2009 WMDA Legislative Agenda Update
This issue has taken on the characteristics of a life or death standoff and, as with any confrontation between people who must work together, the ramifications of the outcome will be felt for years to come. We hope you are up for the challenge because the dealer community must come together as it has in the past for other industry-defining movements including divorcement and predatory pricing (sales below cost). This will include calls, visits and e-mails from our membership and customer base all over the state to members of the legislature. Let’s be clear, if we are to tell our story properly the dealer must engage his customers to be part of the effort. This is where your years in the community will pay off. Let your customers know that your very survival is at stake and you need their help. Nothing will be more gratifying to you than watching your customers come to your aid and if you’ve been a supportive neighbor they will be there.
It has always surprised us that the idea of periodic motor vehicle safety inspection has been difficult for the legislature to embrace. A brief tour of any parking lot in the state would yield numerous safety concerns from a brief visual check of tires and suspension. All of our surrounding states have it in place and the last time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studied the issue the evidence clearly showed that a state vehicle safety inspection reduced accidents. We will bring this issue to the legislature again. Speaking of vehicle inspections, it looks like the folks running the Vehicle Emission Inspection Program (VEIP) have gone against their word again and left the automotive repair shops out of the process for the foreseeable future. It is surprising for a number of reasons and consumer convenience is at the top of the list. It’s not hard to believe that most consumers would enjoy the convenience of having their vehicle’s emission test performed at their local garage instead of driving to the state-run VEIP facility. The test on most vehicles today is simply a matter of plugging in the computer scanner and there is no reason our repair shops should not be involved.
Remember that if any (or all) of these issues provoke your interest, as a citizen of Maryland, you have the opportunity at any time of contacting your legislator (Delegate or Senator) by simply connecting to http://mdelect.net/electedofficials/ and entering your address (use your home and business) to find your legislators’ e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Please take advantage of this and don’t forget to identify your relevant business or home address.