DC Cancels Mandatory Car Safety Checks


After much deliberation during the last weeks of December last year, the D.C. Council has officially cancelled the mandatory safety inspection for automobiles from the list of district vehicle requirements. According to authorities, there was no clear indication that the safety checks were effective in preventing road accidents or traffic jams caused by poorly maintained and disabled vehicles.

DC Cancels Mandatory Car Safety ChecksCancellation of safety inspections of motor vehicles has raised concerns and various reactions from motorists and safety advocacy groups who are worried that this may just be the beginning of more jurisdictions that will stop safety requirement as well. Other than their safety, local motorist groups are also concerned that they may be required to pay $35 and wait in long queues for emissions tests mandated by federal law. According to experts, the charge for the new safety inspection is the same as the amount back in October 1 when DC also stopped sponsoring the 81-point safety checks. Experts predict that motorists will have to experience waiting for more than 60 minute for their turn in the check up station located in southwest Washington.

Certain insurance providers say that stopping government operated car inspections may be a bad idea particularly when tough economic downturns are experienced by many consumers. According to insurance companies, during the recession most consumers will put off purchasing new cars or vehicles and some may even delay car maintenance until it gets to a point that they need to repair the vehicle or otherwise it will not run.  When this happens, mandatory inspections are the only ways to reduce breakdowns, collisions, and other road accidents.

Center for Automotive Safety executive director Clarence Ditlow said that requiring vehicles to be inspected for safety is very much needed during hard economic times. Ditlow adds that it is during today’s moment of financial difficulty when consumers are on a tight budget, and they will opt to skip badly needed repair and maintenance procedures.

Reports say that the safety checks have stopped the progress of the US’ ability to cut back on capital expenditures by as much as $400,000 annually.  Sources say that mandatory safety inspections are run at a government-operated facility and consume much of the Nation’s budget. After changes in the District of Columbia, only 19 states will be left that will still mandate regular vehicle safety inspections. Safety advocacy groups argue that the current economic situation and hikes in consumer prices should increase the need for mandatory checks to see if drivers are properly maintaining and taking care of their vehicles.