Dean L'Hoste 0

Abolition of Virginia Annual Vehicle Inspections

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In the Commonwealth of Virginia, mandatory yearly vehicle inspections are required. These inspections are done by local, private, service stations and automobile dealerships. The checklist used by the Inspector is provided by the Virginia State Police. The cost to the citizens of the Commonwealth is $16 for cars and $12 for motorcycles.

The reason for this petition is:

1. These checklists can be used subjectively by the business conducting the inspection to charge the consumer for parts and service that are not needed. Example: An airbag light. A service station or mechanic can tell a customer that a $400 module is bad which is causing the light to stay on...when in reality, it could be as simple as a $4 fuse... There is no way for the customer to verify this, short of taking the vehicle to another mechanic...with a "Rejection" sticker on their windshield (see number 3 below).

2. The burden of paying for vehicle repairs on a specific month is unfair to the working class citizens of the commonwealth...especially when considering the state of the economy, and how important personal transportation is. Repairs can easily cost over $1,000 with the advanced technology of today's cars.

3. Current state inspection stickers are removed immediately upon entry into the vehicle by the which point, the motorist is now reliant upon the private repair shop to fix whatever they find wrong (at their price) or get a "rejection sticker" which will get them pulled over and written a citation if it has been on longer than 15 days (for many of us, one pay cycle). At the very least, the motorist should be able to take the vehicle to another business to get the repairs accomplished (with their valid sticker still on the windshield), or, do the repair themselves (if they have that expertise), then get the automobile re-inspected.

4. If the Commonwealth mandates a citizen requirement, the Commonwealth should foot the bill for the execution of that requirement. The inspectors should be state employees...with no interest in the profitability of a business that they are working for. The current system is a recipe for corruption. What interest does a private garage have in tying up an inspector-mechanic for 40-60 minutes for $16 (that goes to the state)...when a mechanic's hourly rate is $65-$100 an hour. The shop is compelled to recover the lost revenue by way of "required repairs" to pass inspection.

5. It is stated that the vehicle inspection program ensures that motor vehicles that are operated in the Commonwealth of Virginia are safe to operate...for their owners and the general public. But this assumes that a vehicle only becomes unsafe after a year without inspection. It is quite possible for a vehicle to become unsafe to operate the day after it passes inspection, due to any number of failures... For an inspection program to be valid, it would require at least quarterly inspections to ensure vehicle safety.

6. The state of New Jersey abolished their vehicle safety inspection program in 2010 due to the program's "Outdated qualities." Mississippi is currently in the process of doing the same, as are North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

7. To use the petitioners most recent experience as an example. In May of 2015 I took my 1997 Jeep Wrangler to a local service station to get it inspected. It failed...with 5 issues sited as needing repair. I denied the repair with the intent of going to another mechanic to get a second opinion. I did this, and the vehicle failed again, but this time, with only 2 issues sited...and only 1 of them being noted in the first inspection. This is clear evidence that the Inspection Program is indeed subjective (I have the documentation to show)...which is harmful to the Citizenry of the Commonwealth. My repair total? $1200. Thankfully, I can afford this...and have another vehicle I can use (it took 5 days to get the repairs the dealership). But what about the tens of thousands of us who do not have the luxury of doling out $1200 on a vehicle repair (or have a second vehicle to get to work with) that must be done on the Commonwealths time schedule?

Bottom line...the Program is antiquated and out-dated. It puts an unfair burden on the working class to conduct vehicle repairs on the Commonwealth's schedule (and by potentially dubious service providers)...instead of on a time schedule when the vehicle owners have the means to pay for the repairs. To add insult to injury? The Commonwealth rakes in, in excess of one hundered MILLION dollars in revenue off of this program*...

This petition has been created in an effort to abolish this antiquated, unfair, and dishonest system for ensuring vehicle safety.

*According to DMV there are 7.5 million registered automobiles in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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