AASP/NJ Leads Large Turnout at State Inspection Public Meeting
Nearly 80 automotive repairers and industry supporters joined the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ), the state’s largest association of collision and mechanical repairers, at the state’s October 4 public hearing concerning proposed changes to the state’s inspection program. Representatives from all walks of the automotive industry as well as concerned NJ citizens not only attended the meeting at Trenton’s Motor Vehicle Commission, but also voiced opinions on rumors of the state overhauling the entire system, which has already seen numerous (and expensive) changes in the past several years. Many speakers gave their views on the state’s suggestion to do away with the “safety” portion of inspection; others had a bone to pick with the possibility of Private Inspection Facilities (PIFs) being eliminated by state facilities in future years. Topics from noise reduction to inspector certification to even cell phone use versus vehicle safety were presented by informed members against projected NJ mandates to the current program.
AASP/NJ members and officials came from all over the state, some from as far as Wayne, to be a part of the Trenton hearing and voice their concerns with the state’s proposals. AASP/NJ President Bob Everett and Mechanical Vice President Roland Bonner were two of many speakers who took issue with the idea of changes to the inspection program. “We need to stick together as an industry and maintain an active voice in important issues like these,” explained Bonner. “We’re not asking [the state] for a handout – we just want to come to a useful compromise for both parties involved. After all the blood, sweat and tears we have all put into our businesses, we deserve at least to be heard.”
“This was a groundbreaking meeting,” said Everett regarding the showing of 70-plus members and affiliates of the auto repair industry. “There was a good showing [of repairers] who all had their own individual issues to present regarding the inspection program. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, we showed the state tonight that we have a voice in this matter, and we are not going to stand quietly by while changes are put into place that will compromise our livelihoods and safety.”
AASP/NJ would like to see a PIF-only system put into place. “As I’ve said before, we strongly feel a PIF-only system is in the best interests of all people in New Jersey, potentially saving taxpayers millions,” Everett added.