Saturday, December 8, 2007

Yes to mandatory vehicle inspections

We Canadians pride ourselves as being "different" from Americans, although often we have a hard time saying saying how -- saying we have universal health coverage and gun control and "they" don't really isn't enough. But there is one thing where Americans do have it right, at least in respect of auto safety.

Many if not most US states stipulate that to register a vehicle or to renew a plate sticker, one must subject a vehicle to a mandatory safety inspection every one or two years. This is in addition to the smog test. In Canada, by contrast, only Nova Scotia -- as far as I'm aware -- requires a safety. The other jurisdictions only require a certificate to be produced at the time a vehicle changes registration; by the buyer, not the seller.

Can you imagine how many dangerous cars and trucks are out there because no one has bothered to do routine maintenance? Insurance premiums are crazy, but they'd go down 20% overnight if we could get the unsafe ones off the road until they are road worthy.

It's something we need to consider. If at least some traffic jams are eliminated because of such a change, it would make us more competitive and in our just in time economy we need every edge we can get.

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s.b. said...

Both Ontario and Quebec require vehicle inspections and emissions tests every two years, for cars over a certain age covering almost 60% of the population of Canada

BlastFurnace said...

E-tests yes. But as for safety inspections ... if that's the case, then someone's not enforcing the law. I only had to have my former vehicle, the trusty 87 Olds, safetied once -- when my mother died and the vehicle was transferred to me. That was in 1999. After that, until I disposed of it, I was never asked to have a single safety inspection. Not one. And I only got rid of it last year when I didn't feel safe in it anymore. Where was the MTO from 1999 to 2006? It's not just commercial vehicles that need to be checked out.

Lord of Wealth said...

There are several advantages to inspection of vehicles, yes the purley old and dangerous cars get taken off the road but we would also by default remove old cars which meet emission standards of their day yet are over polluting by todays standards.

It does not however just impact the old junkers it impacts all those cars that asshole gearheads modify for street racing, or in a manner that leaves them less safe than factory setups. Lack of maintenance is one issue but too damn much maintenance, slicks, blowers, nitro kits, cars with engines they were not designed for etc, are just as dangerous as junkers.

I'm all for this kind of move. Lower accidents, street racing, insurance and even some emissions. If we are going to do someting people are going to consider draconian lets go all the way. Lets also cap the Hp on various sizes of cars, no micro or Compact needs more than 110 hp. no sedan more than 200hp etc. access to excessive power encourages its use and increases fuel consumption and pollution.

Lord of Wealth said...

Ontario's test are emmission only every 2 years and a saftey only to be sold.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to break the news from down here, but there is little evidence mandatory vehicle safety inspections do anything but collect more taxes for the state and help mechanics rip off drivers with unnecessary repairs. Many recent research studies bear this out. Only 18 states in the US still have them, and three have bills pending right now to end them. Don't go down that road. Cops can see almost all safety violations a vehicle has from their patrol cars, and pull it over, rather than inconvenience everyone with what is a boondoggle government program.