The tedious and laborious task of getting your car inspected could be going out the window thanks to a bill passed by State Sen. Don Huffines (R–Dallas). If enacted into law, Texas would join the thirty-six other states that have abandoned similar regulations.
On Thursday the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 1588 which would eliminate the outdated, but mandatory vehicle safety inspections that consumers must go through annually—a process that Huffines says wastes citizens’ time and money.
“Vehicle inspections do not make our roads safer. They’re just another tax,” he said during debate on the legislation.
The data backs that statement up. Though virtually every state in the nation used to require vehicle inspections, only 15 (including Texas) still subject their citizens to the arduous process that studies show doesn’t make roads any safer and only wastes taxpayers’ time. Vehicles can fail the state-mandated inspection for a variety of reasons, many of which are not safety or emissions concerns. Drivers can then be ticketed by police for failure to display the required sticker.
“Inspections cost Texans an annual $267 million in fees alone. What’s arguably worse is the tax on our time — the program forces more than 50,000 trips to the inspection station every single day, resulting in more than 9 million wasted hours every year,” wrote Huffines in an op-ed last year. “That adds up to $203 million in lost wages, based on average salary data…This type of flat cost disproportionately affects lower-income Texans, and while most begrudge the annual trip to the station, these individuals are truly harmed by this unnecessary and counterproductive mandate.”
That last point may have helped to tip the scales. In passing the legislation, Huffines was joined not just by his Republican colleagues, but seven Democrats as well.
Shortly after passing the measure by a vote of 27-4 the Dallas lawmaker took a bit of a victory lap on Twitter.
— Senator Don Huffines (@DonHuffines) May 4, 2017
After passing the Texas Senate, the legislation will now proceed to the Texas House where an identical version, House Bill 3995 authored by State Rep. Ron Simmons (R–Carrollton), has already passed through committee.
Taxpayers should applaud the passage of this legislation which not only will save them time and money, but limit government in the process.