Passing the Buck When It Comes To Vehicle Inspections

(Memphis) In 30 days, Memphians may no longer have to wait in those dreaded lines to get their cars inspected.

Not only do most of us hate doing it, it seems nobody wants to be in charge of the testing.

Vehicle inspections in Memphis has become a hot potato that no one wants to handle.

A year ago, the city council decided that starting July 1st 2013 they’d no longer be in the vehicle inspection business.

They thought they’d hand it off to the county, much like the school system.

The county thought they’d hand it off to the state.

Some of those involved are likening it to something you’d see on daytime TV.

City Councilman Lee Harris said, “Long story short it’s become a soap opera. Looks like today the governor is the latest protagonist in this soap opera.”

Vehicle inspections in Memphis are not the states responsibility.

That’s what Governor Bill Haslam’s office told the state environmental agency and Mayors Wharton and Luttrell during a phone conference this week.

Nashville says this is a local issue and it needs to be resolved at the local level.

Harris said, “The governor is unwilling to take a leadership role it seems. He’s just decided it’s really too tough and he didn’t want to make a tough decision.”

Memphis got out of the emissions business because it thought it was unfair only people living in the city had to get their vehicles inspected before renewing car tags.

CAO George Little said, “Clean air quality is a regional issue. Air does not know political boundaries. Ultimately the county does have the health department and is ultimately is responsible for insuring the quality of the air.”

Mayor Luttrell says that’s not so. He’s not taking over testing either, “At this point, we don’t have the authority through the county mayors office to extend this testing across the county.”

Ultimately, what’s at stake are millions of dollars in fines and loss of federal funding by the EPA.

The agency is schedule to assess air quality standards in Memphis next year.

It will likely decide then whose responsibility it is.

Regardless, starting July 1st there will likely be no more inspections until further notice. That’s alright with most drivers who never really liked them anyway.

Motorist Terrance Smith said, “That would be great. That would be awesome.”

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