Texas Cars Could Soon Skip Safety Inspections Under Senate-approved Plan

AUSTIN -- Texas could soon scrap vehicle inspection requirements under legislation brought forward by a Dallas lawmaker.Thursday, the Senate passed the bill by Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, who said it such inspections did little to make the roads safe and are just an unnecessary tax on drivers.He pointed to 34 other states that have done away with such inspections, including California and Florida. He said funds used for the program could be used for other efforts to make roads safer with items like guardrails and street lights."The data is conclusive: these inspections have no discernable safety benefit to Texas drivers," he said. He noted other countries have also done away with such inspections.But the move made some uncomfortable.Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, said inspections help ensure cars are properly maintained. He noted an interim transportation report concluded that inspections should continue to keep driving conditions safe until inspection impact could be proven otherwise and that more than 252,000 vehicles failed inspections in 2015."If this bill is passed, I'm going to have trouble sleeping...knowing my grandchildren will be on Texas roads with hundreds, if not thousands, of unsafe cars," Lucio said during the debate.Huffines pointed to a 1976 move by the federal government that allowed states to lift such inspection requirements. He said improvements in design and technology make them unnecessary."It is illegal to drive an unsafe vehicle in Texas," Huffines said.But Lucio countered, "Who's going to decide that?"The bill, which passed 27-4, now moves on to the House for consideration.  Continue reading...

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