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Lack of vehicle safety inspections creates more junkers on the road.

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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 11:01 AM
Original message
Lack of vehicle safety inspections creates more junkers on the road.
Has anyone else noticed how many more junker cars are on the road now that Oklahoma doesn't have a vehicle safety inspection program any longer? And I'm not talking about the obvious ones, either. The rusty lime green 1972 Plymouth Fury with holes so big you can see inside the trunk, and a trail of blue-gray smoke a half mile behind the car. I'm talking about late model cars that have been wrecked and not repaired.

This morning, on my way to work, I saw a burgundy Pontiac Grand Prix 4-door sedan. It was probably 4-5 years old, it was missing the driver's door mirror completely. The rear bumper was also gone. The license plate was bolted to what appeared to be the rear bumper impact assembly, which was loose and looked about to fall off. The muffler was inches above the ground, also ready to fall off.

The driver's side front fender, front door, rear door, and rear quarter panel were smashed to hell. The left front wheel was at an angle that indicated bent suspension or steering components.

Cars with missing or broken taillights are also very common, as are the little rice burners driven by kids with blue turn signals. Those really loud, loud, loud mufflers on pick up trucks and rice burners are also annoying, and are illegal according to our laws, but don't seem to be enforced.

I know our inspection program had problems, but I feel this is a serious consumer safety issue. I guess our legislature is too busy drafting bills that discriminate against gay people to deal with issues that have a real impact on public safety.

Our do-nothing legislature is one of the worst in the country, and we can thank all of our elected officials for making their priorities something other than what is best for the people of the state of Oklahoma.

Let's remember this when they are up for election next, and GET RID OF THEM! It's the only way to put Oklahoma in a position where it can compete with other states, for a change.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-15-06 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. To be perfectly honest ...
I haven't.

I'm quite sure there are more unsafe vehicles on the road now than before the end of the vehicle inspection program, so I'm not saying your implication is incorrect. But, I personally haven't noticed it in the dramatic terms you describe. I *have* noticed a lot more people driving around with broken or cracked windshields, though.

Re-instituting the program in any way similar to how it existed before isn't even close to the solution, though. As you note, it had problems. Let me expand by offering my view that the former vehicle inspection program was perhaps the single most corrupt system for implementing safety standards in Oklahoma, and it didn't work. As just the tip of this particular iceberg, anyone could get an inspection sticker. You just had to pay for it. Every town in Oklahoma had at least one inspection station that would "look the other way" at infractions provided you paid them more than what they got from the state for implementing the program, which was essentially nothing. I knew a guy who kept the stickers in his truck. He worked at a service station, handed them out to friends for the face price plus a couple bucks, and to anyone else who wanted one for face price plus whatever he could negotiate. A local bureaucrat who also owned a service station had a similar money making program, and he personally collected thousands of dollars from it every month, mostly by doing "fake" repairs so the vehicles could pass. That is, he'd do enough so that a passing police officer wouldn't notice any immediate problem, charge much less than actual repairs would have cost, and throw on the sticker.

And then there was the political and law enforcement kickbacks and perks.

It was just a disaster, and I think at least part of the reason I don't personally notice more junkers on the road is that I have always seen more junkers than one should see.

I don't mean this to suggest we don't need something, but at the time the program was abolished, it was done so to put an end to the corruption inherent in the way the system was set up. Completely changing it to make it less corrupt was not something anyone had the political will, perhaps even ability, to do at the time, and quite frankly, the public was clamoring for its end. We can blame the legislature if we want, but not before blaming the public itself for *demanding* they end this program. It was an issue candidates ran on, in fact.

As a related aside, I am not a fan of the "throw the bums out" battle cry. That's what Republicans did in 1994, and it's a bit of what they did in Oklahoma in 2004. I don't want to emulate that, especially since doing so in this state pretty much means more Republicans in positions of power.

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shredder54 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. I can't say I agree with you on that . . .
There have been at least half a dozen recent research studies by Merrill, Poitras, Sutter, Hemenway, and others, which you can find on the internet which show vehicle safety inspections don't decrease accidents, remove old cars from the road, or make us any safer. The states that still have these programs keep them because of the fees and taxes they generate, and because of lobbying by special interest groups that profit by them-car dealers, automotive trade associations, and vendors of safety inspection equipment. Here is a link to "The Effectiveness of Vehicle Safety Inspections:http://www.allbusiness.com/specialty-businesses/155310-...
There are many more studies like this showing these inspections are an anachronism, which is why only 18 states still have these inspections, and three have bills up to end them right now. I envy you not having to go through these time wasting and expensive rituals. I live in Utah, we have them here, and they are a pain. I've been robbed many times through the years by incompetent and dishonest inspectors and mechanics using the program to "sell repairs". Take my advice, don't go there.
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-11-08 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yes I seem to have noticed that
If a vehicle is inspected then at least once a year it complies with safety standards.

That said, I know a few folks who cannot afford nice cars and drive old junkers. They are frequently stopped in certain upscale areas of south Tulsa. I've yet to hear anyone say they actually got a ticket though. Seems at least a few cops are using vehicle safety issues as a reason for a traffic stop, an inspection and an inquisition of the vehicle occupants.
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-18-08 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. I did hear about them discussing bringing it back.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 08:01 PM
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VintageGuy Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. Lady on the street after the bumper step incident
Sometimes it not really the safety in the streets that must always be considered. The person driving is always responsible for everything.. One time I remember an old woman stepping down the bumper step and it was like a the car just roar into action.. Boom! the Old lady was found laying in the street.. That's so disrespectful for the driver..
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