Tuesday, March 15, 2011

State Sen. Stan Bingham wants annual car inspections to cease

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 10:28 AM

click to enlarge Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson
  • Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson

I don't give the first fuck if a half-hour inspection is "a hassle" for motorists. Sometimes you have to do something that's not all about you. You know, something for the greater good.

And ... LOL at the reference to "smoother roads." That's just more proof that our legislators haven't been to Charlotte lately.

Seriously, can't these yahoos think of anything else to do up there in the state house? Because, I can think of some things they should be focusing on — and I bet you can, too.

Getting an annual vehicle inspection in North Carolina may be a hassle for motorists, and its effectiveness was questioned in a legislative report. But North Carolina law enforcement officials and the garages that carry them out are resolute in opposing an effort to eliminate safety inspections performed in all 100 counties.

Fifteen senators have co-sponsored a bipartisan bill this year that would do away with the annual safety inspection program first created in the 1940’s and scrutinize emissions testing performed in 48 largely Piedmont or urban counties to meet federal clean air regulations.

The chief sponsor of the bill, much of which stems from a 2008 report by the N.C. General Assembly’s government watchdog agency, said he’s open to adjustments that would require safety and pollution control inspections for older models, or possibly requiring longer intervals between inspections.

Better technology and equipment on new cars and smoother roads mean vehicles operate safely for longer stretches of time, said N.C. Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson. The safety inspection, which costs $13.60 alone or $30 when combined with emissions testing, is less necessary today, he said.

“They’re just trouble-free. You don’t have trouble with new cars,” said Bingham, who has an automobile repair shop that performs some inspections. “Normally, it’s taillights, horns and other obvious things.”

Similar bills failed to get traction in 2009. Agencies and outside groups say the safety inspection program prevents accidents by forcing repairs before they become dangerous problems. They say inspections are generating money for the state and garage owners that employ workers in an era of high unemployment.

“The last thing we want is a vehicle to be traveling out there that’s faulty,” N.C. Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said, adding that the goal was to protect people and property.

While DMV records for all of 2010 say faulty windshield wipers and brake lights are the most common items listed among almost 1.2 million reasons for failing safety inspections, more substantial issues such as failing tires ranked fourth. Steering mechanisms and exhaust systems were in the top 10.

Failures just don’t fall to the oldest cars. Last year’s records show 61,000 vehicles from the 2007 to 2011 model years failed inspections. “I don’t think you can afford to do away with the safety inspections,” Robertson said.

Read the entire Rocky Mount Telegram story here.

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