KAILUA-KONA (AP) - It could cost nearly $5 more to get a vehicle safety inspection as Hawaii moves to an electronic system.
The state Department of Transportation proposes increasing the safety inspection fee by $4.49 by the end of the year, after public hearings are held on each island. A six-month backlog in updating safety inspection reports has prompted the state to move toward an electronic system.
The state would receive $1.70 from the fee increase and a contractor would receive $1.69, department spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said. The contractor will provide tablet computers, printers and routers to each inspection station. The inspection station would receive an extra $1.10.
But some local inspection station owners are leery of the proposed changes, fearing potential roadblocks, including equipment and training, West Hawaii Today reported.
The current system's problems should be fixed before attempting a new process, said Raymond Ciriako, owner of Precision Auto in Kailua-Kona. "The safety inspections don't work. We need to learn to walk before we can run," he said.
Carla Perea, owner of AutoTech in Kealakekua, said the portion of the safety check fee stations keep doesn't come close to covering costs. Under the proposal, inspection stations would get to keep $15.80. "It's well under what any shop would charge," she said. "It's just not fair."
The state says the new electronic forms will make the process more streamlined and reduce paperwork.
"Basically the same thing is going to be easier to do because it's all tallied electronically," Sluyter said.
The changes would bring the cost of inspecting an automobile or truck to $19.19. Motorcycle or trailer inspections would cost $13.24.
Inspection fees haven't increased since the 1980s, Sluyter said.
Public hearing dates haven't been set.