ST. GEORGE — Starting in 2018, state-mandated vehicle safety inspections will no longer be necessary to complete yearly registration of noncommercial vehicles.
Gov. Gary Herbert signed HB 265, “Safety Inspections Amendments,” into law Saturday. Sponsored by Rep. Dan McKay, R-Riverton, and co-sponsored by Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, the bill passed the House in a 54-17 vote and the Senate with a 19-6 vote.
While emissions testing is still required in northern parts of the state, Southern Utah residents may simply renew their annual noncommercial vehicle registration without any kind of outside certification starting Jan. 1, 2018.
Currently, Utah is among 16 states nationally to still require the inspections; it is the only state west of Texas to require them.
“Safety inspections cost Utah families money and time, and recent research show there is no benefit to them,” McCay said in a previous interview with St. George News.
During committee proceedings and debates, various studies were presented by both bill supporters and industry lobbyists against the bill, with decidedly mixed findings depending on which side presented their study.
McCay argued that state-mandated safety inspections originated in a time before safety became a major selling point in cars and that the market has since corrected itself by building significantly safer vehicles.
Lobbyists for the bill, such as representatives from the libertarian Libertas Institute, argued that it is the responsibility of citizens rather than the state to ensure vehicles are running safely.
A fiscal analysis found that passage of the bill would save consumers about $25 million annually, while vehicle inspection stations would collectively take an approximately $25 million annual hit to revenue.
Proponents argued the money saved by consumers will go toward better maintaining their vehicles rather than being wasted on potentially needless certification.
- Read the bill: 2017 HB 265 Safety Inspection Amendments, 3rd Substitute
- Contact legislators:
- Bill sponsor: Rep. Daniel McCay | Co-sponsor: Sen. Deidre Henderson
- Southern Utah Sens.Ralph Okerlund, Don Ipson, Evan Vickers and David Hinkins | Listing of all senators.
- Southern Utah Reps. Walt Brooks, Merrill Nelson, Brad Last, John Westwood, Mike Noel, V. Lowry Snow and Jon Stanard | Listing of all members of the House of Representatives.
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