LAWRENCE TWP. – Commemorating the 39th anniversary of Earth Day, Governor Jon S. Corzine, joined by Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sharon A. Harrington and Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Mark N. Mauriello, kicked off NJ Inspections: Making the Garden State Safer and Greener. The joint agency partnership aims to educate the public about the safety and environmental benefits of the state's motor vehicle inspection program.
“Today, we are announcing a step forward in our ongoing efforts to address global climate change and doing our part, as a state, to promote a cleaner, sustainable environment,” Governor Corzine said. “Through upgrades in the vehicle inspection process and enhanced technologies, attaining our goal of safer, cleaner vehicles will be easier and more efficient. We also will be moving closer to reaching our objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20-percent by 2020.”
In 2007, Governor Corzine signed an executive order to mandate a 20-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and an 80-percent reduction by 2050. Just over a year ago, he signed a bill into law enabling New Jersey to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the first mandatory cap-and-trade program in the nation for carbon dioxide.
In launching the NJ Inspections public education campaign, Governor Corzine noted the important role vehicle inspections play in maintaining excellent air quality and ensuring safer roadways. The campaign will highlight the responsibilities of vehicle owners, communicate federally mandated, clean air messages and provide all the necessary information to prepare MVC customers for an inspection.
“With more than 5.8 million registered vehicles in the State of New Jersey, it is important for owners, young and old, to understand the responsibilities of vehicle maintenance and how it affects the outcome of an inspection,” said Harrington. “Proper care not only ensures a safer vehicle, but also goes a long way in preventing costly repairs that can quickly drain your wallet.”
"Every motorist can help make New Jersey's environment cleaner by driving green," Commissioner Mauriello said. "Following your maintenance schedule helps to improve air quality as well as prolong the life of your car, save gasoline and better prepare you for inspection. When it comes to vehicle maintenance and clean air, all the little things really do add up."
At the center of the campaign are informative videos to be broadcast in a number of venues such as movie theaters, grocery stores, driver education classrooms and YouTube. The videos focus on everything from getting better gas mileage and saving money to improving air quality and road safety through proper vehicle maintenance. The campaign will also utilize printed companion materials that offer valuable owner tips designed to limit pollution, enhance mileage and fuel efficiency and keep vehicles in top working order. The pieces will be distributed with vehicle registration renewal notices, at MVC Agencies and through many other outlets.
In addition to print and broadcast pieces, the NJInspections.com Web site also received an overhaul to ensure that it will be an effective resource for vehicle owners looking for inspection-specific information. Visitors to the site will not only be able to access essential information about the inspection process, how to prepare and what to do if a vehicle fails, but also view the videos and download key materials.
New Jersey’s Enhanced Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program, which was founded in 1938, is a hybrid inspection system made up of 29 vendor-run Centralized Inspection Facilities (CIFs) where more than two million inspections are conducted annually and 1,393 Private Inspection Facilities (PIFs) that conduct nearly 600,000 inspections. The I/M program is an integral part of New Jersey’s efforts to attain and maintain compliance with health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
In May 2008, the State of New Jersey signed a new, five-year contract with Parsons Commercial Technology Group, Inc., paving the way for the next generation of motor vehicle inspections that will officially kick off in November of this year. The new agreement with Parsons will allow the state to realize a savings of $56 million dollars over the life of the contract as compared to the previous I/M contract.
Under the new I/M contract, the state is moving its vehicle inspection program into the next generation through a number of positive upgrades. With many owners having kept their vehicles longer, there are many New Jerseyans visiting the inspection lanes for the first time in years. Gone are the days where all vehicles received the “tail pipe test” to check emissions and were subject to testing using rollers (dynamometers) designed to simulate driving. The streamlined vehicle inspection process now relies on enhanced technology to accomplish its goal safer and cleaner vehicles.