Texas Legislative Issues/News: Texas is one of 16 states that requires motorists to bring in their automobiles to perform safety inspections. The inspection ensures that automobiles have working brakes, tail lights, horns, and so on so that they can be deemed safe to drive. The process also tests emissions to make sure that the motor vehicles do not put too many pollutants into the outside air. However, a bi-partisan group of Texas state senators has filed legislation that would end annual state inspections of automobiles.
According to the Houston Chronicle, “Sen Don Huffines (R) wrote the bill, but it is also sponsored by Senators Charles Perry (R), Carlos Uresti (D) and John Whitmire (D),” according to the Houston Chronicle. According to the bill’s cosponsors, no evidence exists that the annual inspections ensure safe motor vehicles and therefore constitute an unnecessary tax on both the time and money of Texas motorists. If the bill passes, Texas will lose $150 million in annual revenue. Texas drivers would save nine million hours of lost time spent getting their cars inspected.
As Sen. Huffines notes, according to KTRK, the ABC News TV affiliate in Houston, modern safety features in automobiles make the 66-year-old inspection program obsolete. Such safety features include automatic lane keeping and braking that prevent accidents but are not covered by the standard inspection procedure. Huffines also notes that when Nebraska ended its auto safety inspection program, defect-related car accidents went down in that state.
According to Texas lobbyist and attorney Jake Posey, the bill would also redirect tax money to hire more Texas state troopers to patrol the highways and ferret out motorists who are operating automobiles in an unsafe manner.