Indiana law permits free carbon monoxide tests for vehicles

April 11, 2018

Keith Goble

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Indiana vehicle owners will soon be able to stop at fire departments to have their vehicles tested for carbon monoxide.

A 2012 Land Line online survey found that fewer than 20 percent of respondents said they keep a carbon monoxide detector in their cab.

More recently, police agencies around the country have alleged that Ford Explorers used as fleet vehicles may be poisoning officers with exhaust fumes. According to reports, the vehicle manufacturer has blamed police contractors for causing the exhaust leaks.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed into law a bill to allow fire departments, including volunteer fire departments, to test vehicular carbon monoxide levels upon request. The testing would be free of charge.

Savannah’s Law permits county, city, town or township, or a volunteer department to offer the testing.

Previously SB100, the new law immunizes the test administrator from civil liability and all associated damages.

The law is named for Savannah Bettis. The 18-year-old Wayne Township, Ind., woman was killed in a vehicle wreck where she was overcome by carbon monoxide. Her family has since donated carbon monoxide testing equipment to Wayne Township fire departments.

“With carbon monoxide being an odorless gas, motorists are often not aware when their vehicle has an exhaust system leak,” Rep. Woody Burton, R-Whiteland, said in previous remarks. “Even low exposure is hazardous to long-term health, and higher concentrations are downright deadly. This (law) can and will save lives.”

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Among the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath. Testing for the odorless gas in vehicles can be done in fewer than 15 minutes.

The new law takes effect on July 1.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Indiana, click here.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.