WASHINGTON — The Missouri legislature is considering a bill that would, among other things, repeal the state's vehicle inspection safety program, a move opposed by the Auto Care Association (ACA), Automotive Service Association (ASA) and Tire Industry Association (TIA).
House Bill 451, which covers the registration of vehicles, does not provide reasons for repealing the state vehicle inspection system, which has been in place since 1969 and which — according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol FAQ — has identified over 1 million defects annually. This, the Highway Patrol notes, has "contributed to the continual decrease in the death rate per 100 million miles."
The bill is sponsored by J. Eggleston, a Republican representing Missouri's Second District, which covers parts of four counties north of Kansas City.
Mr. Eggleston — who introduced similar legislation a year ago — told said the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in January he considers the inspection requirement a "significant burden" to Missourians, who are charged $12 for the inspections and have to take time off work to get the inspection.
Missouri is one of only 15 states that have some kind of requirement for periodic vehicle safety inspections. The others are Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
The ASA is urging its Missouri members to contact their state legislators in opposition to the bill.
"Study after study has demonstrated that these programs prevent accidents, injuries and deaths," the ASA wrote in a letter to the Missouri legislature.
In its letter, TIA emphasized that the Missouri inspection program enhances highway safety and saves lives.
"Removing the state inspection program could lead to more fatalities on Missouri roads, unsafe vehicles, and a loss of revenue to businesses and the state," TIA wrote.
The ACA quoted its investigation of the costs and safety benefits of periodic vehicle safety inspection programs.
"The research team strongly recommends the following: Retaining the inspection program and conducting a further study to consider whether potential additional inspection items, such as tire age and recall information, should be included in the inspection program," the ACA wrote.
Separately, law makers in Virginia have voted to raise the price of annual vehicle inspections to $20 from $16.
The provision — included in Virginia House Bill 2514 — passed the Virginia Senate Feb. 18 by a 25-15 vote. It was approved 62-37 by the Virginia House of Delegates one day later. The bill goes to Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.
"It's not a done deal until he signs, but we don't expect any issues," Steve Akridge, executive director of the Virginia Automotive Association (VAA), said.
Supported by both the VAA and the Virginia Gasoline Marketers Council, H.B. 2514 would raise the price of a state safety inspection in Virginia for the first time in 13 years, Mr. Akridge said.