The Mississippi Senate on Feb. 11 passed a bill that would repeal the state’s annual vehicle safety inspection requirement.
A companion bill in the state House is still under consideration.
Mississippi law now requires vehicles to undergo an annual safety inspection that costs $5. Vehicles that pass the inspection are issued a special sticker to prove compliance. Each sticker includes a displayed expiration date.
Supporters of the inspection-repeal legislation argued that most state inspections aren’t thorough enough to keep unsafe cars and trucks off the road. What’s more, they said, many licensed drivers let the inspection stickers lapse without much consequence.
One supporter of the proposed repeal, Senator Giles Ward (R-Louisville), found a creative way to make his case, according to the Clarion-Ledger. He sent a group of pages out to check the compliance of vehicles parked in Senate parking spaces. Of the 88 vehicles checked, 23 had expired inspection stickers. Two vehicles had no inspection stickers affixed to them.
But the state vehicle inspection mandate still has its supporters. Some, including Senator Perry Lee (R-Mendenhall), argued that inspections need to become more stringent – not eliminated altogether. Further, a repeal will eliminate a major source of state revenue – about $8.6 million annually.
The proposed inspection repeal would not apply to vehicles with tinted windows, school buses, public buses, buses and vans owned or leased by nonprofit groups, limousines, or vehicles in government fleets.