Nearly all the callers to a recent Driving Miss Crazy Live Chat said they overwhelmingly supported vehicle inspections, but they represent a small voice in the growing debate.
Alabama legislators have been considering instituting a new state law requiring vehicle inspections although the specifics have yet to be clarified. Some states currently require annual vehicles inspections, while others require less frequent vehicle safety inspections. There are also differences in what is inspected, whether it is safety concerns, emissions or something else. A few the state of New Jersey has even rolled back its required stipulations concerning vehicle inspections citing costs and problems associated with managing the system.
Proponents of a state mandated vehicle inspection system in Alabama say they would increase safety, but opponents say the system would simply be a way for the state to generate more revenue and cost drivers money on top of what they are already spending on fuel and insurance. There are more forceful opponents of the state vehicle inspection program: AAA.
Officials with AAA cite numerous problems with administrating the system. They cite cost overruns, poor testing and an inability to determine whether or not the system is even working when it comes to increasing highway safety.
As the debate in Alabama rages on legislators will be left to decide whether or not the program would work in their state and if so, how. They must also find a way to convince what appears to be a decidedly unfriendly populace that having state required inspections would indeed make the roads safer for everyone and not just be a new way to make money.