Five local authorities in Devon are carrying out a two-part study into vehicle emissions in the county following a £20,000 Government grant.
The Defra funding is being split between Torbay Council, Teignmouth Town Council, South Hams District Council, Mid Devon District Council and Plymouth City Council.
The first part of the study was carried out in March and the second part will begin this summer to allow researchers to compare emissions data in varying weather conditions.
All five authorities have air quality management areas in sites with high levels of traffic, but it is hoped the study will provide a detailed assessment of pollution in those locations from specific types of vehicles, including HGVs and buses.
Dr Peter Walsh, senior environmental protection officer for Torbay Council, who led the funding bid, said: "The results will enable us to work with groups including bus operators, taxis and commercial vehicle owners to enforce emissions standards."
The study will use a remote-sensing system developed by Enviro Technology which can make drive-by recordings of emissions along with automatic number plate capturing to identify the highest emitting vehicles.
The results from the Accuscan 4600 equipment can also be broken down into diesel and petrol engines, as well as by vehicle size.
Enviro Technology's operations director Duncan Mounsor said: "The Accusan's ability to record such detailed information without stopping any vehicles makes it highly efficient in this kind of situation."
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