Thursday, 17 January 2019

Modified cars, bikes may get refusal for registration

18/1/2019

PUNE: If you are ever planning to modify your vehicle to make it resemble a Porsche or Lamborghini, you may just need to rethink this…An important judgement from the Supreme Court stated that modified vehicles will not be eligible for registration henceforth.

The Bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Vineet Saran, ruling in Regional Transport Officer vs. K. Jayachandra, set aside a Kerala High Court judgment which had held that structural alteration is permissible as per the provisions of the Kerala Rules.

Referring in detail, the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Central and State Rules, the bench observed that such particulars cannot be altered which have been specified by the manufacturer for the purpose of entry in the certificate of registration.

Justice Mishra said that since the vehicle manufacturers test the prototype for road-worthiness, safety and include them in the specifications, and so modifying a vehicle to alter this might prove unsafe. “Rules deal in minute details with the construction and maintenance of the vehicle. Rules also deal with the safety of other users on the road.

If some individual interest is likely to suffer, such individual interest must give way to the larger public interest,” the bench added. City based Automobile Engineer Sanket Jawale said that this was an important judgement by the Supreme Court. Modification of the vehicle can spell trouble for the driver and the other vehicles and pedestrians on the roads.

Each vehicle is designed and built differently and that is why it is important to maintain the original specifications. Discussing further Sanket gives our readers an indicative list of modifications which are permissible/ not permissible.

This list is purely indicative and all modifications, if any, must be checked and approved by the appropriate authority to ensure safety and compliance of existing laws.

Body Shape: Modification of the vehicle should be under the prescribed dimensions for each class under which it was purchased.Changes beyond that are restricted however the interior of the car like seat covers, music system and so on is permissible.

Body Colour: Black, yellow, white, red, pink allowed. Olive Green coloured body paint is prohibited as that colour is reserved for Indian Military Forces.

Number Plates: The background and foreground colours, font style, size and spacing between each digit are decided and the number plate has to be in English and Numerals.

Fancy number plate: name on the number plate or regional language number plate are not permissible.

Headlamps: Size, height from ground and colour range is specified. Blue/White colour lamps are not allowed.

Sun Film: The front film of the car should have 70 per cent of light transmissions while on windows it should be 50 per cent. Dark glass films are banned.

Indicators: Amber colour allowed. No other colour is permissible

Horns: Permissible to 115 db. Above that not permissible. Also modified horns which has different tones are illegal.

Fog Lights: Height from the ground is restricted. Beam light should not be dazzling.

In two-wheelers change in the silencer/muffler is strictly prohibited.

Following the legal procedures for modifying a vehicle is both tedious and expensive. An individual first needs to get the modification plan approved by the company that vehicle belongs too. Once approved, the vehicle needs to be tested in government approved certifying testing centres before going onto the road, Jawale added.

Not everybody can afford a Ferrari or Lamborghini, so, If the modification maintains the safety and stability of the car, it should be permissible, says Lalit Bhagwani, Businessman.

In rural India, many vehicles are re-oriented to perform different types of jobs. Everybody finds it more affordable to get a designated new vehicle which is done up in a local garage. For example, two-wheelers are converted into autos and so on. However, in the city, if the safety is not compromised by following the legal procedure of modification, it should be made permissible.

Jagtap adds, “However, modification of vehicle causing a threat to the driver and other citizens should be prohibited completely. For example, the unbearable sound of some silencers and horns.

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