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Inspecting Inspections: P.E.I. considering changing from yearly vehicle inspections

Charlottetown, P.E.I. — The Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) government has recently announced that it will be reviewing the required frequency of motor vehicle inspections.

Currently, vehicles in P.E.I. need to be inspected every year. However, Ernie Hudson, the province’s minister of transportation, feels that there are many things to consider during the review of potential changes and that annual inspections may not be necessary.

“I think the other thing we have to look at is insurance rates” and any impact MVI frequency would have on them, said Hudson.

Earlier in November, Green Party MLA Peter Bevan-Baker asked the government why safety inspections are done yearly and suggested that P.E.I. shift to what other provinces are doing because the practice is causing financial stress to drivers.

In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, for instance, inspections are done every two years, and some provinces only do inspections at the time vehicles are sold from owner to owner.

Several automotive shops in P.E.I. spoke with CBC News and said that annual inspections are about keeping older cars safe for the road.

“A car that passes inspection with no issues this year, there can be many issues that go wrong within a year: brake work, bodywork, many things,” said Ernie Stanley, who manages Coast Tire in Charlottetown.

Some owners of automotive shops are open to the idea of allowing some leeway for brand new vehicles but feel inspections should be based on how much the car is driven rather than the year it was manufactured.

“If a vehicle is a work vehicle that’s got 40,000 kilometres on it in one year… that should be inspected every year,” Stanley said.

While some P.E.I. drivers feel that annual inspections are a cash grab, Doug Burke, a service advisor at Wendell Taylor’s Garage in Stratford, P.E.I., said it’s more about safety than making money.

“[We] don’t really make money on MVIs from what I am aware,” said Burke. “I’m safety first. You have to make sure it is safe whether it is one year old, 10 years old.”

The review of the need for annual inspections should be complete by mid-December, Hudson said.

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