Should Missouri do away with mandatory vehicle inspections?
Is it an issue of public safety, or is it a matter of government interference? That is the question posed by a few state lawmakers who wonder if Missouri should continue mandating vehicle inspections.
"Everybody is upset when their car doesn't pass. But, it is so important," said Macy Havens, Manager of A-1 Custom Auto Care in Springfield.
A-1 also has shops in Arkansas, which does not have a vehicle inspection law.
"We have a lot of stuff that comes in that is literally unsafe. A ball joint is coming apart. You have an exhaust leak that you are breathing that. You barely have any brakes left," Havens said.
Rick Hughlett, Owner of Rick's Automotive, said, "It might be tied together with baling wire and if there is no inspection, there is no accountability, there is nothing to keep that from happening and that type of car will be on the road."
Some Missouri lawmakers have started talking about making Missouri the 35th state not requiring inspections. They claim the current vehicle check process is an example of government overreach.
Hughlett said, "It has been said to me by people that were wanting to repeal this law is, well I know what shape my car is in. I take great care of my car. That is not the point. It is the guy coming down the road at you or at your family. How good of care does he take of his car? "
"When it passes it is great," Havens said. "We want to make sure you are safe, and I am too. I have to drive next to you. "
Those for keeping the law as-is see it a major issue of public safety.
"When you have got a 2,500-pound object coming at you at 65 miles an hour down the highway, you want to know it is going to hold the road and something is not going to get ready to break and hit you and come into your lane," explained Hughlett.
"I am very much for the inspections. It is $12. That is a lot of peace of mind for $12," Haven said.
State lawmakers reached a compromise of sorts a few years back by changing the law that had required yearly inspections. Now, vehicles five years old and newer are exempted. Those older have to be checked every other year.