How an emissions test perfectly explains 2021
Yesterday, I went and got my emissions tested.
It’s a right of passage for ever vehicle owner in Maryland. Every two years, the state requires you to drive your car to an emissions inspection station. You spend a few bucks to test the car, which spits out the same results you likely already knew. And then you go about your merry way.
The utility of the emissions test of course is questionable. I’ve advocated for the elimination of Maryland’s emissions inspection program for years. This would save taxpayers the time and hassle of going to VEIP inspection stations every two years. It would save money by reducing the costs of having to keep open 13 inspection sites every year. And it would save the environment; One of the recommended provisions prior to getting your vehicle tested is to drive the vehicle for twenty minutes prior to the commencement of the test. Which approximately 900,000 vehicles tested every year, that’s up to 6 million hours of driving annually, and up to 240,000 gallons of gas per year consumed just on taking the test.
All of that is just a lead up to talk about my actual trip to the emissions testing station.
I arrived at the testing station in Glen Burnie around 10:30 am yesterday. There were a lot of people in line. The line was about six cars deep in each of the three manned inspection stations.
Meanwhile, there was only one guy over at the self-service emissions test station.
You see, Maryland offers you the choice; you can either have a state employee test your car or you can just go ahead and do it yourself. Testing it yourself merely required inserting your credit card, pushing a few buttons, plugging in your car, getting the results, and leaving.
Since I chose the self-service option, I was in and out in about ten minutes. The line might have moved forward one car in each station.
Oh, and the self-service station is $10. Using the regular test with an employee is $14.
So to recap, people sat in a long line to pay $14 for an assisted emissions test as opposed to doing it yourself, paying a lower fee, and getting done quicker.
It reminds me of a Dead Kennedy’s album.
People in American society want everything delivered for them. They don’t want to do things for themselves. They don’t like to be inconvenienced in any way shape or form. And for some reason, people have decided that wasting time and money by letting somebody into their car to perform a test is a good use of their resources.
Nothing better explains our current society.