Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gov. Perdue: Assess auto inspection system

Gov. Bev Perdue stuck around for much of the day at the N.C. Governor's Conference for Women, long enough for us to ask her about a couple of hot topics. First up was the state's auto inspection system which this editorial board called a sham on Tuesday.

Perdue said she has told the Department of Motor Vehicles to "give us a detailed assessment of the program." She said there needs to be a "whole examination" because we "need to know if we need this kind of system."

When asked if she would support State Sen. Stan Bingham's proposal that newer cars be exempt from inspection, she reiterated that she wanted to see the results of a review of the system. But she said newer cars are under warranty so she couldn't see why they'd need inspection. "But I look at the safety issue. We have inspections for safety. If there are barriers to that, there's need for a change."

If you're not up on the inspection issue, here's a short synopsis: The N.C. auto inspection system is mired in corruption – bribery, cheating, falsifying documents. Motorists spend $106 million a year on inspection fees. The private garages that perform the auto inspections rake in about $99 million. An investigation by the Charlotte Observer and the News & Observer of Raleigh showed rampant fraud by workers at several of those garages – some gouging customers with unnecessary services and others taking bribes to falsify results to pass vehicles that actually fail. This editorial board endorsed Bingham's idea of exempting newer cars. We also called for more rigorous oversight by the DMV to catch cheaters and dissuade others from becoming cheaters. The current system gives a false sense of safety to the millions of N.C. motorists who drive.

The other issue we asked about was the U.S. Justice Department's approval of North Carolina's new voting maps. Perdue's comments were short and succinct on that matter (She said she found out about the decision by Twitter!): "I was surprised. I had heard there were some issues." Perdue noted that she's really not involved in redistricting as the governor - the legislature handles remapping - but said she expects "there will be further discussion of that preclearance." That "further discussion" will be about possible court action, no doubt. Democrats and other critics, as Observer reporters noted this morn, are poised to sue. They say the Republican-developed plan resegregates North Carolina.

Posted by associate editor Fannie Flono for the Observer editorial board.


Joshua McCorkle said...

I understand the intent, but wouldn't exempting newer cars while forcing older vehicles into such a corrupt system essentially be a regressive tax? That what Perdue is advocating here?

DAMANgoldberg said...

Frankly, the auto inspection system is a scam and a moneypit, which does nothing for safety. Just add $30 or whatever the state's portion of the existing fee to the cost of tags and be done with it, since that is the motivation for the state. Cut the drama, this state gives you enough as it is.

Skippy said...

We the unwashed masses hang on every word that little Ms 42 ILLEGAL flights incoherently mumbles.

Anonymous said...

Any chance Perdue (or McCrory, for that matter) would discuss ending the asinine practice of liquor being sold solely by the state because "we need to know if we need this kind of system"?

Dale said...

The poor pay while those who can afford news cars pay nothing.

The illegals will not bother to get insurance, tags, or inspections.

Oh my I thought the democrats were always for the poor. Perdue took money away from state workers except for the highest paid workers. She is a real piece of work.

Gerald Vonberger said...

I'm not sure how else you would try to make sure that the cars on the road are actually safe to drive. I don't think it's trying to limit people. It's more trying to protect others from someone else's faulty car. Inspections help with all sorts of things like that.

Gerald Vonberger |