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Potential Legal and Personal Ramifications of Fake Car Inspection Stickers Should be Enough to Deter Drivers

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car inspectionAnnual car inspections are one of life’s many “necessary evils.” No one likes the idea of having to spend money every year simply to have someone tell you what else you need to spend money on to fix, but your car should be inspected for serious safety risks. Safety risks many people are increasingly beginning to ignore. About 25% of drivers reported neglecting repairs and maintenance on their vehicles in the past 12 months in one survey.
The New York-area CBS affiliate NewYork.CBSlocal.com recently reported that the number of vehicles driving around with fake, fraudulent, or otherwise illegitimate car inspection stickers is rising, despite the dangers and severity of punishment for the crime. One local driver, Angel Calvo of Putnam County, was even charged with a felony after he was found driving with a fake inspection sticker after being pulled over for speeding.
“Someone being prosecuted with a felony for having a fake sticker, I think, is a very strong deterrent,” said AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair. “These are basic safety pieces of equipment that you need for your vehicles so that you can traverse the road safely, and not cause a danger to yourself or others.”
The issue has become prominent through cases like Calvo and like one from this past October, where a man from the Bronx was caught trying to smuggle 1,000 fake car inspection stickers into JFK International from overseas.
There are an estimated 701,100 automobile mechanics in the U.S., according to to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and many of them, like Kevin Singh have to keep stickers under lock and key because they’re so sought after right now.
“People do come here and they offer me $200, $150,” Singh said of people attempting to bribe him for stickers for their under-serviced automobiles.
With the average cost for auto repair costs in the U.S. being about $305.56 that’s a pretty good deal for would-be fakers.
While it might seem like a good way to save a few bucks in the short term, engaging in this sort of fraud is not only illegal but extremely unsafe. For example, one of the biggest issues mechanics will find during a vehicle inspection has to do with the brakes. Do you really want to save the money today to risk getting into an accident that could cost you so much more than money in the future?