According to USA Today, Washington DC has stopped requiring periodic vehicle safety inspections in order to save when it comes to the District’s strapped budget. The DC Council said that stopping the safety exams and emissions tests would save $400,000 and that there was no hard evidence to support the supposition that safety inspection saved lives.
Safety advocates admit that it is hard to connect the safety inspections with car accident data and to prove that car inspections prevent accident injuries in DC, but point to one study that estimates that between one and ten and one and three car accidents involve a poorly maintained car. They also say that people do postpone serious repairs unless forced to fix their car by the government. However, the subject has never been seriously or conclusively studied.
Others worry that this decision will cause states outside of DC consider cutting similar programs.