Texas DPS cracks down on fraudulent vehicle inspections

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is cracking down on fraudulent vehicle inspections through the department's "Operation Cinderblock," which focuses on vehicle inspection stations, and inspectors suspected of "clean scanning" vehicles instead of conducting required emissions testing.

Clean scanning is the illegal act of a vehicle inspector that results in a fraudulent "pass" for a vehicle's emissions test. The fraudulent test involves performing the emissions test on a different vehicle or using a simulator, which then bypasses action emissions testing of the vehicle being inspected.

DPS says the department will be increasing enforcement action over the next 60 days to remove 135 inspectors from the program. DPS anticipates removing approximately 700 more inspectors by mid-April.

Since the launch of Operation Cinderblock in August 2022, DPS has suspended or revoked 412 vehicle inspection stations and 532 inspectors. Some cases are also being investigated for criminal offenses.

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Vehicle emissions inspections are currently required in 17 Texas counties to improve air quality and are integrated with the annual safety inspection program.