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Flaws found in new vehicle safety stickers

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:00 p.m. HST, Feb 19, 2014


Flaws have been found in Hawaii's new vehicle safety stickers, including printing that can be easily removed.

Kalihi mechanic George Nitta worries that if he can wipe numbers off the sticker decals, so can criminals, Hawaii News Now (http://is.gd/3fFIUR) reported.

Nitta has found that he can wipe off the VIN from a sticker in seconds using nail polish remover. He also believes that including the VIN could attract car thieves who could use the number to have a locksmith make a set of keys.

"That is the modern way to steal cars," he said. "Get the VIN number, go to a key guy, he makes a key. Come back. You got your car."

The state began using the new safety inspection program last fall, with mechanics and gas stations using technology to replace the old paper-based system.

The safety check stickers changed as well. They are now printed at each destination in black ink on white labels and the state no longer employs preprinted decals in different colors for each year.

According to Nitta, people can alter the dates of their stickers by erasing a number and using a black permanent marker.

"Because you can erase it and change the date, change everything. So what good is it?" he said.

State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said the stickers are designed to hold up under normal vehicle use and washing for three years.

She said the state is always concerned about fraud. That's why the new decals have both the VIN and vehicle license plate numbers printed on them. The idea is to help deter theft and make it difficult for thieves to use the decals on different vehicles.






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Skyler wrote:
Stickers seem to be the norm, but why - in this digital age - is it that safety inspection information is not added to current registration records? That way when cops check the registration, they'd automatically know if the inspection was up to date and when it expires, etc.
on February 19,2014 | 11:34AM
France wrote:
that day will come and could be automated with the license scanning equipment to issue citations without making a stop.
on February 19,2014 | 11:41AM
jess wrote:
Because that would make sense! We all know that any government (local, state, federal, etc) has to go the stupid & expensive route first.
on February 19,2014 | 11:44AM
control wrote:
The safety expiration date IS added to current registration records - has been for decades. At least now, its done within 24 hours instead of months.
on February 19,2014 | 12:23PM
96706 wrote:
Because the State of Hawaii is STUPID!!
on February 19,2014 | 12:33PM
stingray65 wrote:
No, not stupid or maybe they are.. They just want more money, but not adding to your taxes...
on February 19,2014 | 03:31PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Go apply for the job as head of computer operations, or kick Neil off the job.
on February 19,2014 | 07:45PM
joseph007 wrote:
That additional information is coming later, at an additional cost to drivers. Lucky we live Hawaii.
on February 20,2014 | 07:57AM
silvangold wrote:
GOODNESS...............wouldn't that just be too too too easy? yes, sarcastic I am.........sorry.
on February 19,2014 | 11:45AM
lowtone123 wrote:
He also believes that including the VIN numbers could attract car thieves who could use the number to have a locksmith make a set of keys. Isn't the VIN number visible through the driver side of the windshield anyway?
on February 19,2014 | 11:59AM
bobbob wrote:
But now its accessible for evwryone to see easily. Why not stamp the safety check with the license plate number?
on February 19,2014 | 12:26PM
2NDC wrote:
The VIN is visible in so many other places on the vehicle. Most locksmiths no longer have the capability to make keys based on the VIN, due to new technology, the bulk of that needs to be done through the dealer. Theoretically if there is a corrupt person working at the dealership, I'm sure it could be done, but highly unlikely given the numerous safeguards in place in getting keys from the dealership.
on February 19,2014 | 01:22PM
kahu808 wrote:
Nothing to stop people from looking at the dash VIN unless you cover it.
on February 19,2014 | 07:42PM
2NDC wrote:
The VIN can be seen in more places than just the dash.
on February 19,2014 | 08:26PM
twitter6 wrote:
I guess they should create a task force to fix this fiasco. Government workers - need I say more?
on February 19,2014 | 12:05PM
FrankieT wrote:
Then I could apply and have a job with good pay for doing nothing
on February 19,2014 | 01:42PM
paniolo wrote:
If you can erase the VIN numbers, I'm sure you can erase the YEAR number above it also. Watched the KHNL video and was easy to erase the VIN numbers. Now, you going see plenty cars with the YEAR numbers that are written in with black marker. Good job STATE. Caroline Sluyter said, "the state is always concerned about fraud." Yeah right. The contractor used cheap materials, now people going take advantage of the snafu. I wonder if the state going make changes next year and we gotta pay more for the inspections.
on February 19,2014 | 12:12PM
what wrote:
Scrap the entire safety inspection program. It does not improve public safety.
on February 19,2014 | 12:24PM
Usagi336 wrote:
Was not that long ago that the Government here was talking about scrapping it altogether. Someone's making a lot of money out of this program.
on February 19,2014 | 01:45PM
BigOpu wrote:
I dunno. Seems useless, but if you scrap it, there will be more cars that have no brake lights, reverse lights, turn signals, etc.
on February 19,2014 | 03:14PM
kekelaward wrote:
More PC for a traffic stop, and an expensive citation.
on February 19,2014 | 04:22PM
what wrote:
33 states do not require auto safety inspections, and it doesn't seem to present a problem. Hawaii is one of only 17 states with such a program. Scrap it. Kill it.
on February 20,2014 | 12:44AM
harley1 wrote:
that's what happens when you pick the low bidder over a better product that less than a quarter more.
on February 19,2014 | 07:29PM
matthewy wrote:
It's "VIN," not "VIN number."
on February 19,2014 | 12:18PM
kekelaward wrote:
Thank you! Sad that people spent so much money on J school only to forget fact checking
on February 19,2014 | 04:21PM
what wrote:
Scrap the entire safety inspection program. It does not improve public safety.
on February 19,2014 | 12:25PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Hey! Kinda late huh?
on February 19,2014 | 12:28PM
goodvibrations wrote:
Thats just great. When I saw the new ones, thats the 1st thing I thought of was theft using the VIN.
on February 19,2014 | 01:16PM
bobstr wrote:
the VIN is also on a metal plate at the bottom of the windshield, anyone can see it from outside the car so why does it matter if its on the sticker?????
on February 19,2014 | 01:25PM
cardoc wrote:
Sorry mr. nitta but it ain't that easy! Anybody can try and take a magic marker and print on that sticker- it will look like crap! No way can you hand write those small numbers and letters, lastly the VIN is on the driver side of the windshield for everyone to read.
on February 19,2014 | 01:22PM
2NDC wrote:
Who are they kidding. The decals can be printed using a b&w laser printer and 3M reflective tape purchased at just about any hardware store. The entire safety check system is flawed. Time to scrap it and start over.
on February 19,2014 | 01:24PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Some would call it fear mongering.
on February 19,2014 | 01:44PM
StifelHNL wrote:
Why even have a safety check...
on February 19,2014 | 01:51PM
nitpikker wrote:
why? w/o it you'd have people with cars on the road w/1 lug nut holding their wheel in place, bald bald tires, no working lights, cracked windows (all of them), etc., etc.
on February 19,2014 | 02:00PM
Loki wrote:
I guess cops cannot see that themselves as they drive around? Isn't that their job?
on February 19,2014 | 02:41PM
kekelaward wrote:
You can do that the minute you get a safety check and put it on your vehicle. Just cause you have s sticker doesn't mean the car is safe...it just means the vehicle passed the test when it was checked.
on February 19,2014 | 04:26PM
HanabataDays wrote:
Just don't forget to cover the check engine light with a nice piece of electrical tape and take the bulb out of your dome light so the inspector no can see da tape ontop.
on February 20,2014 | 12:40AM
honugirl56 wrote:
instead of using the entire VIN#, maybe you can just use the last 6-8 digits?
on February 19,2014 | 01:55PM
loquaciousone wrote:
The VIN issue is not as problematic as the fact that you can erase the info on the sticker and print your own info on it. The VIN is easily accessible if you know where to look.
on February 19,2014 | 02:05PM
loquaciousone wrote:
The safety check program should include a safety check for drivers also. We can paste stickers on people's foreheads to make sure what's underneath is not mentally deficient.
on February 19,2014 | 02:10PM
kekelaward wrote:
If paste gets to be too expensive, they can use staples
on February 19,2014 | 04:28PM
harley1 wrote:
or nail guns......doh.....
on February 19,2014 | 07:31PM
loquaciousone wrote:
The safety check program should include drivers too. We can paste stickers on people's foreheads to make sure that what's underneath in not mentally deficient.
on February 19,2014 | 02:10PM
kekelaward wrote:
If I've told you once, I've told you a thousands times, repeating yourself only shows your ignorance.
on February 19,2014 | 04:29PM
Skyler wrote:
i don't think he did it on purpose... site being slow, sometimes it doesn't look like a post goes thru.
on February 19,2014 | 05:32PM
kekelaward wrote:
Yeah, I was just giving him grief. He's a hep cat.
on February 19,2014 | 07:23PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Notice the change in the song. Just an adjustment of the tune so that the "satisfaction" of "publish or perish" is achieved. I've done this myself. Sometimes a single word will trigger the bot to "Comment Sent for Approval".
on February 19,2014 | 09:51PM
Mei mei wrote:
well thanks to this "General Announcement" I'm sure the crooks who didn't know, NOW DO!
on February 19,2014 | 02:19PM
tutulois wrote:
Your tax dollars at work !
on February 19,2014 | 02:27PM
loquaciousone wrote:
The procurement process in Hawaii, stresses that you go with the lowest bidder. You get what you pay for. Would you like to have the lowest bidder building an airplane that's going to take you 20,000 feet up in the sky?
on February 19,2014 | 02:37PM
mcc wrote:
More incompetence by the City that is going to try to build a rail. More incompetence, more taxes.
on February 19,2014 | 02:43PM
yskeulb wrote:
What's the point of having a safety check? It's only based on the condition of the car on the date of the safety inspection. It doesn't mean that the car is safe, operable or insured the other 364 days of the year.
on February 19,2014 | 02:47PM
jotobuddy123 wrote:
What should be done is raise the price of the safety check, regestration fee and gas tax and apply all that revenue to help build rail island wide.
on February 19,2014 | 03:10PM
localguy wrote:
jotobuddy123 - Another clueless HART minion, posting their usual shibai.
on February 19,2014 | 06:06PM
808ikea wrote:
Yes the stickers are a problem. I was waxing my car with Liquid Luster and it started removing the black lettering from the sticker. You would think that these stickers would have been already tested for these types of conditions.
on February 19,2014 | 03:27PM
kekelaward wrote:
Cleanliness and pride of ownership? Puhleeze!
on February 19,2014 | 04:32PM
st1d wrote:
wonder how the car washes will affect the toner life.
on February 19,2014 | 07:14PM
stingray65 wrote:
Why not the State abolished the Safety inspection like some other states and make the owner responsible for his own vehicles? If it is not safe to operate the vehicle, the Police with just give them the ticket!! State of Arkansas is one of them. Save the vehicle owner some money!! If a person own a multiple vehicles, that means it will triple his or her expenses..Annually.
on February 19,2014 | 03:30PM
gobows wrote:
just scrap the safety check.
on February 19,2014 | 03:34PM
hikine wrote:
I actually liked the different colors of the safety check stickers as it's visually ready to see if it's expired. People can just buy stencils and use a magic marker to create the numbers. VIN numbers are unnecessary, a matching license plate number would be better but then again if the ink can be dissolved then it wouldn't matter. Can't they just laser etch the numbers instead then it'll be a permanent one. Another suggestion is to use special ink that glows in ultraviolet light and if law enforcement shines a light a legit sticker would not be smeared like an altered one.
on February 19,2014 | 03:47PM
kekelaward wrote:
Follow the money!
on February 19,2014 | 04:17PM
localguy wrote:
Have to give State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter credit for years of working for utterly clueless, totally dysfunctional, DOT bureaucrats. She has hung in their, trying to help the good workers who just can't get qualified supervision. Now DOT bureaucrats are trying to spin their failure to come up with a quality safety inspection sticker. Why didn't they check with the other 49 states for the very best plan versus another DOT fiasco? More wasted tax dollars, more hits to their image, everyone in the USA laughing at our 4th world DOT. Just another day in the Nei.
on February 19,2014 | 06:11PM
localguy wrote:
Have to give State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter credit for years of working for utterly clueless, totally dysfunctional, DOT bureaucrats. She has hung in their, trying to help the good workers who just can't get qualified supervision. Now DOT bureaucrats are trying to spin their failure to come up with a quality safety inspection sticker. Why didn't they check with the other 49 states for the very best plan versus another DOT fiasco? More wasted tax dollars, more hits to their image, everyone in the USA laughing at our 4th world DOT. Just another day in the Nei.
on February 19,2014 | 06:11PM
localguy wrote:
Have to give State DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter credit for years of working for utterly clueless, totally dysfunctional, DOT bureaucrats. She has hung in their, trying to help the good workers who just can't get qualified supervision. Now DOT bureaucrats are trying to spin their failure to come up with a quality safety inspection sticker. Why didn't they check with the other 49 states for the very best plan versus another DOT fiasco? More wasted tax dollars, more hits to their image, everyone in the USA laughing at our 4th world DOT. Just another day in the Nei.
on February 19,2014 | 06:12PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Go back to the old way. Every time the government tries to change things they make it worse than before and, in the process, cost us taxpayers tons of money for nothing.
on February 19,2014 | 06:37PM
justchecking wrote:
and by writing this article, sa just helped all the criminals out there out by telling them how it is done. that's smart.
on February 19,2014 | 07:07PM
soundofreason wrote:
""That is the modern way to steal cars," he said. "Get the VIN number, go to a key guy, he makes a key. Come back. You got your car." >>> I checked my cars last night when the story aired on tv. Truth is - the VIN # is in plain sight on people's dash. It's even imprinted on the windshield itself. All publishing this story did, was give amateurs new ideas. Thanks for that.
on February 19,2014 | 07:11PM
soundofreason wrote:
Shouldn't need the second sticker AT ALL. Safety inspection stations now transmit data to DMV. Vegas does the same thing with SMOG inspections and yet they don't issue smog stickers. You just don't GET.....ONE....COLORED....registration sticker unless they've received the transmission from the station. ONE AND DONE!! So we're producing TWO stickers, black and white, to where expired registration drivers can hide in plain sight. Plate # PTV 330 is driving around expired since January 2012 WHILE his sticker looks just like my 2014 sticker. Get back to basics.
on February 19,2014 | 07:16PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No need any stickers at all. Just keep the record of safety check in ones glove compartment, where a supposed theif can't get to it unless he (and 95% of car thieves are male because of testosterone) breaks into the car in the first place.
on February 19,2014 | 08:00PM
niimi wrote:
Eyes rolling. Oh, great. Now the neighbor you've been feuding with can now take acetone or any commercial stripper or degreaser and vandalize your safety check stickers.
on February 19,2014 | 08:07PM
busterb wrote:
Me tinks GNitta has outlived his specialized knowledge...
on February 19,2014 | 08:31PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
He wanted press, he got it.
on February 19,2014 | 09:41PM
comet wrote:
After coming home from a safety check and getting the new sticker, the new sticker was smaller than the older style. As such I used some car polish to remove the sticky residue that was left exposed. Well some of the car polish got on the new safety sticker and i ended up removing some of the print from the new safety check sticker. I guess according to the state, it isn't assumed that you will use car polish on your car. Right?
on February 19,2014 | 10:01PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
It appears as if the Department of Transportation made a serious mistake when it picked this company. The business of providing safety stickers for vehicles is generally very straightforward and clear. What happened? The legislature ought to investigate this.
on February 19,2014 | 10:13PM
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