2016 Bills

HB 319: Repealing Vehicle Safety Inspections

This bill was not considered by the legislature.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

Over the past few decades, several states have repealed the requirement for drivers to have their vehicles annually tested for safety; at present, just 16 states mandate it. According to a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, there is no evidence to indicate that mandatory safety inspection programs reduce accidents. The report demonstrates that crash rates are roughly the same in states that have them as in those that do not.

Building on this momentum, Representative Norm Thurston has sponsored House Bill 319 to eliminate the requirement to perform safety inspections on vehicles as a condition of legally driving in Utah.

A previous attempt to eliminate safety inspections in Utah was met with fierce opposition by the Utah Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety which argued that the safety inspection program was essential and necessary. The final version of the bill, which was signed into law, reduced the frequency of required safety inspections.

In the absence of any data indicating that safety inspections result in a clearly positive increase in driver safety, the requirement should be eliminated. Drivers—especially the poor demographic operating older cars, who may struggle to afford the inspection—should not be compelled to finance an unnecessary government program.