Inspection Rejection

Here is where you can access the full report: Doubtful Return. At the very end you can find the response from both the DMV and DENR (Dept. of Environmental and Natural Resources.)

For your (much easier) viewing pleasure..they have also drafted a Power Point presentation that breaks down the most important information: Doubtful Return PP

I found out about this report when talking with Carolyn Justice about the E-Sticker program. My first reaction…Oh No! How Unsafe! Not quite…when she told me that there was no difference in the number of accidents attributable to faulty vehicles between OUR state and states WITHOUT safety inspection…that seemed to squash my initial feeling. (and how great would it be to never have to wait in line each year at the inspection station…)

What I found most surprising was their observations of inspections only taking a whopping FIVE minutes. Now…I don’t know about you…but I’ve NEVER gone through inspection THAT fast. I was even more surprised when Andrew Chine confirmed…it happens a lot. Andrew runs a great shop out on Market Street and he knows his stuff. In fact, he was a state inspector once! I was there twice and there certainly wasn’t any fast-lane inspecting going on there!

A supplementary recommendation was to get rid of safety inspection on newer models…if the legislators didn’t want to can the program entirely.

The report dives into emissions inspection as well. Not all counties in NC have emissions inspection. The evaluators say that its difficult to pinpoint how much of our pollution comes from cars….and our air quality is actually improving.  They didn’t suggest getting RID of emissions inspection but they did say that the state should consider exempting newer models.

Personally…I’m very happy that there is emissions inspection in this world. It drives me NUTS when I see black smoke pouring out of an exhaust pipe or people driving around in an old jalopy with a cracked windshield and wheels practically falling off.

Evaluators didn’t hold back from tackling management issues at the DMV. Talk about UNDERSTAFFED…88 inspectors?! Of those inspectors…the report says that only 2.5% of their duties deal with safety inspection oversight.

One of the questions I asked Carolyn…wont this hurt business for our local auto shops? Get this…they actually LOSE money on doing inspections. Mechanics charge upwards of $70 an hour for labor….if you take a mechanic off a line of work bringing in $70/hr…and put him on an inspection that brings in $12.75…that’s not the most lucrative deal. When this research was presented to the General Assembly, Carolyn told me that a representative for the mechanic industry was there….when he told her they actually lose money she said, “Well I guess you wont be sad to see the program go away!?” He said, “Well, NO actually.” While they dont like the drop in revenue…inspections keep customers coming through the door. Since moving here…the place where I got MY car inspected…I will probably go back to them for other services because I know they have my car’s background information…I know they did a good job last time…I know they have the magazines I like in their waiting room and my favorite kind of soda in the vending machine.

Andrew Chine at HQ told me that if the program was COMPLETELY dropped…it would be a drop in business for them but it wouldn’t cause a major impact. That’s not the case everywhere. There are indeed some operations that ONLY do inspections. Inevitably, they would be out of business.

I’m sure there will be a lot more debate on this issue. I hear more votes in favor of dropping safety inspection…but the final battle will be decided in Raleigh.

I told you about it…but now you have the responsibility as a voting citizen to help DO something about it. If you have strong feelings either way…CONTACT your Representative and/or Senator. Tell them how you feel and why. You voted them into office…they are your liaison to Raleigh….

Here is the site where you can look them up: Look Up Your Rep. See the right hand column under “Who Represents Me.”

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