SB 123, Eliminate Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections, would eliminate the annual safety inspection program for automobiles. The legislation was inspired somewhat by a 2008 General Assembly Program Evaluation Division government watchdog report that found the inspection program largely ineffective. The chief sponsor, Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson), noted that new technology and cars in addition to better roads means that cars can operate safely for longer periods of time. The annual safety inspection began in the 1940s but may be unnecessary and cumbersome given the vehicles driven on today’s roads. However, Sen. Bingham suggested that he was open to inspections for older vehicles or approving longer intervals between inspections.
Of course, the car repair shops that participate in the safety inspections are vehemently opposed to any legislation that would rid NC of the inspection program. The inspection cost $13.60 or $30 when combined with emissions testing. Sen. Bingham added that for most cars, usually the only thing “caught” in safety inspections is taillights, horns, and other non-safety, obvious things.
Getting rid of the annual car inspection would be one small step closer to less government intervention into the daily lives of North Carolinians.