KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new bill in Missouri is designed to save motorists time and money by getting rid of required vehicle inspections.
Rep. J. Eggleston of Maysville recently sponsored a bill that would eliminate the requirement for vehicle inspections in Missouri.
He said only about 16 states require these inspections. None of the states that border Missouri have this mandate in place.
When introducing this bill, Eggleston presented a significant amount of research that indicates requiring these inspections doesn’t necessarily impact safety on the roads.
“I looked into some of the traffic statistics on fatalities, state by state,” he said. “I sorted them from the most dangerous to the most safe, then tagged each of those states with which ones do inspections to see if all of the inspection states were clustered on the safe end or if they were just scattered around, and it didn`t really matter. Turns out they were scattered around, so it doesn’t really seem to matter.”
Eggleston said a transportation task force toured the state earlier in the year. As a result of those studies, it found speed, inattention and impairment are the leading causes of traffic fatalities. Eggleston said none of these factors are related to a vehicle inspection.
“Most people pay $12 to get their car inspected,” Eggleston said. “But you take that times the number of inspections, that’s over $30 million that our citizens have to pay and the hassle for this government imposed regulation that doesn’t really seem to lead to any safety.”
The state only profits about $1.50 from each inspection, so eliminating them wouldn’t break the budget.
While motorists might rejoice over the measure, some industry professionals have doubts.
“I think it would definitely lead to an increase in unsafe vehicles on the road,” said Rusell Phillips who owns and manages Northtown Auto. “Also, if you have something that may not be a safety or a liability concern but if you have a light out or something like that, that might get you pulled over and get a citation. Those are avoidable situations that a state safety inspection can alleviate.”
Phillips said the vehicle safety checks can be beneficial to motorists because in addition to checking your glass, lights and mirrors, trained professionals also check critical fluid levels and fluid storage tanks in your car.
“There are certain fluids that, if they fail, can create a safety concern,” he said. “For example (mechanics could check) if your power steering was leaking. That way if you were in an emergency response type of situation and the car didn’t respond as it was designed to for steering, that could be dangerous. And of course brake fluid leaks could be dangerous as well.”
Many mechanics, including the employees of Northtown Auto, said they would continue to check for these things — even if the bill passes — out of concern for their customers’ safety.
If the bill is signed into law, it would take effect on Aug. 28 of this year.