To Cut Budget, N.J. Proposes Stopping Mechanical Inspections Of Newer Vehicles

motor vehicle agencyNew Jersey drivers would no longer be required to have their vehicles inspected every two years under a proposal by the Motor Vehicle Commission, a move that could save the state $12 million. In addition, drivers whose vehicles are five years or younger would be exempt from emissions testing under the new plan. The current exemption is for vehicles four years old or younger. The cost-cutting proposals were brought up at an Assembly Budget Committee hearing last night in Trenton regarding the state’s transportation budget.

Motor Vehicle Commission chief administrator Raymond Martinez said the mechanical inspection failure rate of 6 percent wasn’t enough to justify the expense of the program. Twenty-nine states do not do mechanical inspections, he said. 

He said most people self-police their vehicles.

“Most people who have problems with their windshield or have problems with their brakes don’t wait for the every two years,” Martinez said.

He said the elimination of the mechanical inspection program would save $12 million. Parsons is paid $21.95 per test.

In another cost savings example, shortly after he became New Jersey’s transportation commissioner this year, Jim Simpson began asking questions about the Department of Transportation’s “aviation department.”

Simpson, a pilot himself, was surprised to learn that the department had five SUVs and five employees to inspect the state’s 45 airports or wait for the next accident — when the Federal Aviation Administration of National Transportation Safety Board never once asked for one of the department’s files.

Simpson soon made it a one person department and deployed the other employees elsewhere to stretch resources in a cash-strapped department in a cash-strapped state.

“We’re doing that department by department by department,” Simpson told the state Assembly Budget Committee last night in Trenton, likening the transportation budget to a mosaic.

With Gov. Chris Christie opposed to raising the state’s gas tax, increasing tolls or going further into debt, Simpson and other state transportation officials are looking for new ways to save money.

Simpson is looking at privatizing interstate rest areas and selling naming rights to service areas on the New Jersey Turnpike.

“We are … bringing an entrepreneurial approach to the department that questions the status quo and seeks cost savings,” Simpson said. “Metrics are the key to running a large organization. If you’re not measuring, you’re not managing.”

Unlike the more cantankerous education budget hearing that preceded it, the transportation hearing was cordial.

While complimenting the transportation panel for being the most prepared yet, Assembly Budget Committee chair Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden), expressed concern that the “pay as you go” budget philosophy could lead to a crumbling infrastructure and tragedy like the Minnesota bridge collapse three years ago that killed 13 people.

“I don’t want to create a Doomsday scenario, but what happened in Minneapolis could happen here,” Greenwald said.

Still, he praised the transportation panel members for their willingness to answer questions.

“We’re not looking for the answers we want – we’re just looking for answers,” Greenwald said. Star Ledger.

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  1. how about eliminating the need to inspect your car alltogether if I like it I can drive it.
    now most drivers check thir tires and brakes for safety regardless
    and regarding emissions let the environmentalist go somewhere else.

  2. pay the same or more for registrations for vehicles which used to get inspected EVERY year. They didn’t get better at the MVC. The only reason the lines are shorter is because fewer cars are required to get inspected every year. Don’t inspect and cut the fees if everyone is taking care of it themselves.

  3. In canada these inspections do not exist. Not sure how these inspections started but they should get rid of the whole thing. Don’t we live in a free country?

  4. Just another way for Gov’t to be involved in your life. These inspections make no sense. The 29 other states that don’t require inspections do not have a higher accident rate .

  5. All inspections should be eliminated. I can’t afford a new ca, so I will drive mine until its end. I am not going to make any unnecessary repairs on it, but, I will fix brakes, have a working horn etc. in any case. Most people care enough about safety to fix their cars when necessary. Maybe if a car is chugging down the street emitting plumes of black smoke, there can be a law against that. But I say NIX the inspections completely. They cost the state tons of money and waste drivers lots of time. There have been years when I never bothered getting my car inspected and nothing happened (didn’t get a ticket). With the money the state saves, maybe they can eliminate some taxes or tolls on the parkway. How about that?

  6. How dumb. If they want to save money, let them eliminate inspections of OLD cars (mine is a ’93, so I know about these things) which take a lot of time to inspect, reinspect, and reinspect again until they’re happy.

    Just inspect new cars; it’ll take be a breeze and everyone will be happy

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