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Old 01-31-2008, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Colorado
111 posts, read 504,617 times
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I've already registered my out-of-state car in colorado, but I was wondering if colorado requires an annual car inspection? Virginia does, and I have a virginia inspection sticker that expires 1/08. I've asked people and they've never heard of this. I figure I'll just take my sticker off and go with it but wanted to double-check.

Also, what is the rule about having your headlights on during the day? ty!
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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No - the emissions is sort of like the inspection. When we lived in Texas we had separate inspections as well - but not the case here. Just emissions every two years.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:40 AM
 
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No safety inspection. If you are in a metro county, you will need an emission inspection, but since you registered your car already, you apparently have handled that.

No law that headlights must be on during day--or off, either.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Colorado
111 posts, read 504,617 times
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thanks for the answers! That is correct that I did the emissions part when I registered my car here. My mother in virginia asked how does colorado make sure cars are in good driving condition (brakes, etc) if there's no annual inspection?
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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If you are stopped for some sort of traffic violation, the officer may note any safety deficiencies on the vehicle. Driving an "unsafe vehicle" is itself a ticketable offense. Years back, Colorado had an every-6 month inspection requirement (later stretched to an annual requirement). A lot of people thought it to be a "racket" to generate unneeded repairs--and statistics showed it was doing relatively little to improve highway safety, so the inspection program was abolished. Personally, I think the inspection program did keep some unsafe vehicles off of the highways--bad brakes, bald tires, etc.

A HUGE problem in Colorado is cracked windshields from the "sand" used to improve traction on snowy roads. I was told years ago by a CDOT employee that the state relaxed its purchasing standards for sand to save money and that the lower quality sand they purchased contained a fair number of small rocks. My years of driving Colorado and Wyoming roads in winter tend to bear that out. I drove a number of winters in Wyoming and never got a pit or crack in my windshield from rocks, while virtually EVERY winter trip in Colorado would net me at least one star crack in my windshield. You will seldom see a Colorado car that does not have a crack in the windshield somewhere. In the old inspection days, a windshield would have to be replaced if (as I recall) the crack was more than 1/2" long and was touched by the driver-side windshield wiper. These days, most people don't replace their windshield until it gets to the point that one just about can't see out of it. If you haven't gotten your windshield cracked yet, just wait, you will.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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You can be stopped and ticketed in Colorado for an obvious equipment defect as a primary cause for the ticket. Such items could be a cracked windshield with a crack exceeding 1/2" anywhere in the wiper coverage area, or a larger crack that ... in the opinion of the citing officer ... could impair your vision and safe vehicle operation. You could be stopped and cited for "obstructed windows" with what appears to be too dark of a window tint coating.

Other obvious violations: a light that's out, especially license plate lights, brake lights, and taillights, missing rear-view mirrors, exhaust system perforated/broken and noisy, or body/fender/bumper damage that has protruding sharp edges or doesn't adequately prevent road debris from flying up into other traffic (trailers get stopped a lot for this violation with no fenders).

Colorado's statutes place the responsbility for safe vehicle condition on the owner/operator. Driving without proper brakes, tires, suspension ... especially if you are in an accident ... can get you (the operator) a lot of additional citations.

The biggest reason the old "brake and light" safety inspections were discontinued was because they had specific parameters based upon prevailing American car designs of the 1950's ... which could not be generalized for the newer cars on the roads with very different suspension, alignment, brake systems, and other mechanical items. For example, the inspection required a "toe-in" check, with a spec which was not consistent with a lot of newer vehicle alignments ... a vehicle could pass the spec, and still be way out of correct toe-in for that vehicle. We used to use one of those steel expansion bar measuring sticks, and roll the vehicle along a flat section of our shop floor to read the toe-in ... adequate for your 1950 Ford/Chevy/DeSoto/whathaveyou, but not a good measurement on almost any manufacturer's later cars because it couldn't sense the centerline of the car. So that check was pointless for vehicle safety, as was the spec for the maximum amount of "free travel" of the steering wheel ... which was far in excess of the "safe" amount in modern day cars. Also, the "suspension" bounce check (or leak check) for shock absorbers was hopelessly out of touch with modern suspensions such as McPherson Struts ... which could pass the test but be way out of whack for safety.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:28 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,780,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
You can be stopped and ticketed in Colorado for an obvious equipment defect as a primary cause for the ticket. Such items could be a cracked windshield with a crack exceeding 1/2" anywhere in the wiper coverage area, or a larger crack that ... in the opinion of the citing officer ... could impair your vision and safe vehicle operation. You could be stopped and cited for "obstructed windows" with what appears to be too dark of a window tint coating.

Other obvious violations: a light that's out, especially license plate lights, brake lights, and taillights, missing rear-view mirrors, exhaust system perforated/broken and noisy, or body/fender/bumper damage that has protruding sharp edges or doesn't adequately prevent road debris from flying up into other traffic (trailers get stopped a lot for this violation with no fenders).

Colorado's statutes place the responsbility for safe vehicle condition on the owner/operator. Driving without proper brakes, tires, suspension ... especially if you are in an accident ... can get you (the operator) a lot of additional citations.

The biggest reason the old "brake and light" safety inspections were discontinued was because they had specific parameters based upon prevailing American car designs of the 1950's ... which could not be generalized for the newer cars on the roads with very different suspension, alignment, brake systems, and other mechanical items. For example, the inspection required a "toe-in" check, with a spec which was not consistent with a lot of newer vehicle alignments ... a vehicle could pass the spec, and still be way out of correct toe-in for that vehicle. We used to use one of those steel expansion bar measuring sticks, and roll the vehicle along a flat section of our shop floor to read the toe-in ... adequate for your 1950 Ford/Chevy/DeSoto/whathaveyou, but not a good measurement on almost any manufacturer's later cars because it couldn't sense the centerline of the car. So that check was pointless for vehicle safety, as was the spec for the maximum amount of "free travel" of the steering wheel ... which was far in excess of the "safe" amount in modern day cars. Also, the "suspension" bounce check (or leak check) for shock absorbers was hopelessly out of touch with modern suspensions such as McPherson Struts ... which could pass the test but be way out of whack for safety.
All true. I do think the CSP and local Colorado law enforcement is pretty lenient on the windshield thing because they know how frequently vehicles get cracked windshields. In fact, I've seen lots of county sheriff's vehicles with cracked windshields--they are driving the same roads with everybody else, and are getting cracked windshields, too. One thing I do wish the CSP would rigidly enforce is the window-tinting law. For law enforcement people, and for normal drivers, it's pretty spooky when you can't see the driver of a vehicle.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Colorado
111 posts, read 504,617 times
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awesome information! Could you enlighten me, no pun intended , why people drive in the daytime with the headlights on? I believe daylight running headlights are becoming more common on new cars in general. You are supposed to have the lights on if it's raining or snowing, correct?

Last edited by lovesunnydays; 01-31-2008 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:52 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,780,481 times
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Daytime running lights (DRL's) have been standard on all GM and most Toyota vehicles for years. I do believe they improve highway safety because oncoming vehicles on two-lane roads (of which there are plenty in the Rocky Mountain West) are more visible with them. Most states have laws with language that headlights are supposed to be used (obviously) at night, and at other times when weather conditions require them for adequate visibility or so that others can see your vehicle.

All of that said, one of my fond memories was driving down the Tomichi Valley toward Gunnison on US Hwy. 50 on frigid cold winter nights with a full moon and 2-4' of snow on the ground (made that drive hundreds of times). If the road was dry (which it often was), it would strongly contrast with the surrounding snowcover. The bitter cold (often 30 below zero or lower) made the air crystal clear. So, it was possible (this in years before the traffic got heavier) to drive for miles without headlights, just driving by moonlight (not legal, of course, but very beautiful). There were a couple of times that it was clear enough to be able to drive by starlight and no moon. The solitude of that is a "Colorado memory" that I hold dear to my heart. Not many roads in Colorado that you could do that now--too many cars and too much light pollution from man-made sources.
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Old 01-31-2008, 04:19 PM
 
16,506 posts, read 20,904,171 times
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Jazzlover is right. I finally got my windshield replaced after my 7th star crack and that was the end of it. I go to Denver periodically for medical reasons and am always getting rocks flipped at the windshield by trucks, usually Halliburton. The worst stretch is from the Newcastle exit to the Rulison exit. Igo through windshields every two years and it gets old. they're not cheap.
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