Letters 10-14-13


It’s time to change vehicle inspection law

The state motor vehicle department is now holding talks to raise the cost of the annual vehicle safety inspection (West Hawaii Today Oct. 8).

I believe it is time to review the reasons that the safety inspection law was first approved and why those reasons may not be relevant to automobiles that are on the road today. It is time to change this antiquated law that does very little to benefit for our safety and cost vehicle time and money.

Vehicles from the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ’80s had mechanical and electrical systems that were rudimentary and prone to failure, that has improved with the advent of computerized automobiles, LED lights and brake systems that rarely fail, and when any of the above does malfunction, an icon pops up on the dashboard display informing the driver of an issue. Even when a safety check is performed, there is no way to predict an actual timing of an event that the test, I guess, was designed to prevent.

The cost of the inspection may or may not be incidental for everyone, (the cost could easily pay for a nutritious meal for a family of six at home), but, the time expense required to bring a vehicle to the inspection station is a financial burden for every registered vehicle owner in the state.

There would also be a significant cost savings for the state by reducing the computer input time required when a new safety inspection is received, and to verify that the safety inspection is valid each time the annual registration is processed. The county has a very competent police department that is more than capable of issuing a “Fix-it” citation if a vehicle owner fails to heed the vehicle’s malfunction icon and repair a broken tail light.

Right now, a yearly inspection is required on all vehicles, except for new vehicles, which only require a two-year inspection. I propose that a change is made to the length of the vehicle inspection period for all vehicles from 12 months to 24 months.

I believe extending the vehicle safety inspection period to 48 months would be a win-win for the state government, tax payers, as well as vehicle owners.

Michael Flaherty

Kailua-Kona