Fewer auto safety checks? House committee says 'yes'

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  • richard s salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 12, 2012 9:33 p.m.

    Periodic vehicle safety inspections have long been proven to be unnecessary and ineffective, which is why only 14 states still have these inspections, and in those states they are under fire. This program is an insult to the motorist, it makes the assumption that motorists are lazy, stupid scofflaws that won't keep their cars in order. In actuality, this program is really a clever government-business scam that wastes the motorists time and money, and promotes the up sell of fraudulent repairs to helpless victims.

    Rep.Dougall is an honest and courageous legislator to take on this useless program, I commend him for it, and while I'd like to see it go away completely, as it has in so many other states, any relief he can get the Utah motorist from this RACKET is very much appreciated. Go Rep. Dougall, you are the man!

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2012 6:53 p.m.

    Re: Silence Dogood | 11:01 a.m. Feb. 10, 2012
    "and that a wheel isn't going to come off when it's driving down the highway at 75 MPH."

    I'm much more concerned with the drunk driver or texting teenager headed straight for me than I am about a wheel coming off my car. What it the truth about safety inspections that California knows and we don't?

    Feb. 10, 2012 10:32 p.m.

    Having worked in a garage, I've seen the program work. Many people will run a car until the wheel falls off in traffic, until they repair it. If a garage tells you it needs repair, and you disagree, you have options, from a state officer to getting second opinions.

    After 3 years, every other year is fine. What is the motive behind this, we have had inspections for decades? Do we want junkers driving our streets like third world countries?

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 3:57 p.m.

    @Mr. Bean: I see more problems here with drivers on the freeway going below the speed limit than above it. Every day on my commute I come upon people doing 55-65 when other traffic is doing 70-80. It creates this massive backup because everyone has to hit the brakes then try to go around. You get people slowing down, speeding up, shifting to the left and to the right to pass. It breeds confusion and disrupts the smooth and orderly flow of traffic.

    When on the freeway the rule is "go with the flow." I.E. maintain speed relative to that of vehicles around you. If traffic is doing 65-70 you need to be doing 65-70. If traffic is doing 75-80 you need to be doing 75-80. Move to the left if you need to pass someone, then clear that lane so the next person can do the same.

    If you can't keep up with traffic on the freeway you don't need to be on it.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    Base the inspection interval on miles, not years. Years are almost meaningless.

    Require inspections at:

    1) 50,000 miles
    2) 80,000 miles
    3) every 20,000 miles after that

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    Silence Dogood:

    "Do you really want to be on the road with cars that cannot stop effectively because the tires are bald?

    Do you want to be on the road with car divers who exceed the legal speed limit? There's were the deaths occur. Studies show most property damage and deaths on freeways is caused by speeding. The government and the Highway Patrol almost totally ignore this proven killer. Instead, they make everyone pay an inspection fee to maybe save someone from having a breakdown on the road.

  • Scotty Boy Logan, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 1:14 p.m.

    I worked in the Automotive business for many years, and I saw the way people fix their vehicles. If it is not broken they don't fix it. I can't tell you the amount of cars that came from other states that did not have inspections and how bad they were, brakes, suspension, tires, exhaust, windshields, were not fixed until they failed the inspection. Now I don't like to pay if I don't have to, but to say that safety inspections were and not working is very irresponsible. They have and do work. We need to get the State Legislature out of the mix, and let the DOT set what needs to be done on the inspections. The DOT is the ones that have to deal with the problems that are on the road. Plus they need to tighten up the inspections, there are many state inspection stations that are willing to pass anything, if it is one of their buddies or friends. the thing about the inspections are, you can go to any shop to have them fixed.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    Yes! Less inspections please! All these "safety" inspections are just a gimmick... a way for the state and auto shops to make a quick buck off of people.

    If you want to decrease highway traffic accidents try spending some money to get people OFF CELL PHONES!

  • Alfred Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    Did I see where the annual vehicle registration fee will increase to cover the reduced revenue should the safety inspection be cut?

    Good grief! I had no idea that the government sucked up some of the inspection charge.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    @Noodlekaboodle: "How do you know that the safety inspections don't reduce accidents."

    Some states, Washington for example, do not have safety inspections. Their accident rates likely approximate Utah's.

    "Saying that accidents right now aren't because of vehicle breakdowns could easily be attributed to the fact that we do have safety inspections."

    What's a breakdown? Engine stops running? Pull over and call a tow truck. Brake pads need renewing? Brake pads have a device that squeaks when low. Educate drivers to monitor. Tire tread low? Garages automatically check with periodic maintenance (oil change, etc.). Horn doesn't work? Car owner can check that. Tail/head lights don't work? Cops will pull you over to remind. Otherwise, just look out your windshield as you leave the house. If it looks too dark, get out and inspect.

    "If there is actual data that proves that safety inspections don't reduce accidents then by all means eliminate the program."

    Is there any data that show inspections reduce accidents? Or did the government pull data out of the air and unilaterally decide it knows best? I grant you that the government does own the road, so, naturally it can decide under what conditions a driver can use it.

    "But you can't use the fact that accidents aren't happening now due to vehicle breakdowns to prove your point, because we do have a safety inspection program...."

    The state apparently can enforce inspection sans data.

    The way to reduce accidents on the freeway with the potential for breakdowns is to (1) obey speed limits, and (2) obey other traffic laws such as don't tailgate.

  • donburi South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 11:19 a.m.


    How do you know that the safety inspections DO reduce accidents? A program should be proven effective before implementing. But especially, if it can't be proven justifiably effective after implementing, it should be scrapped.

    No safety inspections in California. No reports of car failure that I can recall ever reported, though I assume there may be a few. But it's not worth charging all drivers $$$millions for the 1% (or whatever small number it is) that do have a problem.

    Crying that safety inspection reduction will cost jobs at repair shops just proves how unnecessary the program is from a safety standpoint. Without any safety argument, it's a waste of time/money for drivers, which is all that should matter.

    Obviously most of the posts here correctly think it's a waste. Isn't the government supposed to represent the people?

  • Silence Dogood Caliente, NV
    Feb. 10, 2012 11:01 a.m.

    It said in the article that equipment failure is not a major cause of accidents. Maybe that's because regular safety inspections are performed.

    10 years ago, I was an automotive tech in Utah. The safety inspection only cost $10 at that time. Most cars passed easily. But then there was the time that we had a guy bring a car in that had no brakes... literally. The pads, the rotors, AND the calipers on all wheels had been worn down until there was nothing left, not even brake fluid (it's kind of hard to keep fluid in the system when the calipers are missing). We asked him how he was stopping and he replied "I just throw it in reverse". We told him that if he tried to drive off we would call the state police. This of course upset him because it was going to cost a couple of thousand dollars to fix the problem. But would you want him driving on the road with you? The cars that did NOT pass inspection usually had bad tires (in the wintertime in Utah driving with bad tires is akin to attempted murder). Do you really want to be on the road with cars that cannot stop effectively because the tires are bald? Safety inspections simply ensure that a car can stop, that the lights and horn works, that the driver can see properly, and that a wheel isn't going to come off when it's driving down the highway at 75 MPH. I'd say that these things are pretty important.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    If we're going to still have mandatory emissions inspections, then I say keep the safety inspection and make it part of the same inspection. The problem is, in some counties in Utah, you don't have to have an emissions inspection. I think the state needs to standardize that. I'm actually on the fence for this issue. I know a lot of people who don't take care of their vehicles, and genuinely do pose a risk to other drivers. But, I think these business owners would do well to make this an opportunity to change their business model, and maybe even increase their profits in the process. Maybe offer a program to get your car inspected annually in exchange for a discount on any repairs they find you need...

    In the end, I guess I'd like to see more concrete data supporting either side. It's easy to point to other states' statistics, but not all of those states have the same driving conditions we do with snow, etc.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 9:58 a.m.

    I'm with DN Subscriber on this one. I can see where the auto repair guys are coming from, but the onus is on them to come up with a new business model, not on the government to send unnecessary work their way. Maybe they can send a postcard once a year educating customers on the benefits of an annual safety inspection (or whatever other service they propose), along with a coupon for that service. Then, let the work speak for itself.

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    Feb. 10, 2012 8:49 a.m.

    This whole program has been a complete scam for too long, get rid of all of it, let the shops do their repairs when other maint is done.

  • BH Tremonton, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 8:48 a.m.

    Great to hear that state safety inspections are cutting back. Disappointed to hear that state safety inspections are not being totally eliminated.

    Only 17 states require inspections on passenger cars. Having lived in South Carolina and Kentucky, which are among the other 33 that do not require inspections, and spending many miles driving in many states, I have seen absolutely no evidence that safety inspections make us any safer on the road. I am absolutely in agreement that the money would be much better spent elsewhere.

    Those that are objecting to the reduction based upon the job loss only validate the belief of most, that the inspections are nothing more than a money maker for the auto shops.

    State Legislatures, please keep on this. Bill by bill, session by session, let's phase out state safety inspections. Let's give people their freedoms back.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    Good grief, people, this is not the end of the world. All this does is remove the 2 and 6 year old safety inspections.

    Why does a 2-year old car need a safety inspection? Waste of time and personal resources. As much as I disagree with all of the anti-government fervor from our State Legislature, this is one proposal that makes sense to me.

  • Vince Clortho S_SPRINGS, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    I can understand the potential hit repair shops will suffer. But this legislation is not about protecting jobs, it's about effect use of government resources. I'm growing weary of the 'This will cost jobs' argument.

    When a particular service or product is inefficient, is outdated, or unable to compete it should be abandoned and not protected...

  • floridadan Palm Bay, Fl
    Feb. 10, 2012 7:32 a.m.

    The problem with letting repair shops do inspections is that it is wide open to fraud. That is one reason other states have dropped auto inspections. In florida we had auto inspections that were run by the state in facilities just for inspections, and it was dropped because they were ineffective and costly for taxpayers.

  • juni4ling Somewhere in Colorado, CO
    Feb. 10, 2012 7:14 a.m.


    Do away with the "safety" inspection all together.

    Talk about a "big government" program.

    Where I live... I pay my taxes on my vehicle every year... And that is it.

    No inspections.

    When I visit "big government" Utah I am surprised at how many "big government" restrictions the voters there have put upon themselves...

    The inspections are a racket, and I think this article *proves* it is a racket...

    The auto-repair workers crying and whining that "big government" should protect their racket... Good grief...

    Get rid of the racket all together...

    ZERO inspections, just pay your vehicle taxes and registration, and let troopers ticket you if your vehicle presents a hazard...

    The whole inspection thing is a complete-and-total .gov protected racket...

    I am lucky to live where I live... No inspections, just taxes. Something breaks on my car, I fix it... A wiper blade gets worn... I replace it when it is convenient to me... Not when a auto shop needs to make a few bucks on my inspection.

    I got gigged on a "broken horn." My horn didn't work on an old vehicle... The shop wouldn't let me pass inspection until I paid them for a new horn... "bbbbut big government mandates that you have a working horn!!!!!" Who cares. I never used the horn, and the one they installed so I could pass inspection quit working a few days after I passed inspection. They just wanted money...

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    What should be a safety check; ends up being a government forced ripoff.
    the safety inspector has you over a barrel; and you are forced to repair whatever they say needs to be done.
    too many people end up paying for repairs that have nothing to do with safety, and more to do with increasing the bottom line of auto shops.
    those places dedicated to only inspections, do not look at the lining of the brakes, which is probably the #1 safety related thing that need to be looked at; if anything.
    when was the last time the police did a sting on a auto shop, to make sure they were not requiring unnecessary repairs to pass a safety inspection?

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 10, 2012 6:52 a.m.

    I live in Washington State. There are no vehicle safety inspections here.
    I used to live in California. There were zero vehicle safety inspections when I lived there.
    I also used to live in Pennsylvania. They had mandatory annual vehicle inspections there. Talk about corruption. If they found something wrong and you repaired it yourself, they would completely reinspect the vehicle and you were guaranteed that they would find something else, real or imagined.

    Many states require safety inspections. Many others do not. The data exists to determine if safety inspections increase safety. All you have to do is pull the data for accidents related to equipment failure. It is my bet that you will not find any difference.

    Get big brother out of our lives.

    Also, please add the check box back that allows us to stay logged in. What a pain having to log in just to click the "like" button.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    How do you know that the safety inspections don't reduce accidents. Saying that accidents right now aren't because of vehicle breakdowns could easily be attributed to the fact that we do have safety inspections. If there is actual data that proves that safety inspections don't reduce accidents then by all means eliminate the program. But you can't use the fact that accidents aren't happening now due to vehicle breakdowns to prove your point, because we do have a safety inspection program....

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2012 11:01 p.m.

    "The bill was a compromise to Dougall's original proposal to do away with most state safety inspections altogether."

    I'd prefer the safety inspection be eliminated altogether. As the article explains, equipment malfunctioning is not the cause of accidents and deaths on the highways. The real culprit is speeding... which the Highway Patrol almost completely ignores. Standard modus operandi for government mentality.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 9, 2012 10:09 p.m.

    Sorry, auto repair guys, the inspection program was imposed on citizens as a "Safety" program, not some sort of "jobs" bill.

    Change your marketing strategy from "state law forces you to patronize me" to something like "see me and make your car last longer and avoid having to buy a new car" and drivers may patronize your new services.

    Although I would have preferred to see the inspection program eliminated entirely, this is a good step in the right direction.