Several motorists with raised suspensions as well as lowriders have been given inspection notifications even though they have stickers. This comes in the wake of the last week’s scenes of hundreds of motorists queuing up in long lines at vehicle inspection stations, trying to avoid a $5,000 fine.
Transport Commissioner Basdeo Gosine gave an unofficial “bligh” to drivers of uninspected vehicles for the first week of the year.
Some of the lowriders have taken to social media to post their experience: “They giving you a yellow paper stating to go to license office at an appointed date (for general inspection) if your car lowered and if the officers find it too low is trouble a padna get stopped already and had to go. Even if you have d sticker once they stop you in a road block and they fine you too low they giving you this (an inspection notification).”
Bad Granny Builder Jason Reece has asked licensing officers what is an acceptable height for a vehicle and what yardstick are they using.
He said some cars came from the manufacturer lower than others such as a Ferrari.
Reece queried if a Ferrari sat four inches off the ground and gets licensed, can a motorist’s car be also four inches off the ground with suspension that met international standards?
He said there were so many questions and no answers, and added that even the tint law was vague.
“By saying you can’t modify your vehicle, can we not say is infringing on an individuals right of freedom of expression?” Reece asked.
Duane Boodasingh, managing director of TriniTuner.com said an owner should be able to modify his vehicle within the confines of the law.
He said however when it came to subjectivity, it was left to a licensing officer’s discretion whether or not a motorist was contravening the law at the time he was writing him a ticket.
Car enthusiast Brent Gerard Housian, who owned a 2004 Mazda RX8 that was two inches off ground, said,
“Depending on the personality of drivers, they modify their vehicles in various ways for performance, aesthetics, rims, colour, scent and “hard pong. They should not be prejudiced for getting their vehicles inspected for raising or lowering the OEM (original equipment manufacturer’s) specs.”
Housaid added that mother nature gave them a lesson, “The October 2018 floods demonstrated the practicality of vehicles such as pickups, SUVs and off-road vehicles with suspension lift kits, their higher ground clearance made them the only vehicles capable of navigating floods and mud to rescue people and bring supplies to them.”
He said the alternate, safer but more expensive method was installing a lowering kit or coilover sleeves which entailed manually adjusting to change the ride height. “On the opposite side are the low riders who modified their rides two ways, the conventional and cheaper way Trinidadians achieved this is to cut the suspension springs which cost a few hundred dollars to the desired drop, one, two or three inches or in my case ‘slam the ride right down to the road’”.
Housian said a more modern system was an air suspension kit that can inflate and deflate the springs to raise and lower the height of the vehicle that cost just under TT $20,000.
He said the newest system employed an App whereby the motorist adjusted his car’s height or ‘slam it’ down to the ground using his cellphone.
“On the opposite side are the low riders who modified their rides two ways, the conventional and cheaper way Trinidadians achieved this is to cut the suspension springs which cost a few hundred dollars to the desired drop, one, two or three inches or in my case ‘slam the ride right down to the road’”.
He said the newest system employed an app whereby the motorist adjusted his car’s height or ‘slam it’ down to the ground using his cellphone.