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New Study Shows Importance of Vehicle Safety Inspection Programs

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July 23, 2015—A new study published by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh shows the necessity of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Safety Inspection Program.

Currently, only 11 states require annual safety inspections for personal vehicles, five states require a modified inspection program every few years, and the remaining states have no required vehicle inspection schedule.

Over the past year, an ongoing debate between Pennsylvania legislators has been going on to determine whether or not the annual vehicle safety inspection program is worth requiring of all light-duty (personal) vehicles. A common misconception is that there is a 2 percent inspection failure rate, making it seem like the time and effort that go into vehicle safety are not justified. This study proves otherwise.

The study combined data from anonymized vehicle registration data and anonymized safety data and it calculated that about 12-18 percent of light duty vehicles in Pennsylvania initially fail the safety inspection in a given year, which requires vehicle maintenance. Failure rates were analyzed by taking into account the urban/rural classification, age and the odometer reading of the vehicles.

“This report proves that annual safety inspection programs, such as Pennsylvania’s, are good for the driving public and make our roads safer,” said Jeff Walter, AASP-PA executive director. “Legislators hopefully will look at the statistics in this report and see the benefit of safety inspection programs. In order to keep driving conditions safe, safety inspections must continue to be the necessary standard for all vehicles.”

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