If you see a vehicle belching smoke, there’s a way to report it.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality encourages drivers to report vehicles they see that are emitting dirty smoke for more than 10 consecutive seconds.
The TCEQ then sends a letter to the owner suggesting an inspection. Compliance is voluntary.
The TCEQ’s Terry Clawson sees the letter as a courtesy to the driver as well as to everyone else.
“There could be many, many reasons why a vehicle is smoking heavily. It could be something that may not have a big impact on pollution," Clawson said. "But it certainly means that there’s something wrong with your car.”
In higher population areas of the state, such as Austin, vehicles’ emissions are tested when they’re brought in for their annual inspections.