Vehicle safety inspections help to ensure that drivers are not putting other drivers at risk with faulty or dangerous vehicles on the road. Every state has unique laws concerning vehicle safety inspections, and Utah is no exception. Utah drivers need to know their obligations concerning safety inspections and emissions inspections to avoid fines and accidents.
Utah’s Inspection Laws
Prior to January 1, 2018, Utah required safety inspections for all new vehicle registrations. Now, the only vehicles that require safety inspections for registration are commercial vehicles, first-time street legal ATV registrations, and rebuilt salvage vehicles. Utah does require emissions inspections every other year for all vehicle models less than six years old. Vehicles more than six years old must undergo emissions inspections every year. However, emissions certificates are not a requirement for vehicle models from 1967 or earlier. Requirements for diesel-powered vehicles vary from county to county.
A driver must have an emission inspection performed no more than two months before the renewal of the vehicle’s registration. Utah also imposes limits on how much an inspection may cost, and these fees are quite reasonable. For example, the maximum inspection fee in Cache County is only $20, and the average fees in Utah and Salt Lake Counties are about $25. Fees for emission programs are about $1 to $3 throughout Utah.
A few more exceptions to these new rules do exist. For example, vehicles less than two years old and vehicles with Manufacturer’s States of Origin do not require emissions inspections. In Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber Counties, vehicles from model year 1967 or earlier are also exempt. In Cache County, vehicle models from 1968 or older are exempt. Motorcycles are also exempt from emission inspection requirements.
Issues with the New Inspection Rules
While state lawmakers proclaim that the new inspection rules will save Utah taxpayers about $25 million per year, many mechanics in the state worry that the new rule will lead to more accidents on Utah roads. Many drivers neglect problems with their vehicles unless they prevent the vehicle from passing an inspection or a mechanic strongly advises fixing them. If there is a longer time between inspections, and certain vehicles don’t require safety inspections anymore, the number of accidents will logically increase due to less safe vehicles on the roads.
Why Are Vehicle Inspections Important?
If your vehicle requires safety or emissions inspections but you fail to coordinate them in the allotted time, a police officer can issue a warning to have your vehicle inspected or face more serious penalties. Additionally, driving an uninspected vehicle could pose a health and safety risk to others around you. A vehicle that leaks harmful chemicals or does not perform up to modern emissions standards poses a significant risk to everyone nearby.
If you get into an accident while driving an uninspected vehicle, the fact that you neglected your obligations as a Utah driver could complicate your case. Utah adheres to a modified comparative negligence law, meaning a plaintiff can still recover damages in a personal injury case as long as his or her degree of fault does not exceed the defendant’s. If you get into an accident while driving an uninspected vehicle, this could compound your fault in the case or potentially bar your recovery in some circumstances.
Ultimately, it is every Utah driver’s responsibility to ensure his or her vehicle meet’s the state’s emissions and safety inspection requirements. It’s also vital for drivers to know their responsibilities at the county level as well, as different Utah counties have different requirements for emissions inspections. For help in Davis County, speak with a knowledgeable Layton car accident lawyer. Upholding your obligation as a driver concerning your vehicle’s inspections can help you avoid accidents as well as legal penalties.