ERJ staff report (TB)
By Miles Moore, Senior Washington Reporter
Washington, DC - Most commenters on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recommendation that states maintain periodic motor vehicle safety inspections agreed with the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) that such inspections are a good idea.
An association representing state highway programmes, however, said states just don't have the money to implement safety inspections.
On 20 June, NHTSA published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comments on its proposed amendments to its Highway Safety Program Guidelines. Those amendments included a recommendation that states adopt periodic vehicle safety inspections. Such a guideline has existed for years, but the agency has not suggested enforcing it until now.
In a joint comment, RMA and TIA endorsed the safety inspection amendment. â€œAdoption of this guideline in every state will help save lives, prevent injuries and reduce the economic damage caused by preventable motor vehicle crashes,â€ they said.
Joining RMA and TIA in supporting vehicle safety inspections were the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, the National Automobile Dealers Association and Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety. Most of these groups cited the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation study that RMA and TIA also quoted, demonstrating that periodic vehicle safety inspections prevent fatal crashes. Some also cited a similar study by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
State vehicle safety inspections generally cover only passenger cars and light trucks, but the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance said medium and heavy trucks also should be inspected.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and various state enforcement agencies perform roadside safety inspections of trucks, the CVSA said. However, these inspections don't constitute a proper vehicle inspection programme, it said.
Taking the opposite tack was the Governors Highway Safety Association, which recommended that NHTSA eliminate vehicle safety inspections from its guidelines to states.
â€œGiven the requirement for states to target their limited resources on areas where there is the greatest need and on countermeasures that can have the most impact, it is highly unlikely that states will use their resources for periodic motor vehicle inspections,â€ the GHSA said.
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Article from Tire Business