BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The House Transportation Committee approved a bill Monday, May 13 that would eliminate inspection stickers in Louisiana.
Under current law, Louisiana drivers are required to get an inspection every other year. Those drivers can pay for a one-year inspection tag for $10, or a two-year tag for $20.
Currently, Louisiana State Police collects 40 percent of the revenue each tag brings in, the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) collects another 12.5 percent, and the local inspectors collect the remaining 47.5 percent.
Stonewall Republican Rep. Larry Bagley’s bill would eliminate the inspection requirement, but essentially retain the $10 fee by increasing the registration renewal cost. The money that would go to the local inspector under the current system would instead be earmarked for LSP, allowing the agency to hire an additional 150 troopers to patrol Louisiana highways.
“When you add troopers, there are fewer crashes and deaths,” Bagley said. “Inspection stickers are not working. Adding troopers will work."
Bagley says those additional troopers could help identify unsafe vehicles and encourage drivers to fix their issues immediately.
"If you get your car inspected today, drive out on the road, and have your windshield broken, you got two years to fix it. How is that safety?” Bagley asked the committee, which approved his bill 8 to 6. "Walk out in this parking lot and find problems with cars out there and they’ve got current inspection stickers on.”
Bagley says some inspection stations are letting infractions slide by signing off on inspections for vehicles that Louisiana law deems unsafe.
The bills’ opponents argue the proposed system would strip a layer of accountability intended to keep Louisiana roads safe.
“At some point, if we don’t check those kinds of things, we’re asking for accidents,” Rep. Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette, said.
Opponents also testified the bill would put some of the state’s 800 inspectors out of business.
Drivers in the Baton Rouge area would still be required to take their car in for $8 yearly emissions checks, which fall under federal law. Those are generally done in conjunction with inspections, which is why local drivers often pay $18 dollars each year for an inspection and an emission check.
The bill now heads to the House floor for full debate.