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Rep. Ben Baker supports ending vehicle safety inspections

It’s a time-consuming process for Missourians. Renewing the tags for your car means driving to a garage or other auto service business and having your vehicle inspected.

Currently inspections are required every other year for vehicles that are at least five years old.

This year,  a bill that would end safety inspections for non-commercial vehicles in Missouri is moving through the legislature.

The measure, co-sponsored by Neosho State Representative Ben Baker, could save citizens an estimated $30 million in costs for the inspections.

The bill  passed 7 to 2 in a legislative oversight committee but it remains unclear if it will pass the house and senate in the future.

“I am in support and I did vote for it,” Representative Baker says.  “It does have some controversy and we’ll see what happens”

But what about safety?

“The data does not show the efficacy of inspections to insure safety,” Baker states.  When you look at the numbers, it’s just another tax on the people. I am all for finding ways to lessen the burden of things mandated by the state to the people.”

Representative Baker says the expenses add up:

“There are a number of things to consider,” he explains.  “When you figure 12 dollar cost of sticker, when you add in the time to go to the garage, the fuel it takes to go to the garage to get the sticker, it comes to millions of dollars in savings. That’s a big tax break.”

Rep. Baker says safety is a valid concern but do vehicle safety inspections really translate to safety on roads and highways? He says probably not.

“Indiana is very similar in population to Missouri,” Baker answers.  “Indiana has never had vehicle safety inspection but its safety is better than hours. Plus, no one can really prove crashes are something that could have been avoided with a vehicle safety inspection. There’s no clear-cut data.”

Baker says he’ll continue to support the measure as the legislative session continues.

He says the emissions checks that are required in the St. Louis area are not a part of the bill currently under consideration.

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