Most Texans grew up with mandatory annual vehicle inspections and wouldn't have thought much about it had the Texas legislature not recently tied it into the vehicle tax law.
But those of us who have traveled to New Mexico or any of the 34 states without them couldn't help but notice that they don't seem to make much difference.
Progressives love regulating anything that rolls -- see the recent fight over Uber for example. So getting them on board would be a challenge.
But at least one Texas state senator, Don Huffines, R-Dallas, is trying to get the law changed. See Vehicle inspections should go, says state senator. Excerpt:
The state of Texas has no idea if its $275 million vehicle inspection program is doing what it is supposed to do, or ever has as far as anyone can tell.
Last year Texas inspectors checked 19 million passenger cars. That’s more than 50,000 safety and emissions inspection trips seven days a week, and more than nine million hours spent by vehicle owners complying, according to Department of Public Safety figures.
The program returns just $125 million of the $275 million generated in fees back to the state.
But there has not been a single audit or study by the DPS chief auditor’s office or the state auditor to determine if vehicle inspections have made Texans safer or allowed them to breathe easier.
As one of the few national studies — by the Government Accountability Office in August 2015 — points out, if you want to know if these programs work in Texas and elsewhere, you’ll have to take the word of the people who run them.
Their word is based on evidence, however scant, that completely contradicts their optimism.
Let's get rid of them. While we're at it, get rid of those annoying and expensive tire pressure maintenance systems, too. That, along with ethanol in gasoline, was progressivism at its worst.