Texas bill to eliminate vehicle safety inspections headed to Gov. Abbott’s desk: What this could mean for drivers

AUSTIN – The Texas Senate voted 20-11 to advance House Bill 3297, which would kill vehicle safety inspections for non-commercial cars.

NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported that some Republican lawmakers have tried for years to get rid of Texas’ inspection program, saying inspections are “an inconvenience to drivers and do not improve road safety.”

However, some lawmakers believe that if vehicle safety inspections aren’t required, drivers’ lives are at stake.

“It found that states that have vehicle safety inspections have 5.5% fewer fatalities per year than states that don’t have inspection programs. In Texas that’s 261 dead people every single year,” Sen. Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) is quoted saying by NBC 5.

Now, state lawmakers have voted to end inspections, so you’ll no longer have to get your brake lights, windshield wipers, headlights, or tires checked.

If the state officially decides to eliminate safety inspections, drivers in major urban areas would still need annual emissions inspections, which are mandated under federal regulations.

“If your brake light is not operational, the car behind you doesn’t know that you’ve hit the brakes,” said the owner of a vehicle repair shop, Salman Dahabhody.

He said the move could put drivers at risk for more accidents.

“The last thing we need is unsafe cars. This is not something we can leave to self-governance. The majority of the customers who come to us, if it was not because of the state inspection, they would not get their bald tires replaced or their brakes done,” Dadabhody said.

During the 2017 legislative session, Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) stated that “Vehicle inspections do not make our roads safer — it’s just a tax.”

“It’s over 50,000 people a day, seven days a week that have to do this,” Huffines told reporters after a vote for Senate Bill 1588, which, at the time, passed 27 to 4.


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