By Wang’ombe Kibunja
Being unique and standing out is the one thing everybody wants. It is said that normal is overrated, and no one wants to be a cliché. You want to stand out from the clothes you wear to the shoes and jewellery and, most importantly, your car. A car modification is changing your vehicle to enhance it in some way that is not part of the manufacturer’s features. People mostly make modifications to cars to improve the style of the car or performance. Some of these modifications will get your car rocking and standing out like getting new leather seats cover. On the other hand, some changes will get you in trouble because they are illegal according to the law. This writer takes you through the modifications that will get you in trouble with the police.
Led bar lights
The LED light bars are important when you are driving in dark alleys or dark roads without traffic lights. The lights give extreme headaches and also distract drivers. They are not allowed when you are on a busy road with traffic unless you hide them or turn them off. These illumination lights are famous for being extremely bright and powerful. Having them, which is wrong in regular traffic, can blind the oncoming drivers, causing accidents.
Loud exhaust pipes
Some drivers soup up their exhausts to boost their engine’s sound, but this can be a public nuisance. Most big-bore and sports exhausts are not legal on public roads, and they are also annoying. We all know that a powerful car needs to have a distinctive, loud exhaust sound. It has been stated and proved that in this day and age, the big part of the automotive culture is noisy exhaust pipes, it looks like the insanely sounding muscle cars will be extinct. As much as you want to feel powerful by the sound of your exhaust pipe, You can always have a top quality-sounding exhaust strong enough to still hint to you that you are in a fast car. But it can be quiet enough, so it does not wake up your area or start car alarms. A major concern in cities is noise pollution. And much of the city noise comes from vehicles.
Tinted windows are legal as long as they meet specific criteria. The tinted windows are allowed in personal cars but not in public transportation cars. Tinted windows will raise a lot of questions in vehicles meant for public use because that will mean that the people are hiding something illegal or worse carrying illegal people. Drivers who fail to comply with these rules could be served with a prohibition notice, meaning they will not be able to use their car until the tints have been removed. In extreme cases it could land you in court.
Bull bars are a way of making your car look more aggressive and a way of styling your vehicle up. They are also being sold because they are aggressive in appearance and will intimidate other road users with the message that their car is more robust, harder, and stronger than the rest. It means that you should stay out of their way. Research has proved that bull bars fitted on four-by-fours or vans increase the severity of injuries and multiply the number of deaths not only for the people who are hit but for the passengers and drivers of the vehicles on which they are fitted, for reasons that we all understand. Bull bars stiffen the fronts of cars and destroy the vital controlled shock absorption designed into vehicle fronts. The forces caused by the crash are transferred from the vehicle, and the impact hits the bodies of those inside, increasing their injuries.
A report by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) released in 2018 after hue and cry from motorists contradicted an early tweet from the National Police Service that indicated that bull bars are illegal. Simply put, bull bars are legal and not prohibited-atleast according to NTSA.
Hidden Number plates
It’s illegal to conceal your cars number plate when using Kenyan Roads, this also applies to Motorcycles. Most drivers modify their cars and eliminate the front number plate to give the car a meaner and cooler appearance. Also sport bike riders are known to remove their bike number plate to give it a tidy tail. According to the Traffic Act a vehicle’s number plate should always be displayed and be visible, the number plate should be at 90o with the vehicle at the front at the back. The rear number plate should be illuminated and visible even at night.
The modifications that are illegal are those that can cause harm to other road users, cause harm to the vehicles occupants by compromising vehicle safety, create a public nuisance and or those that make it impossible to identify as per the law.