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A return to longer vehicle inspections?

Wouldn’t you love to spend more time getting your car inspected? Probably not, but that’s exactly what a shore resident called for at Gov. Chris Christie’s latest town hall.

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During the Q&A portion, Sam Kay of Belmar used his minute in the spotlight to plea for the return of mechanical vehicle inspections, which the state did away with four years ago due to budget constraints.

Gov. Christie hosts a town hall in Belmar
Gov. Christie hosts a town hall in Belmar (Townsquare Media)

Kay said he’s seen too many non-operational headlights and taillights while traveling New Jersey’s roads.

“I think we ought to go back to inspections. Even if it costs us money, I’d know my car is safe,” he said.

Since August 2010, most passenger vehicles have only been required to go through emissions testing every other year.

Christie was shocked by the request.

“Sam, you are in the minority,” Christie said over a laughing Belmar crowd. “I’ve not found many people who say ‘Get me back to that inspection station as quickly as possible.’”

Christie noted the elimination of mechanical inspections has been well received by nearly everyone in the state, and statistics have not pointed to an increase in accidents or problems caused by mechanical failure.

“I don’t think that we’re going to go back to it,” he said. “Unless I see from the Office of Highway Traffic Safety an increase in mechanically-related accidents, and if I do, then we have to reconsider the policy.”

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