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Legislators in North Carolina have announced that they will attempt to abolish the state’s auto safety inspection requirement. The bill will be brought up by a House committee later this week and, if there’s enough support, will move on for consideration in the larger General Assembly.

Legislators who believe abolishing the safety requirement will save drivers money are supporting the bill. The reason they believe it will save money is that each year drivers must pay for a $30 car inspection, of that money, $13.60 goes towards a safety check, the rest is for the emissions test. Supporters of the bill say that it will save taxpayers across the state millions by trimming annual inspection costs.

While everyone is in favor of saving some money, it’s essential that legislators consider the costs of such a change. While it may shave a few dollars from someone’s annual inspection, what about the cost of serious or fatal accidents due to faulty equipment on a car?

AAA of the Carolinas has come out aggressively against the proposed safety change, saying the requirement is essential to ensuring the wellbeing of drivers across the state. AAA says it has statistics which show that car accidents are reduced by 27% in states that have such safety requirements compared to those that do not.

Safety advocates are imploring legislators to take a bigger view of the matter and really consider whether saving a small amount of money is worth a potential major sacrifice in auto safety. Many believe the bill, known as House Bill 89, stands a good chance of passing given the current anti-big-government mood in the state. Hopefully lawmakers in the North Carolina will give the measure proper consideration and don’t choose to sacrifice drivers’ safety to save $13.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton & Favaloro personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Truckie D

    Interesting post Jim.

    I've lived in a number of places over the years. Some had inspections, and some didn't. Of those that did, the inspections ranged from pretty tough, to minimal.

    Vehicle inspections are not a guarantee of having a safe vehicle. There are always a few enterprising individuals who will issue an inspection sticker to a piece of junk for a small "fee" (i.e. bribe).

    The pendulum also swings the other direction -- a brake shop performing an inspection will always seem to find a "problem" with brakes. A tire shop will find a "problem" with tires.

    Modern vehicles are far safer than those of years past. Features such as dual-circuit brakes, computer controlled warnings etc. help prevent crashes.

    As I drive around the country, I go through states with and without inspections. I don't see any noticeable difference between them going down the road.

    In my home state, we did away with inspections back in the 70's. All it seemed to do was eliminate citations for driving with an expired inspections sticker.

    Eliminating inspections doesn't relieve drivers from the requirement of ensuring that their vehicle is safe to operate. Those who are responsible will do so regardless. Those who aren't, won't.


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