Safety at center of debate over Louisiana’s vehicle inspections

Rep. Larry Bagley doesn’t think inspections are really keeping unsafe vehicles and drivers off the road

Louisiana lawmaker wants to end most state-mandated vehicle inspections

(KSLA) - Getting a state-mandated inspection of your car could be a thing of the past in Louisiana.

The House Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee approved a bill Monday that would do away with the stickers, except for schools buses and commercial vehicles.

The proposal now heads to the House of Representatives.

Rep. Larry Bagley doesn’t think inspection stickers are really keeping unsafe cars and drivers off the road.

“If you get your car inspected today, drive out on the road, have your windshield broken – you got two years to fix it. How is that safe?”, the Stonewall Republican asked during the committee hearing.

Instead, Bagley wants to focus on enforcement.

His measure would do away with inspections and add $10 to your registration fee. The money would pay for extra Louisiana state troopers on the roadways to enforce vehicle safety laws.

“The purpose of the legislation anyway is to try to save lives and increase the safety of the citizens of Louisiana. This is money we are spending already that would be used in a better place.”

During the hearing, Bagley cited public support for House Bill 546, saying constituents have responded positively on social media.

He also said he’s spoken with some inspectors in DeSoto Parish who would be okay with the change.

Some state lawmakers raised concerns and asked questions during the committee hearing.

Others are not on board with the change.

Troy Ebarb, of Southern Automotive Service in Shreveport, doesn’t hold back when asked his opinion of the proposal.

“I think it’s a horrible thing to do for the safety of the American public. So many people are unaware of the situation of their car and the state of their car,” he said.

“I think the states doing away with it is doing a great injustice to their people for safety.”

Just last week, Ebarb said, a driver came in to have his car evaluated before a long trip.

Southern Automotive caught a major issue that would have caused one of his tires to separate.

“State inspection catches things like this,” Ebarb said.

The Automotive Service Association is asking Louisiana repairers and vehicle owners to urge their state representatives to oppose the legislation.

Louisiana is among only 11 states that require inspections.

Arkansas and Oklahoma do not.

Texas legislators also are considering getting rid of vehicle inspections.

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