Should NH Repeal Vehicle Inspections? - Granite Grok

Should NH Repeal Vehicle Inspections?

Should NH repeal vehicle inspection

Vehicle safety inspections don’t accomplish what they’re supposed to, and 36 states don’t have periodic safety inspections for passenger vehicles according to Wikipedia. A bill introduced this year in New Hampshire would similarly do away with our annual safety inspections. So, should NH repeal vehicle inspections?

House Bill 1114, sponsored by Rep. Conley (Prime), Straf. 13; Rep. Prout, Hills. 37; Rep. Torosian, Rock. 14; and Rep. St. Clair, Belk. 9 would eliminate safety inspections on passenger vehicles not used for commercial purposes.

The Department of Transportation created a vehicle inspection program after Congress passed the Highway Safety Act in 1966. But in 1976, Congress allowed states to abandon their inspection programs.

Fox News, 2015

New Hampshire still requires annual safety inspections. All they prove, essentially, is that your vehicle passes a certain set of standards on the one day a year you bring it in for inspection. Your brakes aren’t worn, your wipers work, so does your horn, and your tires aren’t flat. But it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story of your vehicle, not by a long shot.

If your windshield is cracked, you fail your safety inspection. However, if your windshield isn’t cracked but your defroster does not work – you pass. Personally, I’d prefer a cracked but not foggy windshield than the opposite. I can see past the crack (which I just did, for months,) but it’s a lot harder to see through a frosty mess of fog. If I could only afford to fix one problem, which can be the case for many, I’d certainly prefer to fix the defroster than the crack. That seems safer, no?

While safety advocates argue the inspections are still important, the proposal follows other efforts at the state level to roll back inspections. New Jersey, for example, eliminated their safety inspections back in 2010. And some Pennsylvania lawmakers are pushing anew to get rid of inspections for cars less than two years old.

Fox News, 2015

According to the same Fox News article, most crashes have nothing to do with safety regulations, but driver error. Which seems obvious, at least to me.

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves believes the stickers are used to essentially collect a “$5 tax.”

“Many states are eliminating the inspection sticker as vehicles are manufactured with improved safety features, and I think we should join them,” Reeves said in a written statement. He also complained that state troopers have to spend time inspecting inspection stations, when they are trained to “protect Mississippians’ safety on the road.”

Fox News

Tate Reeves is exactly right. Inspection stickers are a regressive poor tax. In Mississippi, which has since done away with periodic safety inspections, the $5 a year didn’t bring in a lot of revenue anyways. New Hampshire doesn’t regulate the cost stations may charge, but they are generally between $20 and $50.

Let’s hope Rep. Conley’s bill goes through and Governor Sununu signs it, granting more freedom for motorists in the Granite State. Should NH repeal vehicle inspections, you’d have more money and not be any less safe.