Ask Advocate inspection sticker.jpg

Photo by VICKI FERSTEL -- A Louisiana vehicle inspection sticker peels away from the windshield of a car driving down Riverdale Avenue in Baton Rouge on Oct. 16, 2016.

Amid skepticism from State Police and others, a House panel Monday killed a bill to largely repeal Louisiana's motor vehicle safety inspection law.

A move to shelve the proposal permanently, cleared the House Transportation Committee without objection.

The measure, House Bill 597, would have generally ended the requirement that motorists have their cars and trucks checked yearly or every other year, depending on where they live.

Instead, motorists would essentially do self inspections, then send forms, and $10.50, to the state Office of Motor Vehicles saying the vehicles met windshield, brake and other regulations.

State officials would then mail forms, which driver's would keep in their vehicles, that said the owner complied with state law.

Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall, sponsor of the bill, said Louisiana is one of 13 states that has motor vehicle inspection laws. Bagley said his legislation would also end what he called a $6 million per year industry in fraudulent stickers.

But state Rep. Terry Landry, D-Lafayette, former superintendent of State Police, said while he understood Bagley's aim the bill was the wrong way to go.

"I think we are sacrificing safety," Landry said of eliminating current rules. "I just fundamentally disagree with your bill."

Louisiana State Police Capt. Greg Graphia told the committee that, under the current law, vehicles have to undergo evaluations at least once every two years.

Graphia said that, when State Police see that a sticker is expired, it often means the car or truck has a serious problem or the driver lacks the insurance needed for renewal.

Bagley said that, even if the law was repealed, law enforcement would still be able to stop vehicles with broken windshields and other problems.

The bill would have excluded five parishes from the repeal in areas with air emission problems, including East Baton Rouge Parish, as well as school buses and commercial trucks.

Follow Will Sentell on Twitter, @WillSentell.