NJ ending mechanics inspections for vehicles

A New Jersey auto inspection employee connects a cord from the computer to an on-board-diganostic (OBD) computer under the dashboard of a car at the inspection station in Lawrence Township. N.J., Monday, Aug. 4, 2003. Monday is the first day for the new OBD emissions test in the state. Instead of placing vehicles on a dynamometer, which is seen under the rear wheels, officials are plugging into computers in vehicles made in 1998 or later. The system checks whether the computer and pollution control system are functioning instead of reading emissions from the tailpipe. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)

July 30, 2010 5:44:21 PM PDT
Motorists in New Jersey will soon no longer worry about the red sticker of failure if their vehicles have cracked windshields, worn wipers or bad brakes.

Saturday is the last day the state will inspect motor vehicles for mechanical problems. New Jersey will become the 30th state that doesn't look for bald tires, silent horns, or non-working lights and turn signals.

Inspection stations will just check emissions on vehicles five years or older starting Monday.

School buses, limousines, jitneys, taxis and other commercial-plated vehicles will still be checked for emissions and mechanical defects.

The changes will save the state about $17 million, Motor Vehicle Commission administrator Raymond Martinez said. Most of the savings come from scrapping 2.4 million inspections and re-inspections performed each year and by shifting new car emissions testing from four years to five years.

The state pays a private company to do the inspections and is charged per inspection.

In addition to the more than two million inspections and re-inspections the MVC conducts each year, an additional 578,000 are done for a fee by more than 1,100 licensed, private facilities.

The MVC said data from other states, educational institutions and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were inconclusive whether non-emission inspections made roads safer.