Facebook flak for cops’ 4WD clampdown

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Great Southern police have hit back at criticism from motorists on social media for issuing defect notices for illegally modified four-wheel-drives, saying the decision to issue a yellow sticker is about road safety.

Traffic police were condemned on their Facebook page last week for highlighting the issuing of defect notices for illegal 35-inch tyres and lifted suspensions, drawing angst from the four-wheel-drive community.

Senior Constable Kriss Logan said police were not deliberately targeting the modified cars but the amount being noticed on the roads could not be ignored by officers undertaking their role as traffic enforcement officers.

He said officers had not prioritised defect notices over offences such as drink-driving, speeding and non-use of seatbelts.

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“When it comes to road safety that’s what we are looking at and roadworthiness all round,” he said.

“Manufacturers make their cars to be as safe as they can at the time, ultimately people modify them and that’s when we get those concerns of those modifications.”

Police say they only require “reasonable belief” to issue a defect notice and the car is then required to undergo a full vehicle inspection by a licensed vehicle inspector, who recommends changes and ultimately allows the car back on the road.

Sen. Const. Logan said many of the modifications were being undertaken in backyards and police had come across a series of illegal lifted suspensions and 35-inch tyres in recent weeks.

He said lowered cars and loud exhaust systems were also being noticed.

“We are not professional mechanics, we just have enough experience to know that it is not right,” he said.

“It all comes down to safety, the cars have not been designed to run that way and it is a contributing factor to crashes.”

Vehicle inspector Kevin Theyer said he had noticed some drivers changing their cars back to the illegal modification after passing an inspection.

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