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Utah's car safety inspections are likely going the way of the horse and buggy after a bill was approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

Senators voted 19-6 for HB265, which passed the House last month. The bill would end the requirement that noncommercial vehicles undergo a regular safety inspection, while increasing the cost of vehicle registrations by $1 to fund Highway Patrol efforts.

The House will need to concur on Senate amendments before the bill can be sent to the governor.

Senate sponsor Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, said 34 states have already abandoned safety inspections, with no corresponding increase in traffic fatalities.

She said market forces motivate drivers to purchase and maintain safe cars, and the rate of fatalities due to unsafe vehicles is eclipsed by human error.

"The data shows that it is not the cars that cause the problems," she said.

But Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, said some drivers are unwilling to maintain their vehicles without the requirement to pass a safety inspection.

"We're driving an instrument of death," she said, "that can do harm."

Henderson gave the example of oil changes, saying a requirement in state law is not necessary to motivate drivers to perform routine maintenance.

"Just because we don't mandate something doesn't mean people won't do it," she said. "We want to keep our cars in good working order. We want to be safe."

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