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Leadership

Delegates vote against inspection changes

Sometimes, real leadership in government requires stances that may not be popular with voters. Fifty-one members of the West Virginia House of Delegates did that Wednesday.

They voted against a bill that would have changed the state requirement for annual safety inspections of motor vehicles. Had the bill passed, inspections would have been required only once every two years.

No doubt many car and truck owners would have been delighted at such a change. Annual inspections can be an inconvenience and, at times, quite expensive. But they can be lifesavers, too, especially for people who pay little, if any, attention to the tread on their tires, wear on their brake pads or other safety equipment.

Some advocates of the bill said it was an effort to crack down on dishonest repair shops that sometimes mandate unneeded work to pass inspection. There are very few of them — and state officials should find ways to crack down on them.

But maintaining the annual inspections — on a close vote of 51-48 — was doing the right thing.

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