Earlier this month, North Carolina's Division of Air Quality and Department of Motor Vehicles recommended exempting newer model cars from the state's inspection process. Today, legislative auditors are ratifying that finding. From an audit summary released this morning:
"The Program Evaluation Division estimates a three-year exemption would save North Carolina motorists $9.6 million annually. This savings to motorists comes with a corresponding reduction in state revenue estimated at $3.2 million. To address the reduction, the General Assembly could reduce the inspection station portion of the inspection fee, raise the inspection fee, reallocate the portion no longer needed to support the telecommunications account, or allow the reductions to occur."
Drivers would save $30 per year for the first three years they own a new car. This recommendation has knocked around state government for a while. The thinking is that newer cars are unlikely to have major emission system problems, so inspecting them is a waste of time and money.
The report doesn't mention getting rid of safety inspections. Gov. Perdue and Sen. Stan Bingham, a Denton Republican, have said have said they would support the move.