Does Louisiana really need state inspection stickers for its vehicles anymore?

That's the question being asked in the latest legislative session by one lawmaker.

Rep. Lawrence "Larry" Bagley of Stonewall has filed a bill requiring only commercial and student transportation vehicles needing safety inspection stickers. The bill would not apply to Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston and West Baton Rouge parishes, because the federal Clean Air Act requires those parishes conduct vehicle emissions inspections.

Louisiana has required the safety inspections since 1961. Most vehicles here get tested for the condition of the engine, brakes and equipment such as windshields and turn signals. The sticker, which is proof that an inspection was completed, is required by state law to be displayed on the windshield.

State law requires inspections be done at least every other year at a cost of $10. That fee is divided three ways: $4.75 goes to state-certified stations that perform the inspections; $4 goes to Louisiana State Police; and the remaining $1.25 goes to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles.

For Rep. Bagley, he is questioning whether or not the inspections actually help improve road safety. He says it can be pretty obvious to law enforcement when a car's safety features aren't functioning. A sticker alone won't fix that.

"What does a sticker really do?" said Bagley, who as a former teacher also drove a school bus for about a decade. "Does it really make your car safe?"

Where would the loss revenue for Louisiana State Police then come from? Bagley's bill would compel the state's Office of Motor Vehicles to charge a $5.25 fee for all vehicles that no longer are required to obtain an inspection. State police would receive $4 from that new fee.

It should be interesting to see if this bill passes or not. Most people likely don't mind the $10 fee, but it's the hassle of bringing your vehicle in for the inspection that seems to be the pain.

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