GAO: Itês unclear if vehicle safety inspections help
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a recent study that itês unclear whether state vehicle inspection programs help lower accident rates. In the Washington area, Virginia requires regular safety inspections. Only 14 other states require the inspections.
Because (1) vehicle component failure is a factor in only 2 to 7 percent of crashes, and (2) it is hard to factor in greater or lesser enforcement of state traffic safety laws, itês difficult to judge how effective the inspection programs are, the study reported.
State officials are not prepared for new NHTSA requirements. The officials told GAO it is not clear whether or how to inspect new safety technologies, such as tire pressure monitoring systems, required by NHTSA for new vehicles.
GAO concludes that NHTSA should work more closely with the state officials on vehicle inspection programs.Download Bulletin PDF