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Behind-the-Wheel

Dear Cop - Vehicle Modification

If a car has had motor modifications done to the vehicle to increase the hp, is there a certain point that the vehicle would become illegal for street use?

Any modifications to a vehicle must comply with the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations. This includes exhaust noise levels, emissions, window tinting, vehicle lighting systems, brakes, safety devices, vehicle tires, etc. As far as I can see, the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations does not specify the amount of horsepower on a vehicle.

Do keep in mind that any modifications done to a vehicle must be reported to ICBC for the registered owners insurance coverage. The registered owner may be required to pay more insurance for the "modifications" on the vehicle and if not reported, the items used for modification will not be covered in case of a crash, theft or vandalism.

Section 29.03 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations indicates that a system or device installed on or incorporated in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine as required by section 29.02 shall, during the operation of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, operate or function in such manner as to comply at all times with the requirements of this Division.
(2) A system or device
(a) shall not cause emission to the atmosphere of any air contaminant that would not be emitted to the atmosphere during the operation of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine if it were not equipped with the system or device, and
(b) shall not cause or contribute to any unsafe condition endangering persons or property.

Constable R.A.(Richard) ASELTON
Central Okanagan Traffic Services - Media Liaison
Kelowna R.C.M.P. Detachment


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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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