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Need to scratch vehicle inspections
by By Charles Dunagin Enterprise-Journal
Jul 24, 2014 | 103 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There will be more important issues in next year’s session of the Mississippi Legislature than repealing a law requiring annual automobile inspections, but it’s bound to come up.

As a practical matter the law should be abolished — or revised to more reasonable standards.

Passed in 1977 with the purpose of keeping dangerous vehicles off the road, inspections cost a vehicle owner $5 for an annual sticker, with $3 going to the authorized shop where the inspection is performed and $2 to the state. The inspections are supposed to include a long list of safety checks, including removing a wheel to check braking equipment and test driving the car to check alignment.

There’s no way a mechanic can inspect everything required by the law for $3. The best that can be expected is for him to see if the windshield is clear of damage and the headlights and tail lights work. At some shops, all you have to do with a late model vehicle is pay for the sticker.

The Mississippi House has voted several times to eliminate the inspection sticker law, but the Senate has refused to concur. One supporter of the bill, former McComb resident Pat Nelson, now a Republican state representative from Senatobia, claims the state actually loses money on the stickers.

No doubt it will come up again next year, and, as already noted, it’s not a big deal one way or another.

If lawmakers really want to make the roads safer, they could and should figure out some way to enforce an existing mandate that all vehicles carry liability insurance. They also should and could make it illegal for anyone, of any age, to send text messages while driving.

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