I wholeheartedly support Governor Ralph Northam's proposal to end yearly state vehicle inspections. I know some may object and say that the inspections are our way to make sure that we and all our fellow citizens get all of the cars on our roads checked for safety. But in actual practice I have never believed that the inspections actually help achieve that goal, they are just a hassle and a tax. Many mechanics don't do full inspections anyway because it is unrealistic to expect them to for $20, and some use it as an excuse to pressure customers to change parts or get work done that isn't really needed. There may have been a time when the inspections made more sense, but most of the cars on the road have an on-board-diagnostics system (all cars made since 1996 at least) that lets the owner know if there is a problem with the power train or emissions system. The only real worry to my mind is that in a visual inspection early warnings of brake failure might be spotted, but brake failure is hard to diagnose and may be missed anyway.

People who don't work on their own cars will still take their vehicles to mechanics who can inspect their cars for them. But for those of us who like to do our own maintenance, this will save us time and hassle. The bottom line is, I could see the point if it was worth it for general safety for all of us, but if we have proof that there is no demonstrable benefit for safety, then get rid of this $20 yearly tax. I think this will be a popular with most Virginians, and I just can't figure out why Governor Northam didn't run on it 2017. I fully support this part of his budget proposal.



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