Tire dealers and auto repair shops in Virginia recently scored a legislative victory in their fight to overturn a proposal that would do away with the state’s vehicle inspection program.
The battle is taking place in both Virginia’s House of Delegates and senate.
“Three bills involving safety inspections were discussed and voted on in the house” late last week, according to Steve Akridge, executive director of the Virginia Automotive Association (VAA), which represents around 250 members whose businesses provide state vehicle inspections.
Language was inserted into two of the house bills that would allow the inspection program to continue. However, instead of once a year, vehicles would have to undergo inspections every other year. (Another house bill was “killed,” according to Akridge.)
Three bills that would eliminate state vehicle inspections were heard in the senate, as well. They were defeated in what Akridge calls “a big victory” for VAA members.
“The battle is not over,” he cautions. “As we approach crossover today… where all bills in the house go the senate and vice versa, we still have to deal with the two house bills. We are still pushing hard to defeat all measures to move inspections to every other year and we will keep fighting until this is over.”
The VAA “has come a long way” since December 2019, when Virginia Governor Ralph Northam called for the complete elimination of the state’s vehicle inspection program as part of his 2020-2022 budget proposal.
“Phone calls and emails from VAA members have been a big help, as legislators are clearly aware of our position. Our petitions – with over 20,000 signatures – have sent a strong message.”
Currently, all vehicles registered in Virginia are required to undergo one annual safety inspection.
During each inspection, certified technicians confirm operating standards for 21 vehicle systems or elements, including safety components like tire, brakes, steering, suspension, headlights, turn signals and more.
The regulation applies to all vehicles, from personal cars and light trucks to commercial buses and tractor-trailers.
Additional information can be found here.