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Joe Marconi

Mandatory State Inspections

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Only 17 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory state inspections. Many feel that the cost of running the program outweighs the benefits. Others say, leave government out of this. Let the people take care of their own car and let repair shops manage these issues. Should there be mandatory state inspections, nationwide? I say yes. There is a movement to pass a law (H.R. 229) that would require all states to participate in a mandatory Safety Inspection Program.


Here’s why I am for this. In my state, New York, we have annual state inspections. My customers come in and there are usually no issues, they pass no problem. But, we get a lot of people that are not regular customers. The owners of these vehicles bounce around from shop to shop; they shop for discount tires, discount oil changes, discount brake job, etc. These people never establish a relationship; consequently their cars are not in tip top shape. They come to me for a state inspection, and many times will fail for a cracked windshield, tires worn due to an alignment problem, broken tail light, torn wipers, parking brake not working and other safety-related items. Without a mandatory inspection, these vehicles would never get the attention they need.


Here’s one more scenario; I do accident investigations, helping the State Troopers and other police departments piece together the reasons for a vehicle accident, mostly when a fatality is involved. While most of the accidents are either driver error or drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a great many of the accidents I see are caused by mechanical failure. The most common reasons: worn tires, worn brakes, leaking wheel cylinders, suspension failure, and others.


I’d like to hear your comments on this, both from shop owners that are from states with an inspection law and those that don’t.

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