Inspection stickers, necessary or a nuisance?

Published 7:00 am Thursday, July 2, 2015

At the beginning of this month inspection stickers in Mississippi became a thing of the past. But is that good, or bad?
For those reading this article decades from now, inspection stickers worked like this. A motorist brought their vehicle to a certified inspection station and the employee ensured the vehicle’s blinkers, headlights, windshield wipers, brake lights and horn all worked properly by having the driver turn them on or off. If one or more of those components are broken, then the owner was required to get them fixed before a sticker could be issued. If a trooper with the Mississippi Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop and found the sticker to be missing or expired, a citation was issued.
Inspection laws vary by state, and vary wildly. Several other states have no inspection regulations at all, while a majority of states in America have some sort of required emissions testing, sometimes combined with safety inspections.
The problem in Mississippi entailed some businesses not providing a proper inspection, but instead just giving motorists a new sticker and taking their $5. Enforcement regulations were put into effect once the problem was discovered, but that didn’t mean every driver received inspections like they should have.
This meant even though the sticker was up to date, the driver would have been unaware their brake lights or turn signal didn’t function properly, possibly leading to an accident.
Which begs the question, why did we need inspection stickers if there were issues with the law’s implementation? That could have been the same question lawmakers posed when they passed a bill repealing the need for them.
However, now that vehicles no longer require and inspection, it can be expected that far more vehicles will be on the roads without properly functioning safety equipment.

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