Drivers encounter safety check delays with fewer stations, longer certification

Local News

If you’re having a hard time getting a safety check, you’re not alone.

KHON2 has received several complaints through the Report It feature on our website from vehicle owners who say it’s taking longer to get them done.

The state modernized the safety check program over two years ago by having service stations use iPads to inspect the vehicles. Since then, we’ve heard there are fewer stations giving safety checks.

Some station owners also say it’s taking longer for them to get certified, so there are times when they can’t do the safety checks.

The state started using iPads to do safety checks in November 2013. Prior to that, there were about 600 stations doing safety checks statewide.

Station owners say many of the smaller mom-and-pop stations decided to stop doing safety checks, which has led to a boon for places like Lex Brodie’s in Kakaako.

The station was doing 200 safety checks a month before the iPad system. Now it’s doing 600 a month.

“Maybe people are shying away from doing it, but we don’t shy away from doing it. We just take them in as they come. It’s definitely an increase in numbers,” said Jim Baldauf from Lex Brodie’s.

At Mr. Motor Service, owner Russell Tang is forced to turn safety check customers away.

“It is an inconvenience to drive all the way down here and then not get an inspection, but it is what it is,” said customer Kyle Swope.

“Definitely we’re going to have to do a safety check somewhere else, probably down the road or wherever,” said customer Hannah Wright.

Tang’s iPad has to remain off until he gets re-certified. It’s been about 30 days, he says.

“I had to take the test. They had to make an appointment to take the test and then from there, you have to make another appointment to re-certify the area,” Tang explained.

Those who give safety checks have to pass a written test every four years to get certified. The work area also has be inspected to make sure they have the proper equipment.

Tang says he’s losing money by turning away customers.

Safety checks may not be that profitable, but they can lead to other business. Vehicle owners are likely to get repairs done that will help them pass their safety check.

Overall, station owners have positive things to say about the iPad system. They say it’s more efficient and allows them to do more inspections per day, and also there’s much less paperwork.

The end and the beginning of the month are busy times for safety checks, because that’s when most people do it. You can avoid a longer wait by getting your safety check done in the middle of the month.

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