The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 12, 2012

Auto inspection plan has merit

We urge Legislature to steer its passage

The Tribune-Democrat

— While not everyone will agree with Sen. John Wozniak’s auto inspection proposals, we imagine he’s found plenty of support across the state, certainly from those paying the bills.

Count us among the proponents as the Westmont Democrat pushes legislation to eliminate mandated emissions and safety inspections on newer vehicles.

“Once government lays down the law, it’s a long, hard process to get it changed, even after it has outlived its purpose,” Wozniak said about what he considers are obsolete mandates for newer vehicles.

As reported by our Frank Sojak, Wozniak’s efforts merged last week when he successfully amended a Senate bill targeting vehicle emissions with language that would waive the safety inspection for a new car’s first two years.

The amended bill would eliminate the emission inspection for a car’s first 10 years.

We believe both proposals make sense.

While we urge owners to check or have their vehicles checked mechanically on a regular basis and certainly before extended trips, we believe it is a waste of money to conduct emissions and safety checks on vehicles just a few months after they’ve left the showroom.

To their credit, at least some area auto dealers are offering free inspections to their customers on recently purchased vehicles.

“Pennsylvania is one of only 12 states that still have safety inspections at all,” Wozniak said.

We might add that it’s one of only a handful to still have antiquated liquor laws, too, but ...

Wozniak figured that Pennsylvania drivers pay close to $50 million per year for the auto inspections, before any repair costs are counted in.

“For new cars, the safety inspection is pretty much wasted money,” Wozniak correctly stated.

At least one garage owner Sojak talked to saw Wozniak’s bills as a ploy to get re-elected next month by telling people something they want to hear.

Whatever the timing, we believe Wozniak’s proposals are sound and we urge Pennsylvania’s legislators to move quickly to approve them.

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