RALEIGH, N.C. — Everyone who lives in Wake, Durham and Orange counties and drives a car built after 1995 will notice something different the next time they get their car inspected -- new high-tech emissions tests and a higher price.
Onboard Diagnostics 2 is now the air quality standard in North Carolina's urban counties. It brings the state's auto emissions testing up to guidelines mandated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Inspections are now $30, $10.60 more than Wake, Durham and Orange County drivers paid before.
"I really don't mind paying a little more. I think it's a good thing," driver Donna Herring said. "I believe in clean air and I'm all for anything we can do to improve it."
While most drivers and service station owners are not happy with the price increase, the state Division of Motor Vehicles hopes everyone realize the main goal for the new tests -- cleaner air.
"We realize that it is an increase and a burden on them to some degree, but because that is the ultimate goal, we hope that they will go along with it," said Capt. Carl Pigford, of the state Division of Motor Vehicles.
The state wanted the new machines online in July, but cost estimates of up to $20,000 per machine put the program on hold. The newest machines cost about $6,000.
Drivers in Cumberland and Johnston counties will face the new emissions standards and the new fees in July. Drivers who are caught skipping the inspection can be fined $250.