Trash the stickers

A House-passed bill to eliminate state inspection stickers on automobiles should be brought up again next legislative session.

The Department of Public Safety had requested elimination of the program, claiming it was a money-loser for the state, costing more to administer than it is bringing in. The House overwhelmingly passed a bill, but the Senate Finance Committee let a deadline kill it.

When the vehicle inspection program was put in years ago, it seemed like a good thing to get dangerous vehicles repaired or off the road.  Maybe it still would be if vehicles were truly being inspected as the law says they should be.

But that’s impossible, unless the prices for inspection stickers are increased considerably, and there’s no appetite in the Legislature or anywhere else for that.

Think about it. An inspection sticker costs $5. Two dollars of that goes to the state; three dollars to the shop where the vehicle is inspected. There’s no way a shop can pay a mechanic to properly inspect a vehicle and not lose money.

Usually, unless you have a busted windshield, they fill out a form, take your five bucks and slap on a sticker. It’s a once-a-year inconvenience that might as well be eliminated.

Charlie Dunagin, Columnist for the McComb Enterprise Journal.