Maine May Exempt Newer Cars from Inspection

Governor Paul LePage is sponsoring a bill exempting vehicles less than 12 years old from state inspection.

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In states that have auto inspections, every year or two, drivers need to bring their pride and joy to a shop for the state's seal of approval in order to keep said car legally on the road. But in one state, the pain may be about to be lessened—at least, for people who drive newer vehicles. Maine is trying to help allieviate this by introducing a bill that will exempt cars less than 12 years old from state inspections.

As reported by WGME, Governor Paul LePage has sponsored LD 1523 or “An Act to Exempt Motor Vehicles Less than 12 Years Old from Inspection.” This follows two other attempts to change the law earlier this year; LD 623 would have required inspections every two years instead of annually, and LD 787 would have repealed inspections entirely, but both bills were shot down in the Committee on Transportation. 

Maine is one of only 16 states that require vehicle inspections. More and more states are reducing or eliminating their inspection programs as evidence shows that they simply don't work. The Maine Wire cites a study from Pennsylvania in which researchers intentionally placed 13 defects into a new car, then took it to several inspection stations to see what happened. On average, the inspectors only found five of these defects...as well as two that didn't actually exist.

Some people firmly believe that inspections are necessary to keep dangerous cars from causing accidents when they rust out and fall apart on the road. But according to The Maine Wire, "Of the six rigorous studies examining vehicle safety inspection programs published since 1990, not a single one found a statistically significant difference in crash rates, fatalities, or injuries between states with and without inspection programs."

Though not a perfect solution, the current bill to eliminate inspections on vehicles less than 12 years old would be a step in the right direction. After all, it does seem rather silly to take a brand new car that's basically off the showroom floor and check to see if a wheel is about to fall off.