U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) introduced a new bill that would establish national standards for state-level vehicle safety inspections.
House Bill 229 the Michael Jon Newkirk Transportation Safety Enhancement Act of 2011 would require states to establish minimum annual vehicle safety inspection programs or lose specific federal funds. Other than requiring working seats belts and speedometer, the bill, as currently written, does not address any specific vehicle systems or recommended safety performance.
Jackson-Lee also introduced House Resolution 259, which proposed to establish state safety inspection programs and national standards for state safety inspections of motor vehicles across the U.S. No action was taken on that resolution.
As for HB 229, the bill states that states must enact and enforce “a law that requires the owner of a motor vehicle registered in the state to present the vehicle for inspection on an annual basis to ensure that the vehicle meets or exceeds motor vehicle safety standards to be established by the state.”
The ASA said that less than half the states have vehicle safety inspection programs and of those programs that do exist, many have inconsistent standards. The association said it “supports federal legislation mandating periodic state motor vehicle safety inspection with a minimum level of safety standards.”
ASA said that Missouri and Pennsylvania have conducted studies demonstrating the importance of periodic motor vehicle safety inspections as a deterrent to vehicle accidents, injuries and deaths.