State inspections and DIY Laws

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  #1  
Old 09-16-10, 06:39 AM
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State inspections and DIY Laws

This is discussion from another thread..But I'll hit on it anyway. The laws in the works for DIY repairs at home are in light of NJ discontinuing the State inspection Program. Safety Items will be required to be repaired By qualified competent professionals.
There are good and bad points to this. Looking past the corruption and nonsense that have plagued the Safety inspection Process for decades, The simple fact remains, that this is the only way to ENSURE that the vehicles operated on PUBLIC roads are Maintained to safe standards.The Attitude amoung the general public is that "My car is Fine, and You Mechanics are just looking to make a buck on me". While in some cases this may be true, Recent Financial situations have made it very difficult to maintain a vehicle. Regardless of whether or not you agree with a shop regarding your inspection results, or your financial situation, or the fact that you Just dont think you should have to care, ....You are risking your own safety , as well as EVERYONE ELSE ON THE ROAD WITH YOU.

True story....An elderly woman lives in a private community, Drives her Grandchildren to and from the schoolbus stop every morning, and parks the car. It leaks oil, the tires are bald, the lights dont work,The windshield is cracked,and the rear doors dont open, But it meets her needs for the 3/10 ths of a mile she drives every day. It hasnt been registerd or inspected since 1995, and nobody noticed since it never leaves the community. Nobody really cared, Because it didnt really affect them. Well..... One particular morning, she packed the kids into the car as usual, and set off toward the bus stop. Upon approaching the Bus shelter at the edge of the community, the brakes failed and she went plowing into the side of the shelter, which by the way was filled with 7 and 8 yr old children waiting for their bus. Luckily, by the grace of God, no-one was killed, but....Who takes responsibility????
Think for a moment.....
Now.....What happens when there are no State Organized Inspection procedures in place, And the Highways and streets are FULL of People like This???
Can you honestly say that you would be willing to sacrifice YOUR child, because I wont spend 20 Dollars to replace a set of brake pads?????
 
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Old 09-16-10, 06:54 AM
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diezel,

(Quote) It hasnt been registerd or inspected since 1995.

State DMV dropped the ball "big time". Inspections are one thing, but how come there was no follow up to all the unanswered "registration renewals that went out since 1995?
 
  #3  
Old 09-16-10, 07:36 AM
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Did I forget to mention....UNINSURED????

The insurance cancellation is used to void registration renewals. Much to my shock, when I disposed of my old heap, I tried to return the tags, and was told to scrape the registration sticker off and throw them away!!!!

Come to think of it....I dont even know if This car even had a TAG on it.

BAsically, Point being,
Aside from the fact that we look towards The repairs from failed Inspections as a source of income, (Which will hurt drastically)....Whats to stop this situation from becoming a daily, or even Hourly Occurrence???And Who takes responsibility when all is said and done....

In the state of florida, Inspections are Emissions Only. Which means Your Car has NO BRAKES, But because it doesnt Blow smoke...Here ya go, Your good for another year???

Hell, I dont LIKE spending Money on my car Either, but where does the line get drawn.....The State police are now responsible for Safety offenses, But That doesnt help matters until Something goes Horribly wrong, and by then its to late.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 10:13 AM
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I looked that up on the internet and it appears the state does not charge for inspections, is broke, and needs to cut out inspections to save money...

I've always been of the opinion, that government services, when possible, should support themselves.

So for example roads and highways -> gasoline and tire taxes should support this. Then the people who use the road the most, pay the most. Quite fair.

In my area of Oregon, there is a lot of camping and recreational areas. The county pretty much handles this. And they actually are running this at a profit! And they are able to build new boat ramps and build new camp grounds with the money they collect from campground fees. People who do not go camping do not pay a cent for these facilities.

So same thing with inspections. Fees should be charged so the program pays for itself. If you do not own a car, then you are not paying taxes to support the program.

Just a simple bookkeeping thing any business would know all about.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 10:58 AM
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Bill...

Agreed, But.....
The State Facilities did not charge for Inspections. Independant repair shops were allowed to charge a set Fee for the service.
Yet the whole project was scrapped. Safety Inspections are no longer required. Period.

Just like every other Government agency...How is the "Better interest of the consumer" protected? There are Plenty of Laws, From Federal, down To local, That are Just Plain Unenforceable. From the Guy at the welfare office with the Brand New Escalade outside in the lot, to The Curb Your Dog Sign, And now to Let your car fall apart and risk everyone elses safety.
I know There are Thousands of Shop owners who will GLADLY slap a Sticker on anything that rolls in the door for a price.....I dont condone the practice, but at least Someone is Held ACCOUNTABLE....It wont bring back a Casualty of a wreck, But it will make the Inspector think twice about the mandatory 3 year Jail Term.
Basically, this is a setup for a "Free For All" where nobody wins, and all the innocent lose.
 

Last edited by Unclediezel; 09-16-10 at 11:18 AM.
  #6  
Old 09-16-10, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
In the state of florida, Inspections are Emissions Only. Which means Your Car has NO BRAKES, But because it doesnt Blow smoke...Here ya go, Your good for another year???
Florida did away with emissions testing years ago. Not sure of exact date, but close to 10 years. I think Kentucky and Minnesota also did the same thing. To be exempt from the 1990’s Clean Air Act requiring statewide emission inspection programs associated w/ metropolitan areas, I think those states have to periodically prove that they’re in compliance w/ air quality standards to the federal government. And when it comes to ‘smokers’, of the ones I see, it is out of state big wheelers hauling cargo, not passenger cars. Those wouldn’t have been tested when FL was doing emissions testing.

The majority of states don’t have vehicle safety inspection programs. There have been studies done over the years analyzing per capita accident rates by state, and there is no statistically meaningful evidence that shows a lower number of accidents occurring in the minority of states having such programs. It’s pretty much common sense as equipment failure represents a small fraction of possible causes of accidents after being investigated by police. The vast majority of accidents are caused by traffic infractions and lack of attention. Rather than singling out the elderly lady in the dilapidated vehicle, I think everyone could cite numerous accidents or close calls by folks driving while texting, reading, eating, talking on cell phones, physically impaired by alcohol or drugs, or who may be too old, or too stupid to be driving. Here in FL, there are so many seasonal residents and tourists, a large segment of cars on the road would not be tested even if FL had an inspection program. Frankly, a bigger problem for us is illegals not having valid driver licenses from any state, and driving w/o insurance. That’s a far bigger concern than the elderly lady example you cite.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 11:45 AM
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Rob..

Your Point is Well taken. The elderly woman I used as an example was not "Singled" out because she was elderly, but rather a member of my community, and as such, I saw that vehicle on a daily basis, and just shook my head every time it went by. And she just Flat out didnt care. It was good enough for what she needed it for , and that was all that mattered. It isnt so much the disrepair of the vehicle that was a problem, but rather the attitude of the operator, and her BLATANT disregard for "Common Sense".

As a Tech with an inspection license, I have been Questioned Hundreds of times by local law enforcement for Alledged equipment Failures. At an accident investigation,The responding officer is required to acquire the latest Inspection report on the vehicles involved. They usually come in , smile, give me a Date and a serial # and I hand over the invoice. It has never amounted to anything,But if it had, I would be facing Jail time for The Safety certification I issued. I would be held accountable.This woman had no knowledge that her brakes would fail on that day. If she had been required to have someone tell her, That person would be accountable. Right now, there is no-one. But Just as you mentioned with texting, or Drunk Driving, When will COMMON SENSE take precedence over financial situation or attitude when it comes to driving a Blatantly unsafe vehicle .Absolutely Agreed, There are definitely more important issues to deal with for the motoring Public and law enforcement,Since all the situations you mentioned are technically illegal, But as of right now ....Stupid Isnt Illegal. And Maintaining your Vehicles safety is unenforceable until after a tragedy happens.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 11:57 AM
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Im not trying to pick any arguments, But I welcome anyones views on this , whichever way they go....
 
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Old 09-16-10, 12:24 PM
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Gentlemen,

I don’t know where this discussion is going. Before I retired and sold my three shops I did inspections without doing inspections. In other words, once I (or one of my mechanics) got a customers car on a lift and up in the air, we would check for:

Any coolant, fluid, or oil leaks.
Wheel issues.
Axel issues.
Exhaust issues.
Tire issues.
Suspension issues.

Brake issues. (Most new wheel designs let you see the brake pads and rotor without pulling the wheel. All you need is a bright light).

It didn’t mater if the customer was in my shop for oil and filter change or a tire rotation. Point is, if a car was on my lift, and up in the air, I felt it was my job (and the job of my men) to point out to the customer, an unsafe condition or problem.

Never lied, never used “Fear Motivation” to get a repair, never ripped anyone off, always spoke straight, honest and true, and never abused my power. In other words, I just conducted myself (trained my men the same way) like a professional every day, all day for over 5 decades.

Let’s not forget who we are. Let’s not forget why our customers come to us in the first place. They come to us because we have proven ourselves to them. They come to us because they trust or knowledge and skills.

(Customer Quote) “ Sam I brought the car in because the brakes don’t feel right.

Well, to me that customer is really saying “Sam I’m trusting you with my life, and the lives of my passengers.
 
  #10  
Old 09-16-10, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
The laws in the works for DIY repairs at home are in light of NJ discontinuing the State inspection Program. Safety Items will be required to be repaired By qualified competent professionals.
I certainly don’t think you’re trying to pick any arguments but trying to explore different points of view.

One thing not mentioned in my previous post is how will ‘safety items’ be defined . . . I could see that list going crazy depending on who prepares it. To me, that has the potential to be counterproductive as the higher cost of having the work done by ‘qualified competent professionals’ may make it unaffordable for some people during these difficult economic times. Therefore, people who could have corrected something by DIY now may drive w/ an unsafe condition. I’m also not sure how it will be administered. If someone is capable of changing their brake pads, how would anyone prove who did it. What if a guy who was a former mechanic changes careers, that person can’t do any ‘safety’ work on his car? How about a retired mechanic? There are plenty of people who don’t hold certifications but are very good mechanics . . . maybe came out of the military, car buff, weekend race driver, etc.

Anyway, just some food for thought.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 02:22 PM
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In CT, they used to have a safety inspection requirement if you bought and were trying to register a car more than 10 years old or from out of state. Now for out of state vehicles for a $10 fee a DMV guy has to read your V.I.N. to make sure it matches the one on the title. Not to mention, there is a $10 application fee for a registration which I find ridiculous because when I get to the counter I am done in 90 seconds or less depending on the aptitude of the clerk. The registration form isn't difficult to fill out provided you made it past 3rd grade.

There is an emissions test requirement every two years for $20, which is run by garages. The state agreed to this provided you had one full time employee for emissions only. I have known a few people who decided not to do emissions because they didn't want to deal with that requirement.
 

Last edited by NEsportsfan; 09-16-10 at 02:24 PM. Reason: added last paragraph
  #12  
Old 09-16-10, 03:55 PM
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Sam...

I know the business is very different than just 20 years ago because Ive seen it change and I'm sure you have too. Yes , we had customers that came in, dropped the keys on the counter, and said whatever it needs , Fix it, and call me when its done. And If I dont hear from you , I'll see you tommorrow.

Somehow, over the years, That changed to "I need my oil changed, Do you honor your Competitors coupons?" I work at what I consider , a somewhat "Prestigious" dealership, and the coupon was a 9.95 Oil change and filter from "Slicks Lube Service"...I wanted to crawl up in a ball and Die. A dealership tech with 20 years of Chrysler experience,and my Competitor is some guy named SLICK?
Well, The guys were on lunch, so I took it myself. The car was a mess, Brakes were grinding, oil and trans fluid everywhere under the car, belts squealing, Tires with shifted belts. I noted all of the major stuff on the back of the work order, and changed the oil and filter. As I walked up to the desk, before I could utter a word, She yells across the waiting room, "I dont want to hear it, Just change my oil like you were told, and let me get out of here, I have a "Nail appointment in 10 minutes".
Now I dont know about you guys, but that is the customer I dont want. She hasnt been back since, But she did fill out the survey Card, and stated that she would not return to this location, because under normal circumstances she wouldnt have a coupon, we were too expensive, we didnt Vacuum her carpets, and The Lube guys always offered me a free carwash, and Shuttle service to my appointments, while my car is being serviced. At 9.95???

My point isnt for the Loyal customers who Trust someone (Whether it be me or The guy up the street..Just as long as it is someone) Who Dont gripe about a repair, and maintain their cars.....It is more for people like this, who frankly Just dont care, and want the cheapest price, and always something for nothing, whether it is what they neeed or not.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 04:54 PM
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You mean to say there is actually a bureaucracy that is going away? That is a first, isn't it?

I have a feeling that this matter has been carefully thought out, and the pros and cons weighed out. I do see everyone's point here, however.

Since I'd say more people are getting tired of an intrusive gov't, and there are contradictions in other areas of safety, where DIY'ers can side-step licensed workers, say in the building field - gov't says you need to hire a licensed electrician and plumber, for example, while at the same time they sell all the stuff pros use, to homeowners, at the big home centers!

Maybe this one particular off-shoot of the gov't came to that similar realization.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 06:05 PM
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When I was visiting a friend in PA several years ago I saw something that made a lot of sense. I saw car insurance companies registering cars.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 06:13 PM
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Ecman....

This is true. Anyone can Sidestep the licensed pros at a supply house. But technically....in this case....There is NO SUCH THING as a LICENSED TECHNICIAN.

ASE and STEP certifications are voluntary, and there is no State or Federal requirement for licensing of individual technicians. A repair shop must have a Business license...But there is nothing to say that they are required to have Competent Help.

Maybe Im pushing too hard here......
In short.. Its your car, you drive it, you pay for the gas it uses, it takes You where You have to go. It is Your responsibility to Maintain it. All Im asking here is for a Fair System to Ensure The Motoring Public is safe, And You Are Held responsible for your responsibilities.

Sportsfan... That is common here. It isnt so much The Insurance company registering the car, but The NOTARY on premises that handles a contract with the state DMV. Technically they are Two seperate businesses. New and Used car Dealers Do this also. Its a Courteousy for the customer , to avoid them the Lines at The DMV.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 06:19 PM
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What is UNfair with allowing anyone to do the work, as long as it passes inspection by qualified personnel? Isn't that the best combination of Amercian liberty and gov't?, meshing in a fair way? I am not fond of the contradiction of a so-called free society with all the mandates out there that do not even ALLOW a person that chance to prove himself and his/her work.
 
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Old 09-16-10, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
What is UNfair with allowing anyone to do the work, as long as it passes inspection by qualified personnel?
There is the problem...With the Dispansion of the Inspection Program, There would be Nobody Qualified to Inspect the repairs, and Nobody to Certify that the work was indeed done correctly if at all.

Dont get me wrong, I whole heartedly Believe in the DIY community. I see no reason to PAY someone to hang a light fixture , or fix a leaky pipe, or put a headlight bulb in your car. Brakes have been on cars since the beginning of time, so There are plenty of competent 16 year old neighbors kids to do it for you on a sunday afternoon...What bothers me are the people who just dont care.
I get phone calls all the time, "I'm having a problem", "My Brake pedal goes to the floor and its getting really hard to stop" Can I bring it by"???
No!!!!!.....You MAy however TOW it By.....This same person gripes about the 45 dollar tow, but will think nothing of driving a vehicle 25 miles and endangering EVERYONE he passes while he stated its getting really hard to stop.
Sorry , But my kids are worth more to me than your 45 bucks.....
 
  #18  
Old 09-17-10, 04:59 AM
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You forgot tow-roping it 10 miles down the highway to the shop.

Thanks for the towing plug, Unc.
 
  #19  
Old 09-17-10, 07:26 AM
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ASE MASTER your efforts to help the customer were commendable.
I personally do the same thing with the neighbor kids' bikes when they visit my step-kids. I check tire pressure, chains, make sure the wheels are on snug etc. . . Those kids rag out their little bikes and the parents don't know or have the equip. to fix things. It's not much but they are safer now.

But in this day and age if someone sees a "Free ## point inspection" offer the consumer may think the shop is just looking to replace something for profit. I don't know those guys why would I trust them with my car??

Difficult subject to comment on.
How much government? Mandatory safety/maintainence classes to get a license? Redo them after 2 years?
How much knowledge should the owner have?
How much liability to the owner?
Should insurance companies charge less for 'healthier/safer cars'?

Negligent owners should have the book thrown at them, how to prove negligence?
 
  #20  
Old 09-17-10, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
You forgot tow-roping it 10 miles down the highway to the shop.

Thanks for the towing plug, Unc.
No problem, but only this week.....The TELEPORTER is broken.....You know the one...Its what you use instead of OSMOSIS to get the car out of the ditch on the coldest night of the year.

Anyway.

Negligent owners should have the book thrown at them, how to prove negligence?

This is part of why I feel the "Organized" inspection program in some form is so important. Here in PA, we are still a bit in the dark ages, we still have LOG-Books.
When I worked in NYC, The Inspection processing computer was linked to a "MAINFRAME NETWORK" . If your car Failed its inspection in the last 6months, anywhere in the state, I knew about it. The people here bounce from station to station, in the hopes that one of them will overlook the issues, or , at least be easier to bargain with than the last shop. From time to time, the State police will come in, with an Auditor from the state, and compare "Passes" from other shops, to my "FAILS", and vice versa....Any suspicious activity that is noted, a warrant is issued, and the vehicle is brought in to an INdependant Testing facility (Usually run by the state Police)...The end result is almost never Pretty. If after checking all the entries, The car was failed at 3 shops, for a defective Balljoint, and shop #4 passed it and issued a sticker, Then, when the car is called in, It had better have a new Tierod end in it. Few people realize that there is a JAIL sentence involved for Proven Inspection FRAUD.....Not only for the Inspection Station, BUT FOR THE MOTORIST WHO ACCEPTED THE FRAUDULENT DOCUMENT!!!!!
 
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Old 09-17-10, 04:39 PM
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Unc,

were they getting cars on lifts, to inspect critical salt damage on chasis components? I have already reported to police how anchorages on cars (like parts that hold the axles in alignment) were falling off - actually fell off - , and they came to take a look before someone, like your kids, got killed by someone driving one of these rust heaps.

And that is why I don't want salt damage to get my pristine 92. I have to either get a winter car/van, quick, before the snow flies, or get another head into that 90 of mine. I was spraying so much oil at that car, it actually still looks pretty good underneath. I squirted thinned down oil down the windows, into any hole in the door panels, into the frame, into the rocker panels, etc. And it paid off. My only concern about that oiling was a possible fire risk, so I'd carry 3 fire extinguishers.
 
  #22  
Old 09-17-10, 05:47 PM
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Chassis integrity is one of the main categories of an inspection, and I have Failed countless cars for such Violations. Problem with that, is it really isnt repairable, so Basically I just condemned the guys car.

One even worse....years before the chassis rotts thru, The rust and salt have attacked steel and rubber brake and fuel lines....
 
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Old 09-17-10, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
Chassis integrity is one of the main categories of an inspection, and I have Failed countless cars for such Violations. Problem with that, is it really isnt repairable, so Basically I just condemned the guys car.

One even worse....years before the chassis rotts thru, The rust and salt have attacked steel and rubber brake and fuel lines....
And yet year after year, we put up with no real scientific solution to what road salt does. If only they(engineers) could put their energy to work on the road salt dilemma. Not only that, when you drive a rust heap, it make you look like you are too lazy to find a good job, or on a lower level on the intelligence rating scale.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 06:21 AM
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Last winter it was on the news that due to a salt shortage they were going to spray some type of beet solution on the roads instead of salt. I've not seen it used and I'm curious if instead of having a car white with salt residue - would your car turn red?
 
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Old 09-18-10, 01:04 PM
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I thought there was this cache of a gazillion tons of salt that they mine under Lake Erie.
 
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Old 09-18-10, 04:30 PM
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Maybe it costs too much to ship it down to tn or va. All I know is they told about it on the local news and I thought it was strange..... that's probably why I remembered it
 
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Old 09-27-10, 12:29 PM
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Salt is expensive, even here in Detroit where it is mined.

Aren't mechanics empowered to quarantine a car and not give it back to the owner if it's deemed unsafe to drive in the condition that it's in?
 
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Old 09-27-10, 12:46 PM
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Nope...most places they slap a rejection sticker on and it gives the owner a set period of time to fix it and come back for a free re-inspect. It does not give them permission to drive except to and from the inspection/repair station and home.

Could be worse...in Germany (I think?)...if it doesn't pass you don't get it back. Prob similar in some of the other EU countries.
 
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Old 09-27-10, 04:21 PM
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Technically, no , I cant Hold an unsafe vehicle.....

But there is nothing to stop me from "Dragging My Feet" to finish it while the state police are notified, and waiting for it as soon as it leaves. I dont like to do that, But Ive had cases where the car is literally falling apart, There are 2 child seats in the back, and an Owner with an attitude towards me, cause I told her that her car is unsafe....Since I couldn't detain her children, I detained her vehicle. The police impounded it, Which left her walking home in the snow with two little kids...And I realize how much she despised me, and how much that must have S**KED.....But there are two little children that will see another day, and millions of cars on the road , that wont have to drive next to this Rolling heap of tin. (Did I say rolling?? I meant more of a Hobble/thump from the flat spotted tires.
 
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