Opinion: Thanking Carter and Watson for end of vehicle emissions testing

Staff File Photo / A line of cars waits outside the Riverfront Parkway auto emissions testing facility several years ago.

Thanks, Sen. Watson and Rep. Carter

We couldn't let this week's end of the vehicle emissions testing program in Hamilton County go by without another thank-you to state Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, and the late Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, who steered the bill mandating the end of the program through the legislature in 2018 and then patiently waited as the process to unwind it went through labyrinthine federal levels.

Carter, who died last May, took up the cause after hearing the plea of many of his lower-income constituents, who, to paraphrase him, told him their cars failed the emissions testing program and failed again after hundreds of dollars of repairs. At that point, he said they told him, they either had to drive their cars with the risk of being ticketed for not having their registration tags or park them and not have an ability to get to work.