war). In my opinion it should be mandatory to replace all older junker cars (talking older than 25 yrs or so), unless you can get them up to current emissions standards - no more free ride exemptions for 1970s boatmobiles.

RE: Ah....
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 3:50:19 PM , Rating: 1
Don't live in Commifornia then.

And it should not be mandatory. There are plenty of well cared for cars from the 50s, 60s, and 70s that may not meet emissions standards but it doesn't mean they're in bad shape. You then junk classic Camaros, Corvettes, Mustangs, Chargers, GTOs, etc. And also many classic vehicles meet emissions standards because they are cared for and don't smoke and burn oil. Unlike many 2-3 year old luxury cars I see on the road today because the owner doesn't care for it. I've seen 3 year old Lexus's spitting smoke out the tailpipe.

RE: Ah....
By Ringold on 7/1/2008 4:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
That's right.

There is, near Orlando in Kissimmee, every weekend a classic car cruise, with all those old classics including some gems that go back in to the immediate post-war years. It draws a pretty good size crowd, and its like a functional museum. Some of those cars predate all sorts of emissions standards, so I don't know if they'd meet Commifornia standards, but there's no smoke, and it's not at all uncomfortable to stand just a couple feet away as a hundred or so slowly roll by. According to walk2k, the whole thing would be banned. For the public good.

If we want to talk about the public good, I say in turn we ban organic food. GM crops can have much higher yields. Sorry, hippies, no more Whole Foods stores. It's for the public good.

RE: Ah....
By walk2k on 7/1/2008 6:10:58 PM , Rating: 1
You can have your collectors cars, you just can't drive them on public roads. Like I said, if they meet emissions they are allowed on public roads, otherwise not. Same goes for your (poor) "3 year old Lexus" example - no emissions = no license plate. It's a poor example though because if it's only 3 years old it's not subject to the emissions exemptions for older vehicles I'm talking about...

RE: Ah....
By Spuke on 7/1/2008 7:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
You can have your collectors cars, you just can't drive them on public roads.
What's the point of owning a car if you can't drive it? I know loads of collectors never drive them but loads more like to drive them. They're emissions are insignificant compared to all of the other cars on the road.

RE: Ah....
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 7:37:05 PM , Rating: 1
I dare you to try and stop people from driving their classic cars. There would be a revolt so fast you wouldn't even have time to shit your pants.

RE: Ah....
By djc208 on 7/2/2008 7:41:22 AM , Rating: 2
What would the point be then? Half the fun of a collector car is driving it, we don't do it often or for extremely long distances so it's not as if global warming or pollution would dissapear tomorrow if all antique vehicles were suddenly removed from the road.

Who decides what emissions regulations are for a vehicle that old? You can't use the same numbers as for a brand new vehicle, and you can't just "add" modnern emissions equipment to an antique car. Catalyitic converters only work with the right air/fuel mixture. Fuel injected vehicles get there by varying the rich/lean condition of the exhaust, older cars used air pumps and complicated plumbing, both of which would destroy the originality of an antique car.

Besides, who's more likely to have a properly running vehicle? The average joe who will drive around with a check engine light on for weeks until it's convenient to get it checked out (and then only fix it if it's cheap or has to be fixed) or the antique car owner who has his own shop and regularly works on his vehicles?

RE: Ah....
By masher2 on 7/2/2008 11:03:11 AM , Rating: 2
> "You can have your collectors cars, you just can't drive them on public roads"

You need to remember that total emissions a car generates are based not only on an emissions test score, but how far the vehicle is driven each year.

Most of these classic cars are driven very lightly, so they easily might be putting out less total emissions than a Civic someone drives 50K miles/year.

RE: Ah....
By strikeback03 on 7/1/2008 3:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
$63k is above average income according to US Census statistics, so not sure why you say that is so low income.

RE: Ah....
By Hiawa23 on 7/2/2008 9:04:36 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I made $40k last year, & $63k seems like a rich man to me, so if that is low than we are doomed, & I have Business Degree, 11years graduated in central Florida..I would love to find a job that paid that.

RE: Ah....
By djc208 on 7/2/2008 9:09:08 AM , Rating: 2
It depends on where you live. This only applies to certain places in Texas, mostly bigger cities with higher costs of living.

63K/year isn't bad in a rural area or smaller town where a decent house might still only be $100~$150k, but if you lived in a big city that might not even buy you an apartment.

I'd love to get that in rural PA where my family lives, you can still get a nice house for for under $100k. Where I live in southern VA that's a merely average income where same house would cost two to three times that amount.

RE: Ah....
By FastLaneTX on 7/2/2008 11:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
The median income in Dallas County is $49k, Tarrant County (Ft Worth) $54k, Harris County (Houston) $49k, and Travis County (Austin) $58k. The cost of living in Texas cities is very low, with brand new houses available under $100k and rent under $500/mo (though you can spend 5x that much on either if you wish). And don't forget we have much lower taxes, too, so money goes a lot further.

RE: Ah....
By SilthDraeth on 7/2/2008 4:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
What he said. And as I said in my own post, Texas at least runs it's State Budget at a surplus instead of a deficit.

RE: Ah....
By glennpratt on 7/1/2008 12:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
As a Dallas resident, I can tell you the rules are pretty strict. You must be low income and the car must have been registered for a few years. It's pretty hard to game the system, in fact I don't know anyone who qualified for the subsidy.

RE: Ah....
By FastLaneTX on 7/2/2008 11:11:23 AM , Rating: 2
You have to own the junker for several years, which solves that problem well enough to ignore it. Just storing that junker for the time required will likely cost you more than the subsidy.

RE: Ah....
By FITCamaro on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ah....
By strikeback03 on 7/1/2008 12:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know about other states, but I would guess most people here in NY know a place to go should they "need" to pass inspection.

RE: Ah....
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/1/2008 2:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
And not only what you say, removing older cars off the roads is a security benefit for all of those who drive near them.
Cars older than mid 90s usually didn't feature crumple zones, nor abs, or even the device that shuts down the fuel pump when you collide. If someone has a very old car he's likely to not have enough money to maintain it properly either. ie, changing tires at recommended intervals, keeping brake systems in shape, suspensions well checked, and so on... not even talking about those factors that could make a badly maintained car have higher emisions than a new one, I think the emission issue could even be the lesser evil compared to security issues.

RE: Ah....
By djc208 on 7/2/2008 9:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
You have to go back quite a bit further to find cars without crumple zones. They may not be as well designed as today's cars (though look at some of the crash ratings and not even all of today's cars are that wonderful) but they were there. Besides isn't that why people like SUVs and Trucks, the "screw crumple zones, strap me to an I-beam" mentality?

ABS only helps if you know how to use it, brake assist would be a bigger plus but not as common. Most people don't hit the brakes hard enough in a panic stop to activate ABS and in bad weather it's main advantage is it allows you to slow AND steer at the same time, which most people panic and forget to do.

All fuel injected vehicles I've ever seen had some method of shutting off the fuel pump in an accident. Fords used to have a shock based sensor that could get set off by other things, stranding the car until it was reset. Others simply shut off the pump when no ignition was detected or the engine wasn't spinning. Carburated vehicles used mechanical pumps driven by the engine. When the engine stops so does the fuel.

Airbags are about the only "new" feature that really help, and even then only the newest cars come standard with anything other than the normal frontal airbags, which are only secondary to the seatbelt.

Older cars aren't inherently unsafe, like guns it's the poeple that are using them that determine how safe they are.

RE: Ah....
By FastLaneTX on 7/2/2008 11:14:07 AM , Rating: 2
Texas and California already have mandatory emissions testing, and it's illegal to drive a car that isn't current.

The problem is that the standards are based on when the car is made, not the current ones, so clunkers from the 70s and 80s can pass with 100x the emissions levels that would cause a modern car to fail. And good luck changing that. It's cheaper and easier to just buy the cars and crush them, particularly since there's not that many left (but they account for nearly all pollution).

RE: Ah....
By cigar3tte on 7/1/2008 11:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't the depreciation make this not profitable?

RE: Ah....
By borismkv on 7/1/2008 11:39:25 AM , Rating: 2
Depreciation on a used car that's less than 9 years old is negligible at best.

RE: Ah....
By NINaudio on 7/1/2008 1:10:35 PM , Rating: 1
Depreciation on a used car that's less than 9 years old is negligible at best.

I really need to question the accuracy of this statement. If this were the case I should be able to sell a 5 year old car for almost the original cost of the car? Depreciation on a one year old car is often 10-15% if not more depending on make/model. How is that negligible?

RE: Ah....
By mdogs444 on 7/1/2008 1:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
Hes referring to the depreciation of a car that is already 9 years old...and its value at years 10, 11, 12, 13, etc. They are negligible because it has already decreased in value to the point that the rate of depreciation from now on is a small fraction. The newer the car, the higher percentage of depreciation, but as the car gets older, that percentage drops.

This isn't a difficult concept.

RE: Ah....
By NINaudio on 7/1/2008 1:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
He specifically states
Depreciation on a used car that's less than 9 years old is negligible at best.

I think you're either interpreting his statement wrong, or he meant to say cars more than 9 years old.

Cars 10+ years old are more than 9 years old.

More than and less than isn't a difficult concept either mdogs...

RE: Ah....
By Spivonious on 7/1/2008 1:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
He said a used car. The value drops the most as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Brand new car = $15,000
1 year old car = $8,000
2 year old car = $7,500
3 year old car = $7,250


RE: Ah....
By NINaudio on 7/1/2008 2:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
I bought a 4 year old car for $13k (originally sold for $23k) , 4 years later, it was worth $6k. That's still significant depreciation in most people's eyes. I'm not arguing that the biggest hit doesn't occur in the first year, as we all know that it does, but to call depreciation after the first year insignificant is quite simply wrong.

RE: Ah....
By mcmilljb on 7/1/2008 3:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
That $23k is probably the MSRP and how many miles were on it? It also depends on the car itself. Civics can actually almost hold their retail value over the first year as long as the milage isn't high.

RE: Ah....
By tehbiz on 7/1/2008 3:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
you do realize there are many contributing factors to the loss of value for your vehicle other than age? maybe you were a smoker, didnt take care of your interior/exterior, got into an accident, put way too many miles on it ect. ect.

also an eight year old vehicle that still maintains value over a quarter of its original sticker price is indeed still "good".

RE: Ah....
By mcmilljb on 7/1/2008 2:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wayyyyyyy off. May if you be a kia or chevy over-priced to $15000.

If you buy a car really worth $15000. It will be $13500-14000 if you don't go over over 12000-13000 miles. These 15000-17000 people think they deserve their car to be worth the same or more, they're just crazy.

RE: Ah....
By cochy on 7/1/2008 12:00:16 PM , Rating: 5
I pay my taxes. I trust my government to spend it in the ways they best see benefiting my whole country. Not just me. I'm from Canada and in my country is not only about what benefits me.

RE: Ah....
By NicoloPicolo on 7/1/2008 12:08:27 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Ah....
By Ananke on 7/1/2008 12:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
With tumbling sales /today down 28%/ the car and associated industries are very much affraid they will not be able to get your consumer's money :). So they are giving you from your own taxes some money, to be able to spend fivefold more and get again into debt :). It is like a casino to give you a loan for gambling.
Do somebody consider that cars over 21 years are considered "classic" and they don't pay registration fees. Also, $139 dollar insurance for a $1000 valued old vehicle is not any near the $1700 annual insurance /btw this is very good premium rate/ for a new vehicle. So my point is, the newer car itself is really nice thing to have, but the expenses coming with it are in many cases imposible to handle for low income families. Exactly the same happened with the housing buble. "Let me give you now a nice affordable mortgage, and two years later it will drag you into bancrupcy, but I don't care - I make money from the sale now"

RE: Ah....
By Ringold on 7/1/2008 5:11:26 PM , Rating: 1
but I don't care - I make money from the sale now

I guess you don't understand how it works. Banks have lost billions, and wide swaths of the entire mortgage lender industry has gone out of business. In fact, it's the lenders that get stuck holding the bag. Banks even pay people who moved in, never made a payment but camped out in a home for months money to quietly leave without trashing the place.

But go ahead and spin a sad story for people who don't deserve it.

In case it sounds like it, I'm not calling for help for banks. No. They're facing the costs of their poor lending standards. Everything is working as it should.

RE: Ah....
By epobirs on 7/1/2008 12:26:58 PM , Rating: 1
Politicians wish every suck..., er, citizen, was like you.

RE: Ah....
By masher2 on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ah....
By NicoloPicolo on 7/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: Ah....
By masher2 on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ah....
By Eri Hyva on 7/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: Ah....
By masher2 on 7/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: Ah....
By blaster5k on 7/1/2008 1:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
Russia's government interference creates this artificial system you see. The state-owned companies and corruption in government and enforcement aren't exactly "capitalism" at work.

I'll grant you though, that even for capitalism to work, it requires some level of regulation -- particularly with protection of intellectual property and ensuring the freedom of information regarding products/services. For example, most people probably wouldn't eat at a restaurant with poor sanitary conditions, but not knowing what constitutes a sanitation problem and being unable to enter the kitchen, it becomes very difficult to know that.

RE: Ah....
By Ringold on 7/1/2008 5:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
Try for example the EU

I'd be careful suggesting people travel to the EU. The difference in certain key living standards, and the difference in unemployment, will quite likely not convince many Americans of the superiority of socialism.

To support my above assertion, an American gay liberal has already moved to Europe and shared his opinion, via the left-wing New York Times (which should be biased in favor of European socialism).

Not to say parts of Europe aren't beautiful, in a "Oh dear, how quaint" kind of way. It's simply that many American's enjoy their comparatively low taxes, big homes, and jobs. Even America teetering on the brink of recession, our unemployment rate is half what parts of Western Europe have today. Asides from some high-flying, special countries like Luxembourg and the Scandinavian oil-driven coutnries, France, Germany, even the UK doesn't begin to compare.

Instead of spreading arrogance across the Atlantic, why don't you visit some of those pissed off Muslims in the 'banlieus' or whatever of France, where unemployment is eye-popping and social unrest simmers. That degree of social unrest doesn't exist here in the US on any significant scale at all. Mind your own shop before you look down that long nose across the Atlantic.

RE: Ah....
By Pliong on 7/2/2008 3:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, the NYT is not a socialist paper, it is a neoliberal paper - socially liberal but with a fairly strong pro-business/free market economic outlook. Secondly, the author of that piece? Quotes a Swedish think tank to back up their assertions of the poverty of Scandinavia - a Libertarian think tank. In Sweden. One might think that perhaps they have some kind of extremist political agenda by Swedish standards that they're attempting to push......

The author also pretty much flat out says they are a free marketeer with the bit about how the wonderful Spanish just keep on pouring the gin thanks to their unstructured economy. One notes he doesn't report on the endemic corruption and massive EU subsidies Spain recieves....

RE: Ah....
By blaster5k on 7/1/2008 1:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Sheesh, why are people rating him down here? It's true. Nobody can make money doing something that solely benefits himself unless there is government interference. Unless you're going to argue that people are brain dead enough to give him money for something they don't want that is, but I find that a bit unlikely.

RE: Ah....
By smitty3268 on 7/1/2008 8:02:03 PM , Rating: 1
Oh please. You might as well compare the capitalistic economies in Africa - those economies are simply fundamentally broken and there are no quick and easy answers that will magically solve everything.

Capitalism has proven that it's incentivised structure will create a larger economy over time. But it also almost guarantees a widening gap between rich/poor and has other side effects which shouldn't be forgotten. Some people think consumer safety is actually less important than growing the market, and that type of thinking by free-market types really bothers me. In the end I think everyone agrees that there needs to be some sort of balance, there are just a lot of arguments about where that should be.

RE: Ah....
By aebiv on 7/1/2008 5:02:58 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Ah....
By andyjary on 7/2/2008 6:55:13 PM , Rating: 2

...AMEN what? Are you religious?

RE: Ah....
By MrJim on 7/2/2008 1:35:36 AM , Rating: 1
by masher2 on July 1, 2008 at 12:27 PM The nice thing about capitalism is what benefits the one also benefits the many.

How come the income inequality have increased every year since it started to be accounted for.

Compare the wages of a CEO of any company today and a ordinary worker and do the same every year backwards to the start of the 1900.

The gap is growing bigger and bigger. The gap between the rich and the poor. I understand that one need to pay a person with more responsibility more but not like it is today. Its just plain crazy.

Capitalism and the free market is good, but it needs to be controlled to be maximum efficient for the many just not the one.

Praise Canada and the Scandinavian countries!

RE: Ah....
By masher2 on 7/2/2008 11:07:56 AM , Rating: 2
> "Compare the wages of a CEO of any company today and a ordinary worker and do the same every year backwards to the start of the 1900"

More to the point, compare the income of that worker, with the average income in a Socialistic country such as Cuba or one of the former Soviet republics. You'll see he makes far more.

What's a better scenario-- you make $60K and your CEO makes 100 times that...or you and he both make $10K a year? The only person who would answer the latter is a fool motivated by jealous rage.

In any case, your root premise is incorrect. Income disparity has *not* increased monotonically each year.

RE: Ah....
By Ringold on 7/1/2008 5:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
I trust my government to spend it in the ways they best see benefiting my whole country.

The government loves people like you. :)

RE: Ah....
By Yawgm0th on 7/1/2008 5:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
You trust your government? I don't trust my government, and I wouldn't trust the Canadian government, either. Government is meant to be carefully watched, questioned, and criticized.

The government should benefit and is meant to benefit the whole of the populace, and you should vote as such if you feel that way. But that doesn't mean you should trust any part of the government itself. Certainly not politicians, who wield the vast majority of the power in a representative government.

I have some trust in the people to shape the government properly when it becomes untrustworthy, but even that can be iffy and it is certainly time consuming.

RE: Ah....
By TETRONG on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ah....
By aebiv on 7/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: Ah....
By Ringold on 7/1/2008 5:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, we can!

By Amiga500 on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
By masher2 on 7/1/2008 11:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
Not for older vehicles which -- even when maintained well -- can produce 1,000X as much emissions as a new vehicle. When maintained poorly, the sky's the limit.

The article, however, phrases this as a gas saving and/or carbon-lowering program, which it isn't. Man of those older vehicles are going to get equal or even better mileage than a new car. This program is about reducing smog, not saving gas.

By Amiga500 on 7/1/2008 11:25:43 AM , Rating: 1
How old are you talking about?

99% of the cars here would be post 1990.

Sure, if you go back to Ford Model T's then the argument might stack up. But for 95th percentiles etc, it won't even come close (not in Ireland anyway).

By masher2 on 7/1/2008 11:36:34 AM , Rating: 2
> "How old are you talking about?"

1970s era without a doubt. 1980s-1990s era as well, if the car has been poorly maintained and has problems with the emission-control systems.

> "99% of the cars here would be post 1990."

You underestimate the number of old cars on the road. The car has to be *at least* ten years old to qualify for the program.

By RamarC on 7/1/2008 11:46:34 AM , Rating: 3
the texas program targets cars 10 years or older, so it includes up to 1997 models. but as you mentioned earlier, if a car is not maintained properly then it is most likely blowing smoke and adding far more pollutants than a new(er) car.

as for the genius who complained about "f'ing environmentalists", i'm sure he's never lived in a major metro area that warns residents to limit their time outdoors due to high levels of pollution and/or ozone. and these iniciatives have the secondary benefit of increasing car sales (a key component of the economy)... it's just too bad that the cost being borne by the lower-middle class.

By dblind1 on 7/1/2008 12:42:58 PM , Rating: 2
the other benefit to the economy will be the increase in repos and auctions, because the lower income people will not have the remainder of the cash to buy a 3 year old car let alone a new one. I swear someone from the banks is paying these legislators to come up with the crap. I'm sorry, but this program does nothing but help the poor get poorer. After all, the car payment has to come from somewhere. No wonder the average household has 16k in credit card debt. The government is even starting to sponsor it!

By HOOfan 1 on 7/1/2008 12:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
I work in an area that is a bit depressed and really I see cars all the time that are no older than 10 or 15 years that are belching blue smoke, due to horrible maintenance. Oil was probably changed every 30K miles. The people either can't afford to maintain them or just don't care.

By Amiga500 on 7/1/2008 12:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
You lot seriously have a load of 70s era cars running around on the road?

Feckin hell!

I'm dead serious when I say 99% of the cars here ARE post 1990.

Do you yanks not have yearly tests for a car's roadworthiness?

By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 12:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
Many states don't.

By mdogs444 on 7/1/2008 12:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
Ohio, for example, conducts Ohio E-Check's for emissions, however it is regulated by country. Cuyahoga county (Cleveland) conducts these checks, however, Franklin county (Columbus) does not.

By Eri Hyva on 7/1/2008 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
The American Dream?

By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 3:14:56 PM , Rating: 2

By bobsmith1492 on 7/1/2008 1:28:09 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing here in Michigan.

I drive an '89 Bronco II also.

Chill out dude and get out some.

By Polynikes on 7/1/2008 1:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
We love our classics. :)

By Spivonious on 7/1/2008 1:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
Pennsylvania tests yearly, Maryland is every 3 years, don't know about others.

The majority of cars I see on the roads are less than 10 years old, mostly from the early 2000s.

I think this is more oil-rich Texas trying to look good to the greenies.

By djc208 on 7/2/2008 7:49:09 AM , Rating: 2
Only portions of PA at that. The rural areas have no emissions checks, just the bigger cities.

By Spuke on 7/1/2008 3:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
California only has emissions testing. Your bumper can fall off your car but it better not friggin pollute!

By Spuke on 7/1/2008 3:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
Most old cars I see out here are from the 80's. Rarely see anything older unless it's a classic car (those are well maintained).

By FastLaneTX on 7/2/2008 11:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
Even with 99% of the cars being "new", which assumes facts not in evidence, that's still a problem because the remaining 1% puts out more pollution than the other 99% combined. These sorts of programs can put a huge dent in that problem.

Yes, Texas has extensive roadworthiness tests in addition to emissions tests; a large fraction of cars fail until they're repaired, and in general the fleet is in much better condition than I see in other states.

By mcmilljb on 7/1/2008 2:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
Um, a car from 1998 would be at least 10 years old... You hit 20 at 1988.

I would say most cars over 10 years old (and on the road) would be 1990-1998. There is nothing to underestimate. People see the cars on the road. You are not going to find a lot of cars older than 90 on the road. Just switch to the pass emissions or you have to replace the car. Hell, don't let people buy or register cars unless they pass emissions. That would help legatimize the program some. Although the 3K drop in the bucket will just line the auto dealers' pockets because they know, "I can now sell the car for up to 3k more thanks to the program."

By masher2 on 7/1/2008 4:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "You are not going to find a lot of cars older than 90 on the road. "

According to the US DOT, 8% of all cars on the road are older than 1990:

Is 8% a lot? I easily pass 1,000+ cars on a drive downtown and back. That would mean 80 of them are older than 1990...and those 80 vehicles are almost certainly generating much more emissions than the other 920.

By DeepBlue1975 on 7/1/2008 4:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
And pre 90 cars don't meet any modern security standard, plus, someone who has a car that old will be less likely to have it in a proper condition. So anytime you drive near one of them, your risk of having an accident is higher if we take the driver's ability out of the equation.

If it's a classic in great shape, then it should be in a museum or rolling on private circuits but not in normal traffic.

By Ringold on 7/1/2008 5:29:08 PM , Rating: 2
If you think a classic car in great shape is a safety hazard, what do you think motorcycles are? You're a little quick to drop the ban-hammer, I think.

By DeepBlue1975 on 7/1/2008 6:05:14 PM , Rating: 2
1st- I was talking about safety hazzards to others, not to the driver.
Please notice that I didn't say anything about airbags, pretensioned seatbelts, or whatever.

2nd- a motorbike is a different kind of vehicle. This article is about cars, and I was talking just about cars.
Of course motorbike riders have little chance of survival in any kind of crash, even colliding with a pedestrian is a huge risk for a motorbike. I see no point in mixing motorbikes with cars in this discussion.

By MightyAA on 7/2/2008 12:49:51 AM , Rating: 2
You also forget a major impact of classic cars. They are secondary cars that don't ever see daily driving. The impact is negligable. I've got 3 classics and not one gets over 1000 miles put on it in a year.

By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 7:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
Oh really.

I'll bet you dimes to donuts that the average person driving a classic car from the 60s-80s has an accident rate at least half the typical driver. Why might you ask?

1) They care about their car.
2) They're more careful driving it because they care.
3) They maintain it better.
4) It has less safety equipment so they drive more consciously.

My first 3 cars were an 85, 87, and 89 Camaro. How many accidents did I get in? One. Because a guy rearended me. How many times did I get pulled over? 3 times. Two weren't even driving a Camaro. Which times did I get a ticket? The two where I wasn't driving the Camaro.

Why? Because my only safety equipment was a seat belt. And I loved my car 1% less than my girlfriend. So I didn't want to hurt it or myself or my girlfriend in an accident. So I drove carefully. Still do because thats the way I was taught.

Hell the vice president at our office who I'm sure makes over $100,000 a year drives a late 80s diesel Suburban. Runs great. Looks great. Not everyone who owns an older car doesn't maintain it.

By djc208 on 7/2/2008 9:01:19 AM , Rating: 2
Seatbelts can be retrofitted into older cars without too much trouble, and as much as I like originality, I (and most judging bodies) think it's a perfectly acceptable modification to make. I honestly didn't like driving my antique without them. While the car should easily survive a crash (if you can lift an 18' long car by it's bumper I don't want to hear about crash standards), I'd bounce around the interior like a lotto ball in the machine.

As for performance and handling, as others have said you drive much differently (better) because of it. Longer following distances, slower speeds, more attention to your surroundings. The problem is all the other drivers racing around like idiots, or staring so hard they drift toward you, or assume you're slow and cumbersome and pull stupid stunts to get around or in front of you. Which just makes me drive that much more defensivly.

The people who love and care about their cars aren't the ones you need to worry about. It's the ones who don't care or can't afford to care for or about their cars that are the issue here. The "it's just a car" people.

By blaster5k on 7/1/2008 1:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
Cars from the 2000s are quite superior to those from the 90s even with regard to emissions -- especially with ULEVs and PZEVs. If everyone were driving one of those, it might put an end to smog in most cities.

I'm a bit skeptical of labeling CO2 as a pollutant, but CO, NOx, and VOCs are proven to be bad for our health and I'd like to see them continue to be reduced.

By mcmilljb on 7/1/2008 1:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
Just take the old SUV's and trucks off the road, and you would decrease the pollutants greatly. If you're burning twice the gas of an old car. I would assume 2x the emissions which put them the worse of the old vehicles.

Where have you been though? Everyone knows CO2 is the worst thing for our environment which is why California is thinking about banning ALL CO2 emissions. Guess everyone there will have to stop breathing...

By Jimbo1234 on 7/1/2008 3:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
Consumption does not necessarily equate with emissions. Miss the 14.8:1 ratio on many cars in either direction and emmisions go up.

Lose the cat converter and you can have great economy (MPG) with very bad emmisions.

As said before, proper maintenance (i.e. functioning O2 sensor) can make a big difference in emissions.

By FITCamaro on 7/2/2008 7:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone knows CO2 is the worst thing for our environment

Everyone who believes people like Al Gore and the rest of environmental nuts knows CO2 is the worst thing for our environment.

There. I fixed it for you.

By 4play on 7/2/2008 11:52:33 AM , Rating: 1
Not sure why you were rated down for that, even if it isn't the majority, a huge chunk of pollution does indeed come from the construction. Getting a new Prius every 5 years may be worse for the environment than driving a Buick for 15 yrs.

Don't you Americans have air quality standards for your vehicles anyway? That should remove most of the heavy polluting pre-90's cars.

No Public Transportation
By qdemn7 on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: No Public Transportation
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 12:35:48 PM , Rating: 5
Now if we could just get rid of the mandatory auto liability insurance scam in Texas...

Yes god forbid when you smash into someone else, you have insurance to cover the cost of repairing their car. Or treating their injuries.

RE: No Public Transportation
By qdemn7 on 7/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: No Public Transportation
By Screwballl on 7/1/2008 1:42:26 PM , Rating: 5
Mandatory no-fault is the worst scam any insurance can run under. It is this way in FL. If there is no fault then people can be idiot drivers and get away with multiple accidents (aside from DUI) without any dent on their insurance rates or driving record. This raises the rates across the board even for safe drivers. If people get blame placed on them, after a few accidents their rates go high and the safe drivers keep their lower rates.

No-fault feeds the lack of responsibility or accountability for your own actions.

RE: No Public Transportation
By mcmilljb on 7/1/2008 2:06:45 PM , Rating: 3
And will keep the dumb drivers off the road when they can't afford the insurance. That was the original goal... but noooo you have a "right" to f'in drive according to some people. BS! Just learn to drive and your insurance will go down, end of story.

RE: No Public Transportation
By omnicronx on 7/1/2008 2:54:10 PM , Rating: 3
No-fault feeds the lack of responsibility or accountability for your own actions.
What are you talking about? No-fault insurance really means that if you are injured or your car is damaged in an accident, you deal with your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. This can really make a difference, for example instead of say having to wait 2 years to get money for a broken back caused by somebody else, you get the money immediatly from your insurance company. No fault basically just means the case is settled later, if you are 0% at fault, you basically don't pay anything, just as you would not have to without the no fault system. You can also fight your insurance company with a claims ajudster if you do not agree with your insurance companies decesion of who is at fault.

Anyway you put it, no fault is far from lack of responsibility.

RE: No Public Transportation
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 3:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
It might be this way on paper but not in practice. I grew up and went to college in Florida. In college I was rearended. I went to the guy who hit me's insurance company for my claim. Not my own. They fixed my car. They paid for the rental car. Making a claim on my own insurance would have raised my rates.

RE: No Public Transportation
By theapparition on 7/1/2008 4:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
In college I was rearended.

No need to bring up personal information.........

RE: No Public Transportation
By Eri Hyva on 7/1/2008 4:44:23 PM , Rating: 2

RE: No Public Transportation
By wjobs55 on 7/2/2008 8:18:35 AM , Rating: 2
In college I was rearended

Bet he enjoyed it too and not the only time ;)

RE: No Public Transportation
By Screwballl on 7/1/2008 3:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
Try having an accident in Florida, a no-fault state... there is some massive hodge-podge of craptacular "we pay for this, they pay for that" BS going on.
I was in a major car accident in 2004. My insurance paid for 40% of one thing, theirs paid 60% (medical). Mine paid 35% for something else, theirs paid 65%. Mine paid 90% for the next item and 10% from theirs (missing wages and travel to doctors). Theirs paid 83% of car rental, mine paid the rest. It was some cluster-f*** trying to figure out what was going where and filing all this paperwork for each company... plus doing this for myself, the wife and my daughter. Our rates did not go up because of it but also because it was our first claim against them. I understand they raise it a little after the second accident and massively after the third. Even if you were not at fault at any time, in a no fault state they can do that. This also helps them keep higher rates across the board for even safe drivers, PLUS kick up the rates on the multiple-accident policies.

In South Dakota (NOT a no-fault state), had some lady bump into us in the snow. Everything was done through her insurance and nothing was submitted to mine other than the fact that it happened and was submitted to hers.

In at-fault states, the bad drivers get punished and the good drivers (usually) do not.

RE: No Public Transportation
By omnicronx on 7/1/2008 2:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
No-fault feeds the lack of responsibility or accountability for your own actions.
What are you talking about? No-fault insurance really means that if you are injured or your car is damaged in an accident, you deal with your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. This can really make a difference, for example instead of say having to wait 2 years to get money for a broken back caused by somebody else, you get the money immediatly from your insurance company. No fault basically just means the case is settled later, if you are 0% at fault, you basically don't pay anything, just as you would not have to without the no fault system. You can also fight your insurance company with a claims ajudster if you do not agree with your insurance companies decesion of who is at fault.

Anyway you put it, no fault is far from lack of responsibility.

RE: No Public Transportation
By omnicronx on 7/1/2008 2:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
stupid double click...

RE: No Public Transportation
By Rugar on 7/1/2008 2:14:16 PM , Rating: 2
Wait... Are you suggesting others pay for a "no-Fault" clause so that douchebags who don't want to buy liability can careen about in their, all too often, run-down death traps? In addition, given the absence of mandatory liability insurance, no-fault clauses would become more expensive to cover the increased number of losers who failed to carry any insurance at all. Mandatory liability laws are one of the rare examples of the government actually working correctly.

As driving is a privilege, the burden is upon the driver to guarantee the consequences of their actions when driving a 2-ton lethal weapon.

RE: No Public Transportation
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 3:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
I grew up in Florida. Nope. Never heard of it. And fault is still established even in a no fault state.

RE: No Public Transportation
By strikeback03 on 7/1/2008 3:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
Established by who? In NY it is certainly possible to get a police accident report which simply states "No-fault".

RE: No Public Transportation
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 3:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
The cop, assuming they are called, who shows up. They have to give someone a ticket. In my accident the police saw the accident happen and gave the guy a ticket for it. It was deemed his fault. His insurance handled everything. We only called my insurance to just tell them I'd been in an accident. They paid nothing though. Luckily the guy at GMAC (his insurance) was very good at his job and handled my claim very well.

RE: No Public Transportation
By Screwballl on 7/1/2008 3:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
Things have changed in the past 10 years. No fault mean no fault. In 2004, I had some 17 year old kid pull out in front of me at 55mph and in the time I had to hit the brakes, Tboned his truck at about 53mph. Even though he was clearly at fault for not yielding, crossing the right of way and exhibition driving, the accident report claimed no fault and no tickets issued. I had to almost get into an argument with the Hwy Patrol about it and he simply kept saying, FL is a no fault state so theres nothing we can do.
The payments from both insurance companies are paid some screwy way so one thing is paid 60% by mine, another is 40% by mine...

RE: No Public Transportation
By FITCamaro on 7/1/2008 3:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah and its been 2 years since I lived there. 5 years since my accident there. I'm only 25.

RE: No Public Transportation
By bobsmith1492 on 7/1/2008 1:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have insurance?

Full coverage vs. limited collision vs. no collision...

Everywhere has mandatory liability so someone doesn't just destroy someone's house and get off scot-free with bankruptcy.

RE: No Public Transportation
By Hiawa23 on 7/1/2008 2:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea idea what prices they are looking at, but $3500 aint going to help any family get into a new car. There is a reason why they driving an older car & with rising costs, & insurance most can't even afford another payment per month even with the subsidy.

RE: No Public Transportation
By walk2k on 7/1/2008 6:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't have to be a "new" car and $3500 will certainly help pay for a $6000-7000 good used car that's in much better shape, requires less maintenence and gets much better mileage and so will end up costing the family LESS in the mid-long term.

RE: No Public Transportation
By FastLaneTX on 7/2/2008 11:39:08 AM , Rating: 2
The truly poor, no, it won't help, since they're buying $100/mo (no purchase price -- it'll get repo'd before any chance of being paid off) cars from a note lot. This program will get a lot of those cars off the road, which is good since they're the worst polluters (why maintain a car you know will get repo'd in a few months?).

However, a $63k/yr household income limit covers the majority of even the middle class, and even someone making the median income ($40-60k, depending on the county) can easily afford a newer car, especially with the $3k in free money. Every few minutes on the radio, there's some dealership advertising new cars for $99-$199/mo with no down and no trade. Anyone can afford that.

It's the insurance and gas that kills you. Many low-income people in Texas find it's cheaper to just take the ticket for not having insurance, since sitting a few days in jail costs them less money in lost wages than actually buying insurance. If you get in a wreck, let your car get repo'd and declare bankrupcy to avoid paying for anyone else's damage or injuries. Gas is much harder to do without, but all the listed cities have good bus systems and several have recently built rail transit lines, which are seeing record ridership gains.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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