RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — To renew car registration in North Carolina, there needs to be an annual safety check and emissions test.
But a new bill in the General Assembly looks to change those requirements.
“We go once a year,” said Steve Silino.
CBS 17 crews met up with Silino as he made his annual visit to Frantz Automotive Center in Cary Tuesday.
Silino was making sure his car got a green light, and the go-ahead, so he could renew his vehicle registration.
“We check the lighting wipers, turn signals, brakes, all that kind of stuff…tires, suspension,” explained the shop owner, Don Frantz.
Silino’s car also went through another test: the emissions test, to make sure there wasn’t too much pollution from his car, emitting into the air.
Senate Bill 341 would drop emissions tests, except for people living in Mecklenburg County, which is the county that contains Charlotte.
Officials said the air quality in Mecklenburg is just too close to the EPA’s safety standard for the Ozone, to remove that requirement.
The proposed law would also change the frequency of annual safety inspections.
For cars less than three years old, no safety check would be needed.
For other cars, the inspection would occur every other year.
“I want to know that the cars on the road are safe. I want to know that when I’m driving, when my family’s driving, my wife and kids are driving, that all the other cars on the road around them are safe,” Frantz said.
Frantz told CBS 17, there are many people who only make car repairs they need to, because they’re forced to, for new registration.
He believes the bill is a safety hazard.
“I want to know that the brakes work. I want to know that the brake lights work. I want to know that the headlights work, the windshield wipers come on when it’s raining,” said Frantz.” “Is it okay to wait two years before they have to replace it or if the windshield wipers quit working? Is it okay to wait two years before they fix that? If the brakes are bad and grinding?”
“There are a lot of people that are not educated about the maintenance of a vehicle,” added Silino.
As for getting rid of the emissions testing, CBS 17 crews found a lot less push back.
“I would be okay if they modified the emissions requirement somehow, some way, especially with newer cars, you know, a car that’s, you know, one, two, three, four years old, probably not going to have any kind of emissions problem,” Frantz explained. “Today’s cars are much cleaner than the cars we had 10 years ago.”
Even if the bill passes in the state house, lawmakers and officials would need to get EPA approval to drop the emissions testing.
Senate Bill 341 has passed one reading in the Senate, and has been referred to several committees.