It’s been 20 years since South Carolina had mandatory safety inspections on vehicles. At that time, almost half of all states had required inspections to ensure vehicles' proper mechanical safety and reduce auto accidents on the road. So why did SC end this in 1995?
At the time, the main argument was the cost of these inspections. A proper inspection took about 20 minutes at a regular service station. However, the cost of it was $3 with only $2.50 actually going to the service station which was causing them to lose money for the time invested.
Another argument lawmakers made was that the inspections didn’t actually prevent or catch any major mechanical problems therefore saying it was a waste of time and money.
However, there are many organizations, such as AAA, that disagree with these statements today and believe vehicle safety inspections play a major role in better safety on the roads. According to a AAA spokesperson, states that still require these inspections see fewer abandoned cars on the highways and less accidents caused by mechanical defects.
Pennsylvania, one of the states that requires inspections, conducted a survey in 2009 and found that when the safety inspection is mandatory, the amount of accidents and related deaths were much less than those states that did not require the inspections anymore.
Among other states, North Carolina is also a state still requiring these inspections and in 2014 they found more than 132,000 vehicles that failed their initial safety inspections. Upon inspection, these vehicle owners can take proper care of the issues that need fixed to return safely to the road. With no inspection, you can imagine many of these mechanical problems go unnoticed until it’s too late.
Although South Carolina is not a state that requires safety or emissions inspections, you can take responsibility for your own safety by making sure your vehicle is checked out each year. Any mechanic shop can check over your vehicle or you can mention it at a simple oil change. There is no price tag on a saved life!