On Dec. 2, the Automotive Service Association (ASA), ASA-Midwest and the Missouri Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP-MO) held the second annual Vehicle Safety Inspection Forum. Attendees heard presentations from a number of automotive safety experts, shared their own experiences with safety inspections and collaborated on strategies to improve public awareness of the importance of preventive maintenance.
Forum participants included:
• Doug Woolverton, Hunter Engineering
• Sgt. Paul Meyer, Missouri State Highway Patrol
• JoJo Heselmeyer, Texas Department of Public Safety
• Capt. Lester Elder, Missouri State Highway Patrol
• Paul Rehbein, Missouri State Highway Patrol
• Jade Winfree, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
• Steve Hoskins, Motor Vehicle Bureau, Missouri Department of Revenue
• Ben Steinman, ASA-Midwest
• Mike Moehlenkamp, AASP-Missouri
• Joe Battista, Parsons Engineering
One of the major issues raised during the forum was the lack of data comparing the numbers of automotive accidents, injuries and deaths in states with safety inspection programs to states without safety programs.
Jade Winfree, a senior researcher involved with the recent GAO safety inspections report, said that although the majority of automotive administrators in states with safety inspections were confident about the benefits of the programs, an increase in federal guidance, collaboration and information sharing could improve their overall quality. Capt. Lester Elder echoed Winfree’s remarks about the need for this data at the state level.
Both Hunter Engineering’s Doug Woolverton and Texas Department of Safety’s JoJo Heselmeyer stressed the common-sense element of preventive maintenance and also the difficulty of capturing data. Audience members and panelists offered strategies to improve access to this data, including greater information sharing among vehicle inspection stakeholders, from accident teams to state administrators to shop owners.
Tony Molla, ASA vice president, who moderated the auto administrators’ panel during the forum said, “There is a universal consensus among today’s participants when it comes to the high value of safety inspections. The challenge we face now is educating the public, consumers and policymakers about what we know to be true. We’ve seen the safety issues that can occur in cars, even within a year’s time. These programs allow repairers to identify and fix these problems before the accident.”
For those unable to attend, a video recording of the complete program will be available soon. Next year’s automotive safety inspection forum will be held in Texas.
Donny Seyfer, ASA chairman, who moderated the second panel discussion during the event, said the forum’s success was due in large measure to Hunter Engineering.
“ASA would like to express its sincere appreciation and offer our thanks to Hunter Engineering for its excellent facility and first-rate hospitality, along with that of ASA-Midwest and AASP-MO for their support of this event,” said Seyfer.