A bill to scrap auto inspections in Texas for noncommercial vehicles has failed. State lawmakers argument was that the once government-mandated check-ups amount to little more than a hassle and a tax for citizens. There are thirty four states don’t require an inspection. And the federal government quit requiring it in the 1970’s. The real argument is that studies show annual checks of the horn, windshield wipers, mirrors, lights, seat belts, tires and brakes don’t actually improve safety. It is estimated that ending inspections would save vehicle owners a total of $266 million a year. Vehicle emission inspections would still be required for commercial vehicles, which is a sigh of relief for our environment since environmental activists say DFW’s air quality already fails E.P.A. standards. And if older, more pollutant vehicles are on the roads, the issue could get even worse. It is also important to keep those emission tests in place because that’s how you can tell if your vehicle has problems or not.
Our latest change came in March, 2015, when they combined the registration and inspection sticker into one sticker. This alone had been estimated to save Texas over 2 million dollars. If this new bill had been approved, though, repair shops claim that they would see a loss in income because these safety and emissions checks make up 20% of their business. So this would result in them having to cut employees.
Had it passed, Texas would have been the 35th state to get rid of inspections. And, although I would love nothing more than to not have to shell out money every year to get my vehicle inspected (not to mention the time that it takes to get it done), I would rather pay the extra to preserve our environment and not concern my little head about cars broken down in the express lane on the freeway. Although, I know that the car in front of me today that turned on their hazard lights when I was following too close because they were driving 50 in a 70 was not actually breaking down (after all, it is an “express lane”). And they did actually come to a complete stop, which could have resulted in a tragic 100 car pile-up (that’s how many cars were all locking up their brakes behind me). I know the jerk in the car in front of me was bluffing (or trying to teach me a lesson), because as soon as the express lane ended, they turned off their hazard lights and gunned it to a nice 80+mph.
Apparently, I’m still not over it.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Auto Inspections – Comedy Defensive Driving