AUSTIN - The Texas Senate has approved a bill that would eliminate the state's mandatory safety inspections for most vehicles.
Texas is one of slightly more than a dozen states that still require safety inspections that test for things like properly-working horns, brakes and brake lights, headlights and seat belts. According to a Senate study, more than 500,000 vehicles didn't pass safety inspection in 2014 and 2015.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Don Huffines, a Dallas Republican. He notes that other large states like California and Florida have dropped safety inspections and they are no longer required by the federal government.
Commercial vehicles would still face safety inspections, and emissions inspections would still be required in the state's most populous counties.
Automotive shops are concerned.
"I don't think it would be a very good idea at all,” Alan's Vehicle certified inspector Benjamin Knight said. “If they’re shutting down the inspection program, like here, that’s all that we do, that’s our main livelihood, then that puts us out of work.”
Brad Updegraff, the owner of Dave’s Automative, says doing away with certain aspects of safety inspections like window tinting or colored lighting, doesn't bother him. But it's when it comes to seat belt and tire checks that he has a problem.
"Is this going to create more traffic problems? Is this going to create hazards, possibly other issues with pedestrians and bicyclists?” Updegraff asked. "The core safety factors, kind of sad to see go."
Motorists' feelings are mixed.
"I'm pretty much fine with it--slightly torn because I don't want anybody driving a car that is about to fall apart,” driver Jason Rose said. "I can see why it would keep people safe but on the other hand, I can see why it's pointless because, again, I can drive off this lot here and something could go wrong and they missed it."
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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