Safety inspections for passenger vehicles in Texas

Safety inspections for passenger vehicles in Texas

In 2017, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) commissioned at the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Transportation Research (CTR) to conduct a study with the objective to meet legislative needs inquiring about the efficiency and necessity of titling and inspection of vehicles in the state of Texas.

This was accomplished through 3 tasks:

  1. quantifying the efficiency of the vehicle inspection program;
  2. assessing the safety impact of eliminating the inspection program;
  3. and making recommendations on whether the inspection program should be eliminated as an element of vehicle titling.

The CTR conducted a literature review, public opinion survey, and examination of state inspection databases in order to perform the assessments on the economic and safety impacts of eliminating the inspection program. This study considered only the Inspection Program and did not included an evaluation of safety inspections for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) or emissions inspections for any vehicle.

It was found out that average crash costs related to vehicles with defects are more than $2 billion per year, where most defects are vehicle elements which would fail an inspection. It was also discovered that if the inspection program were discontinued, station owners would lose net revenue of over $131 million per year, the State of Texas would lose revenue of approximately $150 million per year, and vehicle owners would save approximately $16 per vehicle per year, for a collective savings of $307 million. The public opinion survey showed that the majority (68.6%) of Texas drivers polled believe that the inspection program improves highway safety in Texas.


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