Bill would scrap NC vehicle safety inspections

Posted February 22, 2013

— Lawmakers are making another run at eliminating the annual vehicle safety inspection requirement.

North Carolina is one of 18 states, along with the District of Columbia, to mandate the inspections, but House Bill 59 would scrap the requirement.

Some lawmakers say the move would cut back on bureaucracy and save drivers a little money. About 8 million cars and trucks are inspected each year, and the safety portion accounts for $13.60 of the $30 cost for an annual vehicle inspection, which also includes a check of the emissions system.

House Bill 59 doesn't call for eliminating the emissions test.

The House Transportation Committee is expected to debate the proposal next Tuesday, but many drivers and mechanics say they would like to keep the inspections.

"I think it's a small price to pay to make sure that people are driving vehicles that are in good working order and they're not going to create some sort of safety problem for everybody else," driver Jennipher Swanner said.

Out of about 20 cars he sees each day at Express Inspection and Service in Cary, Darren Clark said seven or eight have a safety problem. When money's tight, maintenance gets put off, he said, so the number of vehicles with problems has been on the rise in recent years.

Vehicle inspection station, safety inspection Drivers say annual vehicle inspection should stay

"Gas is going up like crazy too, you know," Clark said. "Sometimes it's more important about getting to your destination than having a safe vehicle."

A similar bill was filed two years ago, and lawmakers have scaled back emissions tests in recent years to exempt newer vehicles from that requirement.

AAA Carolinas said annual inspections make North Carolina roads safer.

"In states that still have the mandated inspections, as opposed to those that don't, accidents are about 27 percent less," AAA's Jodi Woolard said.

Doing away with safety inspections could end up costing drivers more money down the road, Woolard said.

"If people are not required to get their vehicles inspected, they're going to let them go," she said. "They're prone to be in more accidents. More accidents equates to higher insurance rates, and that affects everyone who drives."


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  • pchuck88 Feb 28, 2013

    i had to pay 250 for inspection because of engine light was on

  • oldrebel Feb 27, 2013

    Another wasteful bureaucracy . . . good sense to let it go.

  • I know some stuff Feb 26, 2013

    How many cars fail emissions in the first 50,000 miles? Close to None, because manufacturers warranty such systems for 50k.
    Easy compromise...Cars younger than 3 yrs, and less than 50k, don't need them.
    Why not add some 'intelligence' to the decision of WHICH cars need Inspection? Oh, forgot, we're talking gov't.

  • gurmurgruh Feb 26, 2013

    yes, please do away with these ridiculous inspections. any vehicle could pass inspection today and then have a headlamp or a brake light to burn out the next day and then drive around for a whole year until the next inspection is due. what good is that? why does a brand new vehicle need an inspection a year later for? maybe in 3 to 5 years possibly? it's a money making racket that only the inspection stations benefit from the profits.

  • corgimom06 Feb 26, 2013

    I wonder what the comparisson is with other states that don't have safety inspections? Personally I am more worried about un-insured drivers.

  • inspectionbuster Feb 26, 2013

    well i read the House Bill and yes we would save $14 per year without safety inspections. The only downsides are the dozens of accidents and maybe a few fatalities per year, the 8 to maybe 15 thousand inspectors that would lose their jobs(oops), we,d still have to get emission test which will be hard with most of the stations closing( waits are est. to be several hours to weeks!!), oh, and our insurance premiums would rise about 10-20%, and finally our registration renewal would rise to between $51 to well over $100 depending on vehicle. But how about that $14 savings,Huh!!

  • WageSlave Feb 26, 2013

    Safety "should" be a responsibility of all drivers regardless of income. In short, if you cannot afford to be safe then you need to find other methods of transportation and not endanger others. Government mandated? No!
    NC Red Shirt

    You going to give that speach to the guy that plows into you and your family because he was to sorry to keep his old truck safe?

  • Spock Feb 26, 2013

    Safety "should" be a responsibility of all drivers regardless of income. In short, if you cannot afford to be safe then you need to find other methods of transportation and not endanger others. Government mandated? No!

  • WageSlave Feb 25, 2013

    What do they really check that keeps you safe? The tires? Lights? (we have laws for lights already), wipers? LOL. They dont check your brakes, steering, etc. Now can I get my windows tinted as dark as I want?

    My guy checks my Ball joints, tie rod ends, and steering from underneath as they are all suppose too.

    In fact, my honda failed a few years ago for worn ball joints. I went home, changed both sides out and she was good to go.

  • Crumps Br0ther Feb 25, 2013

    Michigan and Minnesota don't have inspections are they more or less dangerous to drive in than here?

    I grew up and learned to drive in Micigan. Driving around Detroit, depending on the neighborhood can get pretty dangerous, but an inspection sticker wouldn't make you any safer in those kinds of situations. Michigan also tried to have random police checkpoints and that got voted down a few different times. I would love for NC to get ride of those too. I don't believe checkpoints makes the roads that much safer, it's just a money grab for the state, same as this inspection nonsense