The last time I visited this topic was back in 2011, with HB540 (although it was offered in testimony that evidently there was a bill in 2015 that I missed, yet it doesn't show up in a quick search), which merely attempted to double the inspection period to 2 years, rather than eliminate altogether (but the prime sponsor advised that he's already developing an amendment to walk this bill back to that same "biennial" requirement). So, progress in that respect, anyway -- at least until they pass the amendment. Here's Rep. Vaillancourt on that previous "compromise" bill, at a time when 30 other states had no inspection requirements at all. I do so miss him in the House. RIP, Steve...
As I had written back then,
This is not about safety. The opposition is to free-market capitalism -- providing what the market wants, rather than what government and its friends want. It's about rent-seeking. It's about protectionism and crony capitalism. This is private business asking government to order you to pay them, for no demonstrable benefit (indeed, quite the opposite), and your government obliging them. "Government force is great. And your constituents love it. Really, they do. Trust us. But they'd never take responsibility for their own safety and preserving the value of their own investments if you don't continue to bring the force of government to bear. They're just too stoopid to take care of themselves if you don't order them to. Well, yes: until they get elected, of course, Senator. Then they're suddenly very wise..." How has the species ever survived...The bill sponsor back then, Rep. Keith Murphy, provided talking points that are still largely relevant, despite the intervening years and the even more liberalizing nature of the current bill:
I will add that:• Annual inspections are proven to be ineffective and an unnecessary cost of time and money for our citizens.
• NH is one of only three states that require statewide testing for both safety and emissions annually.
• This bill would save our citizens $11 million per year in inspection fees while being revenue neutral to the state. This is a free market, pro-jobs bill.
• Emissions testing would not still be required annually, as some have said.
• 30 [today 34] states do not require safety inspections at all, up from 19 in 1976. These include snow states such as CT, MI, CO, NJ, WI, MN, etc.
• Five additional states almost never require inspections (MD, NV, DE, etc).
• Of the remaining 15 states, three require biennial inspections (RI, MO), 12 including NH require annual inspections.
• Of five studies done on this topic in the last 20 years, four show that inspections do not reduce accidents. Cars are better-made and safer than ever, which is why the federal government repealed its mandate.
• Of the 11 states that repealed their inspection mandate, not one has ever re-enacted it.
- Nothing in this bill prevents "courtesy inspections". Go right ahead. Offer them. Nor does anything prohibit a shop from informing a customer in for emissions that there's a recall on his vehicle, no visual inspection necessary. And to the representative whose husband wouldn't have gotten his car looked at without a government gun to his head, well, that's between the 2 of you. Red herrings. Therefore...
- Competitive advantage. Any dealership willing to sell an objectively unsafe vehicle will 1) become known as such fairly rapidly, losing market share, and will thus not be competitive in the market, and 2) be facing consumer product liability lawsuits in short order.
- Conversely, any dealer can offer a "25 point, certified pre-owned safety inspection". They do it now. Hell, they do it here, if we're to believe their testimony. And not because they're ordered to, not because their government wants it, but because they believe their potential customers want it, thereby providing them with -- here's that concept again -- a competitive advantage over their competitors.
- All the arguments for mandatory inspections advocate for increased frequency, not merely the status quo. There is no objective "goldilocks" interval.
- No causative statistical relationship has been offered between more inspections and fewer accidents -- although it must be noted that 94% of accidents were due to 'driver behavior, not 'equipment failure', while the 44,000 'equipment failure' accidents mentioned -- 2% of the total -- happened despite mandated inspections. Which demonstrates...
- It was explained to us why some states repealed their inspections -- and that those aspects don't apply to NH...! -- but we were offered no data on the results of those repeals. I wonder why that might be. Shouldn't it be directly relevant to the argument to repeal is demonstrably bad?
It's stunning -- although entirely predictable, I guess -- how little faith authoritarians have in their childr-- er, I mean their fellow citizens, of course... to match their own conscientiousness and sense of self-preservation. And despite the evidence. Best to exert force. Always.
Goin' down in flames, I expect. Again. Because businesses, run by people, like free shit. And somehow people are always better humans than their neighbors could ever be.
Best to exert force. Always...
Best to exert force. Always...