Utah Vehicle Inspection Laws Undergo Major Changes

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By now, most Utahns know that the 2017 Utah House and the Senate passed legislation that does away with mandatory vehicle safety inspections.

House Bill 265 generated lots of debate as proponents and opponents cited safety statistics from states with and without mandatory safety inspections. Utah was one of 16 states that required annual safety inspections before vehicles could be registered. Many thought the Governor would veto the bill, but it was signed and the new law went into effect on Jan. 1.

Personal vehicles in Utah are no longer required to have a safety inspection. Commercial vehicles, including farm trucks, are still required to get an annual safety assessment. There is no agricultural exemption for this one.

Sponsors of the bill were Rep. Dan McCay (R-Riverton) and Sen. Diedre Henderson, (R-Spanish Fork). These sponsors reasoned against the safety inspection requirement, arguing that it is the responsibility of citizens rather than the state to ensure vehicles are safe and road-worthy. They also maintained that we are building vehicles now that are significantly safer than older models. As such, they reasoned that a state-mandated safety inspection is simply a cost and a bother to those who own and operate vehicles.

Others, mainly auto mechanics, argued that many people fail to check their vehicles regularly. Without the required inspections, many will drive on bald tires or with burned-out lights or brakes that need service. Windshields and wiper blades were additional items that were referenced with potential neglect.

A fiscal analysis found that passage of the bill would save consumers approximately $25 million annually. Vehicle inspection stations, however, would collectively take a similar $25 million annual hit to their revenue. HB 265 passed the House, 54-17, and the Senate with a 19-6 vote.

To read the full story, written by Clark Israelsen, visit hjnews.com

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