Mandatory state inspections make roads unsafe because they set a “minimum” safety standard which isn’t realistically “safe”.
I realize that this blog article might stir up some troubles but I think it is fair that people stop and think about a few things when they go to get their vehicle “safety inspected”. Here are a few points to ponder when you go to purchase a vehicle that has been “safety inspected”.
“In Missouri inspection stations may charge a fee of up to $12.00 for passenger vehicles and trucks, and $10.00 for motorcycles (Source: mshp.dps.missouri.gov).”
What you should ponder about this statement is that a shop is required to perform a detailed inspection of the vehicle to a minimal standard checking basically the entire vehicle including taking measurements of brake thickness, tires, suspension and steering linkages. You really think they are doing all that for $12? Not to mention the shop is required by State Law to inspect a vehicle within 2 hours after it is presented for inspection and also required to reinspect it within 1 hour when presented after repairs are completed.
As a business owner myself I understand the marketing ideas behind becoming a State Inspection Facility to bring in more repair business by catching issues however, I truly think the state inspection program puts more vehicles on the side of the road and tape on taillights then it does keep the roads safe.
Remember, the state sets a bare minimum requirement for brakes, tires and excessive steering play… basically as long as your lights, wipers and horn works you will likely get a passing sticker and be on your way.
Comparing apples to oranges, here in Illinois there is no mandated state inspection, unless the vehicle has a salvage or rebuilt title or is a hand-built trailer. In my own observations, Illinois seems to have less broken down cars on the side of the road, less quick-fix repairs and less cars putting or rattling as you pass them. The only inspections we really have over here are the occasional emission inspection which is a electronic scan of the OBD II system and that is only if you live in a highly populated area and the state has the money.
So I ask you… Would you rely on a state “Safety Inspection” when you go to purchase a used vehicle at a dealerships or private seller? Your best bet when you are about to purchase a used vehicle is to hire an independent inspector that will professionally inspect every part of your car and tell you what is good, worn, needs replaced and when to run…