February 4, 2008

"Collector" Cars a Real Problem

The picture above captures it all, but the Rocky Mountain News today elaborates on the details of an emerging problem in the Denver metro area: drivers using the "collector car" exemption to avoid complying with clean air standards for tailpipes.

Under Colorado law, any car 25 years or older can be registered as a "collector car" and avoid regular tailpipe testing. Because state law considers any car 25 years or older to be a "collector car," it means that trucks like the one above qualify for the exemption from tailpipe testing.

Case in point is the truck above, which was spotted driving near Cherry Creek in Denver with collector plates. It may be more than 25 years old, but we're hard pressed to call it a "collector."

In the meantime, while "collector cars" like the one above avoid tailpipe testing, the Denver metro area is struggling to clean up harmful ground-level ozone pollution, the key ingredient of smog.

So what needs to be done? While there may be a need for true "collector" cars to be exempt from emissions testing, the exemption needs to be tempered significantly. The limit should be pushed back to at least 1975 or earlier, and motorists must show that the car is only used for "collector" purposes (e.g., shows, tours, etc.), not regular driving.

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