Vehicle Safety Inspections Fade into D.C. History

December 31, 2009

The District of Columbia has done away with vehicle safety checks, but car owners still must pay $35 and wait in long lines for federally mandated emissions tests.

The inspection charge is the same as it was before Oct. 1, when the city stopped conducting the 81-point safety inspection. And the wait at the inspection station in southwest Washington can still take more than an hour.

Earlier this year, the D.C. Council scrapped the safety inspection for most private vehicles. Officials said there was no clear evidence the inspections prevented accidents or traffic jams caused by disabled vehicles.

But AAA Mid-Atlantic say inspections do reduce crashes and breakdowns. The group says they are especially important during a recession, when people put off buying new cars.

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