HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At Kahala Shell, the safety check inspection bay is the busiest on the lot. The service station averages about 800 Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections a month, looking for wear and tear that can mean a failing grade.
"Ten, twenty percent of the cars that come through have some defect. Some have multiple defects," safety inspector Bill Green said.
But some lawmakers want to do away with mandatory annual inspections that cost motorists $15 a pop, saying the safety check is really only valid for the day you get it.
"It's kind of in a way like you go and get a full body check up on Thursday, and Friday you drop dead," Sen. Sam Slom said.
Last year on Oahu, 625,468 vehicles were inspected. Of that number, 172,689 failed the safety check because of some defect. And 82,084 had expired registrations that were caught during the safety inspection.
'I think everybody should get their safety check every year. It keeps the road safer," said Jason Creelman of Kapahulu.
"I think it's important for people to keep tabs on how their car is functioning. And things like the brakes, it's an essential," Kahala resident Estaryia Venus said.
The national trend's moving away from government ordered safety inspections.
Slom said the safety check should be voluntary.
"We certainly urge everybody to make sure that their vehicle is safe," he said. "We're just saying that to have the state mandate it, that doesn't guarantee safety."
Green said leaving it up to drivers will guarantee unsafe cars will be on the road.
"They tend not to look at their car," he said. "Look at the tires that are all worn out that we find primarily through safety inspections."
Senate Bill 2625 now heads to the Senate Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee.