A bill that would end vehicle inspections in the state of Missouri is again working its way through the state’s House committees, prompting automotive industry associations to speak out against the bill’s consequences if passed.
The bill, H.B. 451, would eliminate the state’s vehicle safety inspection program required by drivers to renew their license plate tags, according to a Springfield, Missouri NBC affiliate. At the end of February, automotive industry trade associations wrote letters to lawmakers advocating for protecting the motoring public through periodic motor vehicle safety inspections and provided information that supports maintaining these programs.
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 be 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 H.B. 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 reasons, we urge the House to reject H.B. 451.”
Currently, inspections, which cost $12, are required for vehicles more than five years old and include checking the vehicle identification number and odometer reading as well as brakes, lights, exhaust, seat belts and more, according to Kansas City’s Fox News affiliate. Lawmakers in favor of eliminating inspections said it could amount to a tax break for consumers.
The bill received preliminary approval from the House in February and is making its way through House committees. The plan still needs final approval before it can go before the Missouri Senate for a vote.
Last year, the same bill, sponsored by Missouri Rep. J. Eggleston (R-2), was dropped from the House calendar and did not go to the full legislature for a vote.