BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One state lawmaker would like to make inspection stickers a thing of the past across most of Louisiana.
Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall, is sponsoring HB 597 this spring at the capitol. The bill eliminates inspection requirements for most personal cars and trucks.
Recently, the state began to offer inspection stickers good for two years. Bagley says that move suggested to him that the stickers were not actually about ensuring public safety, but were instead about collecting the fees.
For each inspection, $4 of the fee goes to Louisiana State Police. An additional $1.25 goes to the Office of Motor Vehicles. The fees generate a combined $7 million for the two agencies each year. The remainder of the fee goes to the service station that performed the inspection.
"When you peel all the rest of the way, what else does it do? Because I really don't think it ensures safety," said Bagley.
However, garage owners and inspectors who work in the field dailt disagree. Jerry Hix, who owns Rapid Lube on Essen Ln. in Baton Rouge, says the main goal of the inspection sticker is to ensure safety by holding people accountable for their vehicles.
"We see mirrors knocked off, we see tires that are bald, we see windshield wipers that don't come on and work," said Hix.
There are a few exceptions to the proposed rule. Commercial vehicles and school buses, for example, would still need to be inspected under Bagley's bill.
"Uber or taxi do many more miles, thousands more miles than we do, so their cars come under greater stress," said Bagley. "Plus, if I'm hiring, I like to be in a safe vehicle. If I'm driving my own vehicle, I know what's wrong with it."
The rule change would also not apply in five parishes – Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and West Baton Rouge – where special emission inspections are required under federal law.
Hix believes the rule would not be enforceable due to the high volume of drivers who cross over parish lines each day.
"The police have enough work to do," he said. "Are they going to be able to stop every car that comes into the five parish area without a sticker to determine if they're supposed to have one?"
Louisiana State Police Lt. Doug Cain and OMV commissioner, Karen St. Germain, say their agencies are mainly concerned about the impact the bill could have on public safety.
Even if the bill were to become law, Bagley says he would still like to see people pay the combined $5.25 that goes to LSP and the OMV, perhaps when getting a license or license plate.
The bill will appear in House committee for debate sometime later this year.