Maine lawmakers seek to change car inspection frequency

Sen. Dave Miramant says there isn’t enough data to show a concern for safety.
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 6:06 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Several lawmakers are hoping to eliminate the need for yearly car inspections in Maine.

“I look at it as a safety feature for myself, my family, and the person driving the vehicle.”

Maine law requires annual safety inspections for cars and emissions inspections for those in Cumberland County.

Democratic Senator Dave Miramant is hoping to change that.

“For many reasons, this program should be gone - not to mention cars are much safer with all the systems that have been designed into them,” said MIramant.

The transportation committee held a public hearing Thursday to discuss the bill to eliminate inspections for non-commercial vehicles less than 20 years old.

District Sales Manager Albert Belanger at TBA in Bangor says there is definitely room to loosen the regulations, but getting rid of them could be a safety concern.

“To do solely away with inspections in the state I think is absolutely foolish. When you’re coming to critical parts, rust through the floor boards that fumes could get back in and kill your family, that’s a problem.”

Miramant says there isn’t enough data to show a concern for safety.

He says Maine is just one of 14 states that requires inspections.

“In those other 36 states, there’s no evidence of increased accidents or problems from defects,” said Miramant.

“Our roads are like logging roads. We have a lot of salt, brine that we add, which causes more rust issues and wear on parts than southern parts of the United States,” said Belanger.

The cost of an inspection is $12.50. This is something Miramant says can be unfair for honest technicians or drivers.

“They would come from a garage where they went for their sticker and their garage told them they needed thousands of dollars worth of work. We’d take it apart, and we would find any of it - or maybe one piece of it,” said Miramant.

The transportation committee heard five other bills related to car inspections and will hold a work session next week.

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