Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves made elimination of vehicle inspection stickers a part of his legislative agenda this year, and a bill to do that cleared the Senate Finance Committee last week – with a little heavy-handed help from its chairman, who declared a close voice vote to be positive for the legislation and wouldn’t permit a recorded vote to be taken.
The bill is likely to clear the Senate, though probably not without some opposition based on the perception that it would do away with a safety protection. That’s an understandable concern, but one that – unlike, say, mandatory use of seat belts – has no data to back it up. Law enforcement routinely spot and stop vehicles that appear to have safety issues, and that would be the case whether there were inspection stickers or not. Reeves also notes that cars and trucks today have many more safety features than they did when inspection rules were the norm around the country.
This appears to be a case where a level of governmental regulation has outlived its usefulness and carries with it a penalty disproportionate to the offense. Little will be lost in terms of safety if inspection stickers go.