10 WORST BILLS OF THE LAST LEGISLATIVE SESSION
1. California A.B. 859
Instead of having to undergo a smog check inspection every other year, this bill would require an annual smog check inspections for all cars 15-years-old and older. Ironically, the bill would also require that funds generated through the additional inspection fees charged to vehicle owners would then be used to scrap older cars.
2. Colorado S.B. 95
Current law in Colorado only requires that vehicles from model year 1976 and newer undergo emissions testing. This bill would reset the model year target to include all model year 1959 and newer vehicles, including seldom-driven collector items, for required emissions testing.
3. Hawaii H.B. 1878
Tort law is seldom codified into state statute, but this bill aims to do just that by creating a cause of action (basis on which an individual can sue another individual) for maintaining an inoperable vehicle on private property. To succeed in such an action, the inoperable vehicle must directly or indirectly "injure" the person bringing the suit, possibly by decreasing their property value.
4. Michigan H.B. 5897
Michigan historic vehicles owners must pay a registration fee of $30 every 10 years to operate on the state's roads. Historic vehicles that use an authentic Michigan license plate from the vehicle's model year are required to pay a one-time registration fee of $35. Under this bill to pad the state coffers, both registration fees would become due annually at a rate of $30 per year. This fee increase ignores the fact that these older cars are driven about one-third the miles each year as a new vehicle.
5. Nebraska L.B. 688
This bill would expand the definition of "abandoned motor vehicle" to include project cars and trucks that are left unattended for only six hours on private property without valid plates, title or permit, or that are inoperable, partially dismantled, wrecked, junked, or discarded. You heard that correctly! Six hours. In Nebraska, motor vehicles are defined as abandoned for the purpose of allowing state and local authorities to remove them from private property.
6. New York A.B. 1235
This bill provides that no automotive refinish material labeled "for professional use only" can be sold unless the purchaser demonstrates and meets all local ordinances for the use and application of the material. Bad luck for amateur hobbyists who want to paint their own hobby cars.
7. New York A.B. 2800
Commonly referred to as "gas-guzzler" legislation, this bill would charge higher toll and registration fees for vehicles based on the vehicle's weight, emissions and fuel-efficiency ratings. If enacted, a consumer's ability to purchase their vehicle of choice, not to mention vehicle safety, would be dramatic.
8. Virginia H.B. 462
This bill would ban the sale of "any aftermarket exhaust system component" that would cause the vehicle to produce "excessive or unusual noise." Since no definition exists in Virginia for what qualifies as "excessive or unusual noise," this prohibition would effectively ban the sale of any of these parts, generally purchased for their durability, performance and appearance.
9. Washington H.B. 2059
Implementing a vehicle scrappage program, this bill would provide sales tax incentives (for the first $2,000 of tax paid) for trade-in vehicles more than 15-years old that do not comply with emissions standards. All trade-in vehicles would be destroyed, regardless of their historical value or collector interest. Scrappage programs such as these destroy key pieces of America's automotive and industrial heritage, and inhibit restoration projects that rely on these vehicles as a source for parts that are no longer being manufactured.
10. West Virginia H.B. 3087/S.B. 456
Can operating a vehicle with an exhaust system that may be annoying to some be considered a crime against the state? These West Virginia bills endeavor to include vehicles with exhaust systems deemed disturbing or loud in the definition of "disturbing the peace," a crime that carries a fine of up to $1,000 per occurrence, jail for six months, or both. West Virginia currently has no standard on which to base whether an exhaust system is disturbing or loud and these judgment calls would be left to a law enforcement officer's subjective opinion.