- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A state lawmaker is exploring whether Utah should eliminate its safety inspection requirements for cars, a move that would put the state in line with several others that have scrapped such programs in recent years.

Utah state Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, said the current system can be a burden to lower-income people who tend to own older cars that need more inspections, The Salt Lake Tribune (https://bit.ly/1KJvSjB ) reported Monday.

The $15 inspections are required when a car is 4 years old and 8 years old. Cars that are at least 10 years old must be inspected every year.

Utah is one of 16 states that require regular car safety inspections in addition to regular emissions tests. Utah has required inspections since 1936 but has cut back in recent years on frequency.

Thurston told the newspaper he is considering introducing legislation to cut the requirements. He has moved to have lawmakers take up the issue in January but said they may need to study the issue for a few years before acting.

“It’s taking a while to get reliable data and actually understand what’s going on,” he said.

A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found no clear evidence that car inspections reduce accidents.

The report did find that inspection programs do help find safety problems in cars. For example, in 2014, Utah reported more than 47,000 cars failed inspections because of problems such as broken or missing glass or issues with wipers or tinted windows.

The report said that the benefits of safety inspections are hard to quantify because there’s no good national data on crashes and police officers often don’t have time to determine if car safety problems led to an accident.

Thurston said most problems that can lead to crashes involve tires and brakes and are not related to the age of a vehicle. He said the biggest causes of car crashes are human-related such as speeding or distracted driving.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com


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