Skip to comments.Are Texas' auto safety inspections worth the hassle?
Posted on 12/13/2009 9:44:44 PM PST by Dubya
After five years of inspecting vehicles, Dallas mechanic Robert Garcia has seen cars with everything from whisper-thin tire treads to brakes ready to fall off.
Garcia like many insurers, legislators and safety advocates can't imagine how bad the disrepair would be without Texas' yearly required safety inspections. "It would cause a big dilemma on the road," said Garcia, who works at Adkison Tire and Service on Irving Boulevard.
But some states have dropped the basic safety review after driver complaints that they were annoying and unnecessary. And some automobile experts in Texas and across the country say more reliable cars and other safety improvements have rendered the inspections obsolete.
Texas is one of 19 states left that require a periodic safety review down from a peak of 31 states in the 1970s. The District of Columbia recently disbanded its inspection program because of high costs and a lack of evidence that the inspections saved lives.
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...
California has smog inspections but no safety inspection and there’s untold numbers of really dangerous cars running around on the freeways out there. There’s lots of accidents due to bumpers and such falling off those heaps.
The safety inspections might be rudimentary, but I’ve got a pretty good idea how much worse it’d get without the simple filters of the inspection process.
of course. it's a tax.
Cost/taxation issues aside, the safety inspection is something I’m very happy to see here.
Now, the *emissions* inspection is something I could do without.
a state auto inspection implicitly makes the state liable for damages suffered in failure an inspected component. However, as damages to the state aren’t likely to be popular with that axis of evil that includes lawmakers, judges and lawyers, it’s not likely to ever be tried.
They have always done it for the money, same as all other states.
Saw the same thing in Florida after they got rid of vehicle inspections.
Actually, Florida used to have auto and truck inspections, and when I lived there many moons ago, a truck I owned failed the brake test, and on the way home from the inspection station the brakes failed altogether (it was a bad master cylinder). So I can't say the inspections were a waste.
As for the emissions, I don't mind not breathing the unburnt fuel emmitted by 1973 Chevy vans that are running on 5 cylinders. Not at all.
Safety inspections are basically worthless. They dropped them here in Oklahoma a few years ago and I see no change in unsafe vehicles, no more no less. I was an inspector in a dealership and before that in my own shop. There’s no money in it for the shop. With labor rates at $80+ per hour how much time can you spend for 14.50. Plus the reports, necessary equipment, dealing with the state, and every ticked off customer that didn’t pass(remember these are customers, not someone you want to tick off). Its really a conflict of interest for the shop. Doesn’t matter if the turn signal doesn’t work if you won’t use it or you’re to busy on a cell phone to bother. If there’s a program it should be administered by the state, not shops. I do not favor that. I prefer road block inspections and tickets for people that don’t signal, rolling stops, cell phones etc.
Actually, the safety and emissions inspection is more like $35 - if you live in one of the more populated areas.
Seems to me, they should just let cops write tickets for unsafe vehicles. I see them on the road practically every day.
“Seems to me, they should just let cops write tickets for unsafe vehicles. I see them on the road practically every day.”
I agree,just enforce the law
DPS takes it seriously, and I know of several inspection stations that have had their licenses pulled for passing vehicles that don't actually pass inspection. It didn't used to be that way. In the seventies, most stations would pass anything. Most of them just wrote out your inspection sticker and charged you a dollar per headlight for adjusting them. I remember one old guy didn't even get out of his chair. Just filled it out, charged me for adjusting the headlights and handed me the scraper to change the sticker.
Y'know, this thread made me start thinking about the "good old days." I knew so many store owners that were crooked as a dog's hind leg back then.
My only concern about the emissions test is that like many things, the standards get jacked up until it costs a fortune to keep up with them.
How would a cop know just by looking at a car that the brakes are bad, until an accident occurs?
So your neglected truck failed it's inspection...and you drove it home anyway?
They should have impounded your vehicle....or fixed it on the spot.
Stopping is pretty important. No?
IMO...that "inspection" was totally worthless if nothing was done about it....And it sounds like you were lucky maybe...you didn't have an accident...
Not the best "look"...but it's certainly possible on many makes and models.
The inspectors don’t have police power. It is legally up to the owner to determine if the vehicle should be repaired on the spot (which is the idea to sell the program to shops) or to illegally drive an unsafe vehicle home and assume all liability.
He doesn’t. He can see how you drive and stop though. The point is define bad brakes. There’s a very large grey area and not all will agree. The government is VERY bad at these type of definitions so in the end it just doen’t work. Shops that do improper inspections are a problem and they are plentiful. I repeat that shops ARE NOT making a fortune on inspections.
I agree with most that this is just a tax.
But one benefit is that they ask for proof of insurance.
Okay, so you believe that the cops should randomly stop people for roadside safety inspections... while looking in their car windows for ‘possible contraband’? Do you also support random DUI checkpoints?
And how good an idea would you think this stop would be if you had to be somewhere at a set time and you were pulled over despite obeying the law?
I’m kind of shocked to learn that only 19 states require vehicle inspections - but then again, I live in “progressive” New Jersey, where everything has some sort of government control attached to it.
We don’t pay an extra fee for inspection (which includes an emissions test, no exceptions), but registering a simple passenger car costs about $40, give or take. Are there registration fees on top of the inspection fees in TX?
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