New research just released by An Taisce estimates that poor air quality leads to 3,400 deaths a year and costs the State €6.3 billion. The main offenders?: Drivers of diesel vehicles.
As a daily cycling commuter in Dublin City I am regularly enveloped in a cloud of choking blue smoke. Buses, trucks and older diesel cars being the main, but not only, offenders. Of course the stuff you cannot see is equally as dangerous and this is being spewed out by every vehicle on the road, not least the thousands of modern diesels used by gormless idiots who only drive 50 miles a week to and from work but bought a diesel because it is cheaper to run (note to idiots: only get a diesel if you do the mileage to justify it). This inefficent use of diesel engines increases dangerous emissions. Not that petrol drivers get off scot free, they also contribute hugely to air pollution. Also the whiff of exhaust fumes from a 2 stroke moped is enough to bring a tear to the eye of any cyclist.
If the NCT has done one good thing it has removed some of the worst offenders from the roads as they have failed the emissions tests. It is however a sad fact that there are still a hell of a lot of poorly maintained vehicles out there belching pollutants into our lungs and even the well maintained ones are pollutants to a lesser degree.
I was standing having a cigarette outside a boozer recently when a lady came out and complained that I was too near the doorway. I was not, I was in the fresh air not under any cover in the car park. Said lady then jumped into a 7 seater people carrier, started up, emitted a cloud of blue smoke not seen since the pea soupers of London in the 1930's and drove off. So to those of you who wish to ban smoking in public, and yes you do exist as we have seen in the debates about smoking on hospital campuses. Take your head out of your backside and look at the real killers - car drivers. Passive smoking is completely harmless in comparison. How to tackle these killers? Maybe we should just accept the risk as transport is necessary but tighten up emissions limits?
Poor air quality leads to 3,400 deaths a year in Ireland - Independent.ie