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Lift kits, mudguards, new headlights: there’s a lot you can do to your vehicle to set it apart from others on the road. But many aftermarket products can also land you a fine or ticket.
With winter approaching, RCMP in Kelowna say they will be keeping their eyes peeled for what they call “vehicle defects,” in an effort to keep Kelowna’s streets as safe as possible.
So, take the Folgers can off your muffler and peel off that super-deep window tint, here are the six most common vehicle modifications drivers in Kelowna are getting ticketed for, and what those tickets will cost you.
Vehicle suspension and lift kits
If you’ve raised or lowered your vehicle’s suspension height by more than 10 centimetres from factory specifications, look out, or at least get it inspected.
Section 25.21 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (MVAR) states that vehicles can’t be driven, operated or even parked on a highway in B.C until they have been inspected at a designated inspection facility to ensure suspension modifications meet safety standards.
If you’re cruising around without the proper inspection, police have the right to immediately take your car off the road, or force you to get it inspected. You’re looking at a $598 fine if you don’t comply.
Headlamps and headlamp height:
There’s a couple of things you need to take into consideration if you’re planning on putting in a pair of those super-bright High Intensity Discharge headlights.
RCMP say you should consult the vehicle lighting guide on the Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement website, or a designated inspection facility to make sure you’re still in line with the Motor Vehicle Act.
If not, you could face a $109 fine for “improper lamp location or inadequate headlamps” (like having a brilliant blue light instead of white light) or have to pay $109 for having shielded, covered or obscured lights.
Lights can be considered obscured by paint, film and plastic covers, but also dirt or other materials.
Mud flaps and mudguards:
The RCMP say they often find vehicles with mud flaps that don’t properly control the amount of spray and splash from water and mud from the rear of the vehicle.
Section 7.06 of the MVA REGS says mud flaps or fenders have to cover the full width of the tire.
Once again, if you’re caught with skinny little flaps, you’re probably looking at a $109 fine for failing to have mud flaps or sufficient size installed.
Window tint is common in the Okanagan, as it helps keep cars from getting too hot in the height of summer, but there’s still regulations laying out exactly what kind of tint is acceptable.
No material that reduces the amount of light transmitted through a vehicle’s window is allowed anywhere below 75 mm from the top of the windshield. .
The same rule applies to side windows that aren’t behind the driver, or the rear window if the vehicle is equipped with an outside rear view mirror.
Failing to follow these rules could mean a $109 fine under Section 7.05 (8) of the MVAR for illegal tint.
Cracks, stone chips and even clouding in windshields can hamper a driver’s vision.
A crack more than 300 mm long in any part, more than two cracks over 150 mm long, a stone injury over 40 mm in diameter or any clouding on the driver’s side of the windshield can reduce visibility enough to illicit a fine.
You can probably guess the amount: $109, under Section 219(1) of the MVA for defective motor vehicle with a cracked windshield.
Vehicles registered in B.C must have an official license plate securely attached on the front and back. The MVAR also says licence plates have to be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign materials, so that the letters and numbers may be plainly seen and read at all times.
Failing those requirements might mean a $109 fine under Section 3.011(a) of the MVAR for not having a front or back plate, or a $230 fine under Section 3.03 of the MVAR for having an ineligible plate.