|James “Kimo” Rosen is a retired professional photographer living in Kapa'a|
with his best friend Obama Da Dog, Rosen also blogs as a hobby...
It may be time to take the bus again...
Kimo's world #37
The new Hawai'i safety checks
I lived in Alaska for 30 years and safety checks on vehicles were never required. You would not believe what people drove. Jed Clampett's Beverley Hillbillies vehicle would had be legal tender in Alaska back in the day. Now?
Hawai'i, the state that is the polar opposite of Alaska has adopted computerized digital safety checks that has everyone from the mechanics to the customers saying, "Wednesday, Thursday and Friday." (WTF?)
So far I have been to three safety inspection locations. The first also changed my oil. While my car was up on the rack they noticed a CV joint that might need replacement. In the past CV joints were never even looked at. The irony is that they don't do mechanical work, so finding a CV joint that needed repair wasn't going to pad their pocket books. My car failed.
The next day I go to another place, they have a sign up that says no safety inspections today. The owner told me they lose money on inspections and being that his head mechanic was out sick, he had zero time for inspections. Inspections can take 20 minutes give or take. I was told by the time they pay the state they only net approximately $3.50. out of the $20.00 they charge. Time could be much better spent on a real mechanical problem.
The state really needs to set up it's own safety inspection stations. Unless the place doing the inspections is also finding things wrong they can charge for, like new tires, they wind up losing money.
All three places I went to had a sign advising customers of all the other places to go for inspections. The only reason a business does that is because they do not want your business.
I go to place number three where they said it would be a 45 minute wait. I think they said that only to discourage me to go somewhere else, although I was the only customer there. Fine. I will wait. Ironically I only waited 10 minutes. I called their bluff.
The new safety inspection has the mechanic or shop owner utilizing a state issued I-pad with webcam. The mechanic or safety inspector must do all the work themselves. It used to be you took your vehicle in for your annual inspection and they said, "right signal, left signal,. hit your brakes, OK you passed..." Not so quick anymore muchacho.... The state is putting the burden of inspections and liability on the mechanic and or motor vehicle repair place. You no longer hit your own brakes, they tell you to leave the vehicle and do everything themselves while photographing everything form the VIN number to the tread on your tires.
This place had inspected my car the last 3 years in a row and it never failed. Since the day I purchased my vehicle it always had a ding in the passenger side tail light housing. This time they failed me for it? I begged them just let it go. They explained it's not like the old days, they already took a photo of it and once it's in the computer they are liable.
So, I need a tail lamp housing that nobody in town stocks. The place is kind enough to shop on eBay for me. Maybe I will have the tail light housing in a week or two?
I have a paid receipt but no safety sticker. In the interim if stopped by an officer of the law they can still issue a ticket. There is no guarantee just because you have receipt you won't get ticketed even though you allegedly have 30 days to correct the infraction. Weird law...
Until such time as my part comes in its time to take my chances and drive with an expired safety inspection sticker, or take the bus.
The Bus, no worries of tickets, gas, repairs, insurance, maintenance, registration, auto club memberships etc. It's like having your own personal chauffeur
I think it may be time to retire my vehicle for good! Big brother is everywhere. Life just ain't what it used to be.
The best news is the safety inspection place called and said they found a used tail light housing for half of what it would had cost on eBay.($25.00) They sold it to me for what they paid for it and installed at no additional charge.Plus they issued my inspection sticker! Now that's ALOHA!
More information on the new Hawai'i motor vehicle safety checks;
I also had an opinion article published in today's (10-13-14) Kaua'i Garden Island news;
"Getting harder all the time to discipline children..."