Testimony: Moving to Biennial Vehicle Inspections (LD 746)


Testimony in Support of LD 746: “An Act to Modernize the State’s Vehicle Inspection System by Requiring
Inspections Biennially and Allowing for an Electronic Inspection Program”

Senator Chipman, Representative Williams, and the distinguished members of the Committee on Transportation, my name is Nick Murray and I serve as director of policy for Maine Policy Institute. We are a free market think tank, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that advocates for individual liberty and economic freedom in Maine. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on LD 746.

Maine’s vehicle inspection program is outdated and unnecessary. Drivers spend an estimated $16 million—and countless hours—getting their vehicles inspected each year, despite the absence of evidence that mandated inspections increase safety or reduce the number of accidents and injuries on our roads and highways.

A majority of states do not require vehicle inspections for safety. Only 15 states require annual inspections; five others require it only every two years.

A 2015 report from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) that reviewed six rigorous studies examining vehicle safety inspection programs found no statistically significant difference in crash rates, fatalities, or injuries between states with and without inspection programs. 

Law enforcement officers at the state and local level can stop a vehicle if they believe it is unsafe to drive. If the vehicle is an immediate hazard to the public or has caused an accident, the operator could be charged with a Class E crime. Therefore, vehicles can already be deemed unsafe by law enforcement, eliminating the need for all Maine residents to get their vehicles inspected annually. 

Lawmakers should repeal Maine’s vehicle inspection mandate entirely, at least for non commercial vehicles. If the program must exist, requiring inspections every other year instead of annually is the bare minimum change needed.

Please deem LD 746 “Ought To Pass” and work to save Mainers from being nickel-and-dimed by their government. Times are hard enough. Thank you for your time and consideration.