WACO, Texas — A bill that would eliminate vehicle safety inspections in Texas is one step closer to law after a vote in the senate over the weekend.
An amended version of H.B. 3297 passed in the senate and now returns to the house for a vote before heading to Governor Greg Abbott's desk.
Lawmakers behind the bill say the annual inspections are an inconvenience to Texans and do not actually make the roads safer.
Some Texans, including inspectors, are pushing back on the legislation.
Al Siddiq, owner and manager of Al's Drive-Thru Inspection Station in Waco, is calling on lawmakers to stop the progress of the bill.
"It's gonna put Texas lives in jeopardy. It's gonna put more pressure on police officers, as if they don't have enough pressure already," Siddiq said.
"It's gonna put small businesses out of work."
"Inspections are a costly and time-consuming process that provide little benefit to public safety," Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston) said while discussing the bill on Sunday.
A 2018 study from the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Transportation Research found the rate of vehicles with defects was much lower in states with inspection programs versus those without.
Siddiq said his station often finds vehicle problems drivers are unaware of, such as bald tires and faulty lights.
The legislation would also leave Al's without a service to provide beginning in January 2025.
While the bill would eliminate the need for an inspection, a $7.50 fee would be added to drivers' annual registration renewal.