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El Paso drivers react to bill that will eliminate vehicle inspections in Texas

Car on a lift at Firestone in El Paso. May 24, 2023. (KFOX14/CBS4)
Car on a lift at Firestone in El Paso. May 24, 2023. (KFOX14/CBS4)
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A new bill already on its way to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk could get rid of the yearly inspections for non-commercial vehicles in Texas.

“The state of Texas basically deems your car that is street worthy," said Jose Escalera, a mechanic at Firestone in El Paso

Currently, vehicle inspections are still required to obtain a registration for your car.

Escalera said the cost for an inspection will depend on the year of your car but can range from $7 to $18.

During an inspection, a mechanic will look at your wipers, tires, lights, and other things.

“All the lights have to be working. It can’t be flickering on and off and can’t be cracked or broken," said Escalera. “As far as the tires, they can’t be below 2/30 seconds. At that point, you have no traction on the tire and have a blowout and get into an accident”

If you fail an inspection, you won’t be able to get your vehicle registration sticker.

But now, House Bill 3297 will eliminate inspections.

Escalera and other El Pasoans say the inspections keep everyone on the streets safe.

“There’s a lot of factors that rule into the car being street worthy that most people don’t know or about or they do and don’t really care until we come and insect their car and start realizing how important it is," said Escalera.

“It will probably cause further problems down the road. Like if you start having a lot of vehicles that are not necessarily under what we consider the guidelines of how it should be, it’s probably potentially putting people at danger," said Leslie Gonzalez.

Still, other drivers say the bill is a good move.

“I kind of see their point of view. I would say it’s kind of 50/50 on that. It’s just going to have to be on the people who are actually driving to be responsible enough," said Aaron Martinez.

“I think it’s a good idea. I think that the vehicle inspections are more of a headache. I think it should be easier for people to register and drive their car," said Raymond Kelly.

If the governor signs the bill, the changes will go into effect on Sept. 1.

While yearly inspections will no longer be needed, the bill does not do away with emissions tests.

Currently, 17 counties, including El Paso County, require emissions testing.

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