Automotive industry trade associations have joined to oppose legislation (House Bill 451) in Missouri aimed at eliminating that state’s premier vehicle safety inspection program.
In letters to Missouri state lawmakers, the aftermarket trade organizations noted the importance of protecting the motoring public through periodic motor vehicle safety inspections and provided information that supports maintaining these programs.
Last week, HB 451 received initial approval in the Missouri House of Representatives. It must also receive approval from the Missouri Senate.
The Auto Care Association, in a letter to Missouri legislators, highlighted a comprehensive University of Texas study:
"After conducting a thorough investigation of the costs and safety impacts of eliminating the motor vehicle safety inspection for passenger vehicles, the findings from this study's analysis indicate that the inspection program saves lives and enhances safety.
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 bne included in the Inspection Program to further enhance highway safety in Texas."
In its letter to lawmakers, ASA lauded Missouri’s nationally recognized vehicle safety program:
“We are writing today in opposition to House Bill 451, which seeks to eliminate the Missouri vehicle safety inspection program. ASA is a proponent of state vehicle safety inspection. Study after study has demonstrated that these programs prevent accidents, injuries and deaths.
“ASA has used the Missouri program as an example for other states of a successful vehicle safety inspection program. Data collected by Missouri in years past has been helpful in better understanding the importance of these programs by comparing states that have vehicle safety inspection programs with those states that do not.”
TIA called for Missouri legislators to oppose the bill:
“On behalf of our members, we urge the House to reject HB 451. TIA believes the Inspection Program in the state of Missouri saves lives and enhances safety. Strong research has been conducted to support this claim.
“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. For these reason, we urge the House to reject HB 451.”
The average age of vehicles on the road today is nearly 12 years, and the largest growing segment of vehicles is 16 years and older. These aging vehicles need to be able to meet safety standards for repair and maintenance in the interest of public safety for all motorists on the road.