Attorney General Says Drivers Should Pay For Auto Inspections

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(Memphis) There’s another twist in the on-going battle over who should take over auto inspections in Memphis. The Tennessee Attorney General says it’s the state’s responsibility to run the operation, and that the state can charge you for it.

“I don’t think we should have to pay,” said Memphis driver Annashonica Taylor.

Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper says in order to keep Memphis skies clear and free of pollution, Memphis drivers should shell out the money to keep auto inspection stations up and running. Cooper says the state should oversee those dollars and the operation.

State Senator Jim Kyle asked the attorney general to weigh in after the city of Memphis stopped funding the $2.7 million program and neither Shelby County nor the State of Tennessee swept up the responsibility. The fight could cost the city and county federal funding if pollution testing continuously gets stalled.

“The federal government will give you a chance to fix your problems. If you don’t, the federal government will fix it for you. We can fix it better than the federal government can,” said Kyle.

Up until last week, drivers could pull into Memphis inspections free of charge. Kyle says this area needs to follow the same road map that six other areas in the state already do.

Six other areas in the state, including Nashville, charge drivers around $10 to have their cars tested.

"We're paying a lot as it is. If we have to pay it and it's going to benefit anything, then we should pay it,” said Memphis driver Tony Fowler.

Kyle says the benefits are extremely important.

“This is our air. It's our quality of life. Every person out there jogging is breathing that air,” said Kyle.

Kyle hopes with Cooper ruling air quality is the state’s responsibility, a plan will be in place by the end of the year. Kyle also wants all drivers in Shelby, Fayette and Tipton counties to be included in required auto emission testing.