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Thread: Modding - The Legal Issues!

  
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    Modding - The Legal Issues!

    If a moderator/admin likes this feel free to make it a sticky, copy n paste for the main site or whatever u want, just remove this sentence and go ahead! (i knicked it from a local website and thought it was a good informative read!):


    ..:: LEGAL ISSUES WITH MODDING ::..


    Number Platez





    One of the easiest mods to spot (and prove) if your a rozzer.
    As the law stands today, it is illegal to make any changes to the standard approved character font (e.g. Italic), spacing,
    or size of the plate constitutes an offence. Remember too that if you have moved the plate from it's factory standard location
    (due to smoothing your tailgate etc) it still needs to be lit up adeqately at night.
    You'll be quite lucky to buy an illegal plate now, as the companies that produce them are liable for prosecution if you get
    stopped.
    Getting pulled for an illegal plate aint very clever - you're making it too easy for them! While this offence only entails
    a small fine (and maybe confiscation of the plates) your drawing un-wanted attention to the rest of your modded motor...not
    a good idea!






    Sunstripz & Window Tintz





    The sunstrip is now one of the most popular and most essential items for any modded motor, but telling this to the porkers
    is no defence if you've gone a bit OTT with yours.
    The sunstrip should not be so low down the screen so that it interferes with your ability to see out.
    However, this isn't really all that obvious, so, so as a guide, if the strips that low that your wiper(s) touch it , it's
    too low!
    Trying to get round this by fitting shorter wiper blades isn't going to work either - the police aren't that stupid, and you
    could also get done for wipers that don't cover enough of the screen.

    Window tinting is even trickier.
    It's legal to have upto a 25% tint on your windscreen and upto 30% on all other glass. However, be carefull with this (especially
    windscreen), because most factory standard glass is already tinted. This may only be a 5% tint, but it could mean the difference
    between a let-off and an on-the-spot fine.
    Most professional window tinting companies will advise you on what darkness to go for, but if you are buying "off the shelf"
    tints then dont go for much more that "light-smoke" to be safe.
    Some police forces now have a light meter that can measure the light transmission through the glass at the roadside - fail
    this and your fined my lad!






    Single Wiper Conversion





    Not usually a big problem, and certainly not worth a pull on it's own, but throw in a big sunstrip and a short wiper blade
    and your done for.
    Insufficient view of the road ahead. There's also the question of if it's legal to have the wiper arm parked vertically in
    the centre of the screen, as this also obscures your vision.
    Actually, it's probably not legal - even if it does look trick as ....
    Unfortunately the blues don't do cool!






    Lighting





    Lights are one of the best things to get you on. As all us modders know, there are now different style lights available, whether
    it be Morette conversion for headlights or Lexus-style rear clusters.
    However, because you don't get too many copies of Max Power or Fast Car lying about in a cop shop, they pigs aren't up to
    date on whats hot or whats not. This is one main reason for a blue light and a pull.
    Make sure all your lights are UK legal - being "E Marked" just makes them legal in europe, so check for UK aswell.
    If you do have euro lights then make sure you add a reflector somewhere on the back of your motor, and also make sure your
    rear fog light is on the correct side (thats the right hand side)
    Once you've had any headlight mods done (except for brows) then make sure you get your light aligment checked over. Mis-alignment
    can also briing unwanted attention to your car.
    Lastly, neons.
    All interior and exterior neons are now deemed to be illegal. If you do fit any neons, make sure you wire them up to a switch
    - any half decent neon set will come with a switch.
    Also, don't drive around the roads with them on (save it for showtime). They disctract other road users, apparently.






    I.C.E.





    This one's pretty self explanatory. Don't play your beats too loud!
    It appears that the authorities now have by-laws concerning "music audible from outside a vehicle", and not so good fines
    if your caught.
    Also, don't think you can get away with it because Mr Plod isn't carrying a dB meter to tell how loud your system was. He
    can still get you for "disturbing the peace" - this is on the basis of one officers judgement of the noise level. If the case
    is proved, then it is quite normal to have your gear taken off you!!
    Don't push it too far!!






    Alloys/Tyres





    One of the first and most essential mods to any car has got to be a set of phat alloy wheels, with some low profile rubber.

    Thing is, just as practically every other mod does, these will attract attention from the police.
    Why?
    Are they nicked? Well, you might know where they were bought from, but the law doesn't! This is an instance where copies of
    reciepts in the glove box could come in handy.
    Also, your wheels should not rub on, or stick out from the arches - either of these could be picked on if you got stopped.

    Finally, remember that you need some rubber around your alloys...don't let your tyres get bald!






    Suspension





    Not something that usually gets picked on, but, did you know that if your cars slammed on it's arse or your bird is more of
    a beef, then plod can do you for causing damage to the road?
    No, i'm not joking...If your motor is so low that it catches the road or speed bumps etc, then you are risking getting pulled!

    Try and get a route into town that avoids bumps then I guess.






    Exhaust Systems





    Along with an air filter, this is probably one of the easiest performance mods made, and one of the essentials if you want
    to be taken seriously!
    Unless your system is extremely loud, you wil be very unlucky to get pulled for your exhaust.
    However, there are some other little things you could get done for...
    Just recently fitted your home-made straight-through system, when you used to have a CAT? Well, if you get pulled then you
    could quite easily get slapped with a roadside emissions test. If you fail this (which, you surely will) then consier yourself
    in the proverbial creek without padles.
    Also, you tailpipe (no matter what system) should not stick out any further than the very rear of the car - something to do
    with safety of pedestrians?!?






    Bodykits





    Thankfully, the motor industry does not have fashion police.
    However, if they want the normal every day police could do you just as bad if you have bodged your bodykit.
    Is your bumper going to fly off with a gust of wind? Or is that new splitter hanging off after too much scrubing on speed
    bumps?
    If so, then we'd recommend getting it sorted, because if they want the police could quite easily pull you for safety issues.

    This doesn't mean that your bodykit is going to have to go, because they are actually legal as long as it isn't bodged on
    by your aunties sisters flatmate!






    Seats & Harnesses





    As long as your seats meet the UK safety standards (which they will if you have bought them from a UK shop), and they are
    securely bolted in then your fine.
    You should be able to fasten and un-fasten any belt/harness with one hand, and if you have harnesses then the police don't
    like to see them mounted to a flimsy rear strut brace. After all, it's your life if you crash!
    If you do get done for this, then it's unlikely they will go through a full roadside safety check, but they may want a full
    MOT engineers report within 7 days.
    Don't risk it!






    Other Mods





    Here we have some other little laws that don't really require a section of their own, but it's always usefeull to know your
    stuff.


    It's illegal to remove side repeaters from front wings. You'll have to work around them to create the ultimate euro-style!



    All except the most prehistoric motors must have at least one rear fog light. If there's only one, it must be fitted on the
    right hand side of the car.
    Unfortunately, you must also have a pair of rear reflectors if your clusters haven't already got them.


    Fuel filler caps have to be fitted so there's no danger of fuel spillage, or of excess fumes leaking from the top of the filler
    neck. (not very likely to warrant a pull though)


    Front doors have to retain a manual means of opening from outside the car. Even if it's been de-locked for remote locking,
    you still can't get rid of handles. Rear handles seem to be ok to remove.


    Tailgates have to have some means of opening, even if it's only from the inside. This is mainly because it could be a means
    of escape in event of a crash etc.


    You must have at least one exterior mirror, and it must be adjustable some how.


    If your thinkin of fitting some new spot light's in that bumper, then they must work! All extra lighting (spot lights, fog
    lights etc) must be connected and working properly.


    Pedal extensions must have rubber studs (or some form of rubber) fitted on the brake and clutch pedals, and must be spaced
    sufficiently, so there's no chance of hitting two pedals at once.


    If you fit a sports sterring wheels to a car with an airbag fitted as standard, then when you disconnect the airbag the warning
    light will be on constantly.
    As well as being annoying, it's illegal!


    Pace-car strobe lights (or any other flashing light except indicators) are illegal for road use.






    Please note that we could simply not cover every aspect of the law - basically because it's not possible, thanks to laws changing
    all the time.
    If we have missed something you needed then you can phone the MOT Helpline on 0845 6005977 to get more information.

    information above courtesy of www.modifiedukcarz.tk

  2. #2
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    To add to that info.

    You can remove the front door handles, but need a means of opening the door from the outside, a pushbutton under the mirror seems to suffice (ask TVR).

    Suspension wise, you must ensure that the car does not drag over speed bumps and on inclines. Lorrys (especially lowloaders) can be issued with prohibition notices for risk of grounding and this can also be applied to decked cars.

    As regards ICE and noisy exhausts. Under new laws 'anti-social behaviour' is now an offense, which can get your car confiscated. Basically, driving around the same area (the High Street/Promenade/Car Park) with all your mates, blasting out music and ripping up the tyres could see you nicked. It has happened around by us.

    To make the window tints situation a bit clearer. Most tinted standard factory window are now near enough 70% VLT. This is the legal limit, so adding any tint to the front screen and side windows is illegal. A lot of Police regions will allow 50% and above VLT to pass without a nicking. You can apply any tint you like to the rear and rear side screens.

    Finally, declare ANY and ALL mods to your insurer. Without doing this they can void your insurance and even if they don't know about it, in the eyes of the law you are driving without insurance. Any illegal mods can also make your car uninsured, as they mean the car is no longer legal for UK road use, which is one of the declarations you make when you sign up with your insurer.

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    Regarding lighting, After long discussions with police officers it has been found that there is not a specific law regarding the use of neons, These are classed as reflected light and do not come under the traffic laws with other lighting.

    Neons must be fitted so you cannot see the tubes only the reflection on the ground and they must be wired to a seperate switch and not linked to your lights.

    The only thing you will definately get done for however is RED neons to the front of your car.

    The front of your car must never show red and the rear of your car must never show white this can cost you a fine and 3 points.

    There is also a legal loophole regarding led washer jets providing they are on a seperate switch and not linked to your lights and you can have blue as long as they dont flash then you cant be mistaken for a police car.

    My local police are finally going along with these loopholes but other police officers will try and fine you in the hope that you dont know about these loopholes and accept the ticket, If you challenge them they should back down as they know the truth but dont want you to know.

    REMEMBER it also pays to be polite to them!
    Carnoustie coachworks, Insurance approved bodyshop.

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    :? with regards to dehandling, there seems to be a grey area here.

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    The tint % you've quoted are wrong, and you can't tint the windscreen
    Cant Think of Anything Funny To Say

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    What about cosmetic mods such as rear lights / grilles etc, what would you expect to be charged on insurance for those?

    Cheers.

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    My cosmetic mods put my premium up by 15% thats about £60

    not too bad for an irmscher bodykit,grill, afterburner rear lights and a set of 17s
    Carnoustie coachworks, Insurance approved bodyshop.

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    airbag steering wheels. if you remove said item for an aftermarket item this is not illegal, as for the warning lamp just remove the bulb. however, the mot people at vosa are trying to make this part of the mot test so it may cause problems in the future.
    no comment

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    Last time i check volume above 75db @ the speaker (directly infront nearly touching) is considered a neusance. (also same with home hifi's)
    Generally if someone can clearly hear the cars music with the doors/windows closed it far too loaud and youll end up a deaf sod
    I'm like a bad penny, old, dirty, and appears when not wanted.
    Guess who's writing a victorian fantasy book. #JamesPurcell #The Diaries of James Purcell

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    Old-thread-post-tastic
    0-60 in 6.5 secs and 48mpg- winner!

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