The state senate says Missouri should get rid of most of its motor vehicle inspection program.
The program is four decades old. It’s been under attack almost from the beginning and has undergone several modifications. In some places, the inspections include exhaust testing for pollutants. A few yeas ago, the inspections were changed from annual to every other year.
Now, St. Joseph Senator Charlie Shields says they are old-fashioned and need to go. He says the inspections probably made sense in the days when vehicles had "rudimentary" suspensions and drum breaks. But he says technology has given motorists sensors telling them if something needs repair.
Shields would still require inspections any time a vehicle is sold and on vehicles with more than 100-thousand miles on them.
But opponents of his plan say the inspections help keep unsafe vehicles off the road…and they fear that drivers won’t properly maintain their cars and trucks if they don’t have to keep them at a safe enough level to pass inspections. One senator who worked on cars in a state without inspections says some of the things he saw were "terrifying."
Shields’ plan has been tacked on to a major transportation bill that will have to run the gauntlet in the House before it can go to the governor for his signature.