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DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

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DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by Zero on Mon May 19, 2014 12:34 pm

The purpose of this post is to highlight the by-laws in Ontario concerning vehicle modifications. Nothing said in this post will be considered "advice".

This is not the place to insult or voice personal feelings against the Law.

There will be no particular order to the information provided. The information listed below is from the Project ERASE website and other local forums. Please feel free to add any laws/ bylaws



1. No part of the tires may come into contact with the vehicle, no part of the vehicle can touch the ground and the front wheels cannot be visibly out of alignment.

The tires must be approved for highway use. You may also have to install mud guards or mud flaps. Tires can't state anywhere on the side wall; "Not for highway use"

Tires can't also show any cords, or any gouges revealing cords, nor can they have any bulges or lumps.
HTA (Highway Traffic Act)

HTA 70(3)(a) - Improper Tires - $85/110
HTA 66(3) - Improper Mudguards/No mudguards - &85/110
HTA O.Reg 611 Schedule 1 Section 3(5) - Reference section for GTA 84 - Operate unsafe vehicle - Not Set Fine, Maxumum $20,000 fine

2. Window Tints. There is no restriction on window tint or colouring on rear windows as long as there are side mirrors providing a clear view to the rear. A driver must have a clear view out of the front windows and the wind-shield and a police officer must have a clear view in.

So, if the officer feels he can't see you (crap.. I'm dark), he can give you a ticket.

HTA 73(1)(a) - Window Obstructed/ Wind shield obstructed - $85.00/110
HTA 73(3) - Color coating obscuring interior - $85.00/110

Seems like you can get two tickets for window tint alone

3. Body color change. You must get a new vehicle permit within 6 days. This also applies if you change the engine, fuel system, number of doors (Laughing), number of axles or convert body style.

GTA O.Reg 628 Section 3 - Vehicle Modified - Fail to apply for new permit - $85.00/$110

4. Lighting. Lights on the front of a car must be white or amber. Red is restricted to Police, Fire and Ambulance. Green is restricted to Volunteer Firefighters (like Juice... Laughing) and Blue is restricted to Police, Snow Ploughs and Highway Sanders.

It is illegal to cover your Headlights with any tinted or coloured material or to reduce the effective area of teh beam of your headlights.

It is illegal to have alternating flashing headlights except for emergency vehicles.

HTA 62(15)(Red Lights), 62(16)(Green lights), 62(32)(Blue Lights) - $85/110
HTA 62(7) - Drive with headlamp coated / Drive with headlamp covered / Drive with headlamp modified - $85/110
GTA 169(2) - Prohibited use of alternating highbeam headlights - $85/110

5. Adding stickers to your windsheild. Depending on the size of the lettering, this may be illegal. There can be nothing obstructing the driver's view of the road ahead. A good guide is to avoid the area swept by the wipers.

HTA 73(1)(b) - Have object obstructing view - $85/110

6. Wings/ Spoilers. It must be securely fastened to the vehicle and there are mirrors in good working order that privde a clear view to the rear.

HTA 111(2) - Insecure load - $130/160
HTA 74(1)(b) - No clear view rear - $85/110

7. Nitrous.

It is legal to possess Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous Oxide systems may be installed in a car and Nitrous Oxide bottles or tanks may be transported in a car, but the following provisions must be met:

- The Nitrous Oxide fuel system cannot be hidden from view
- The Nitrous Oxide bottle or tank can not be located in the passenger compartment
- The Nitrous Oxide bottle or tank must be disconnected to the fuel system while driving
- The disconnection from the Nitrous Oxide bottle or tank must be clearly visible
- The disconnected parts cannot be reconnected from anywhere inside the passenger compartment

Also, the system must be securely mounted. The bottle should be mounted rigidly away from crumple zones. Hatchbacks with bottles containing compressed gas must have a blow-by tube routed underneath the car; in case of failure the gas vents out of the vehicle, not in it. Do not drop it or damage the valve and do not grind off the bottle's date of manufacture. Secure bottles firmly in their mounting brackets, preferably with rubber insulation to protect the bottle. The lines from the bottle to the engine must be of the highest quality and kept separate from all heat sources.
Note: Although legal to possess, most insurance companies will not insure a vehicle equipped with nitrous oxide systems.

HTA 172.1(1) – Drive motor vehicle-nitrous oxide fuel system
HTA 172.1(1) – Permit motor vehicle to be driven-nitrous oxide fuel system
HTA 172.1(1) – Drive motor vehicle-nitrous oxide fuel system-no disconnection
HTA 172.1(1) – Permit motor vehicle to be driven-nitrous oxide fuel system-no disconnection
No set fine. Minimum $500.00 to Maximum $2000.00

8. Licence plate lights. It is illegal to have any other light directed at your licence plate other than white and the light must shine on the plate only. It is illegal to have a coloured neon light illuminate your licence plate. A white light must illuminate your plate.

Licence plate Covers. It is an offence to obstruct, cover or do anything that makes the licence plate numbers not plainly visible or makes the plate appear to be different from the intended appearance.

HTA 62(19) – Improper number plate light - $85.00/$110.00
HTA – Dark, coloured or dirty cover 13(2) – Obstruct plate / Dirty Plate / Entire plate not plainly visible - $85.00/$110.00
HTA – Yellow or red cover 13(1) – Confuse identity of plate - $85.00/$110.00

Borrowing plates. Plates have to be registered to the car that they're on. The validation sticker has to match both the car and the plate.

HTA 12(1)(e) – Use validation not furnished for vehicle
No Set Fine, Maximum $1000.00 fine or 30 days in jail with a 6 month driving suspension

Placing the licence plate on the dash. Every car or truck must display two plates; One on the front and one on the back in a visible location. The plate has to be ON the vehicle, not in the vehice

HTA 7(1)(b) – Drive motor vehicle fail to display two plates - $85.00/$110.00

9. Tail lights. White lights are not permitted to the rear, except for reversing lights and the licence plate light.

HTA 62(1) (All Lights) – Drive without proper rear lights – motor vehicle - $85.00/110.00

10. Exhaust. Removing cats, or hollowing them out. The Catalytic Converter sensor is an emission control component. All Emission Control Equipment manufactured on a vehicle must be present and operating as intended. If the manufacturer put it there, it has to stay

All cars, trucks and motorcycles need to be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and excessive smoke. Use of a muffler cut-out, straight exhaust, gutted muffler, Hollywood muffler, by-pass or similar device is prohibited.

The oxygen sensor is an emission control component. All Emission Control Equipment manufactured on a vehicle must be present and operating as intended. If the manufacturer put it there, it has to stay

EPA 23(2) Person — knowingly operating vehicle — emission control equipment not complying with regulations - $300.00/$365.00
HTA 75(1) – No muffler - Motor Vehicle / Improper muffler - Motor Vehicle – $85.00/$110.00
HTA 75(4) – Unreasonable smoke / Unnecessary Noise - $85.00/$110.00

11. Intake. This modification can be made legally, provided that the Positive Crankcase System remains a closed loop system and the emissions are returned to be burned off by the combustion components of the engine. All Emission Control Equipment manufactured on a vehicle must be present and operating as intended.

Breather filters. The Positive Crankcase Ventilation system must be maintained as a closed loop system and the emissions are returned to be burned off by the combustion components of the engine. All Emission Control Equipment manufactured on a vehicle must be present and operating as intended.

EPA 23(2) Person — knowingly operating vehicle — emission control equipment not complying with regulations - $300.00/$365.00

12. Interior.

LCD screens/ TVs - A modification of this type may be illegal. Driving with distractions such as video games, movies and TV shows is very dangerous. If the DVD player has a ‘kill switch’ that only allows the TV to work when the car is parked, then this is OK. Back seats are allowed to have TVs or DVD players. GPS navigation systems, electronic truck logs, courier and police dispatching systems are examples of permitted use of TVs.

Swapping out the steering wheel. Okay as long as the horn switch remains, or is relocated.

Hanging things from the rear view mirror. There can be nothing obstructing the driver’s view of the road ahead.

Sound systems. Any unreasonable or unnecessary noise or smoke coming from any vehicle is an offence.

Removing seats. The drivers seat must be properly secured with an approved functioning seatbelt where the driver can properly operate all controls. G2 drivers may only carry as many passengers as there are operating seat belts.

Replacing seats. Replacement seats cannot be marked “not for highway use” and the anchor points must be of adequate strength

Adding harnesses. Racing harnesses are not DOT approved. Replacement seat belts cannot be marked “not for highway use” and the anchor points must be of adequate strength.

HTA 78(1)(a) – Television in front seat $85.00/$110.00
HTA 78(1)(b) – Television visible to driver $85.00/$110.00
HTA 78 (2) – Television operating in front seat $85.00/$110.00
HTA 78 (2) – Television operating - visible to driver $85.00/$110.00

HTA 75(5) – No Horn – Motor vehicle - $85.00/$110.00

HTA 73(1)(b) – Have object obstructing view - $85.00/$110.00
HTA 75(4) – Unnecessary Noise - $85.00/$110.00

HTA 106(2) – Drive with seat belt assembly removed / inoperative / modified - $85.00/$110.00
HTA 162 – Drive while crowded - $85.00/110.00
HTA O.Reg 611 Schedule 1 Section 1(1)(j) - Reference Section for HTA 84 – Operate unsafe vehicle – No Set Fine, Maximum $20,000.00 fine.
HTA O.Reg 340/94 Section 6(1) – Class G2 licence holder – carry excess passenger $85.00/$110.00


http://www.yrp.ca/erase/


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Re: DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by Zero on Mon May 19, 2014 12:43 pm

No idea how to sticky this, probably a admin feature

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Re: DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by Chantie88 on Mon May 19, 2014 2:04 pm

Wow very nice zero!

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Current Mods - Megan Coilovers, Injen CAI, Tinted windows, Semi Debadged, Vibrant Header and Downpipe, Magnaflow cat back exhaust, Halo headlights with 6000K HID, Carbon Fiber hood, Custom Painted Interior Trim, Carbon Fiber wingless trunk, Stage 3 Upgraded Supercharger, #60 injectors, 2.7  pulley, heat exchanger, option B, stage 2 cams, gmpp Clutch, Focal Wheels


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Re: DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by Zero on Mon May 19, 2014 2:36 pm

=D Thanks. I hand re-typed everything... only way I'd be able to retain even some of the information in my head Laughing.

I'll keep adding to it as we go, and hopefully add some structure to it

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Re: DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by VTECDUDE on Mon May 19, 2014 4:05 pm

It's that kind of dedication that helps make a great resource!
Great job!

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Re: DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by QutaHunter on Thu May 22, 2014 12:59 pm

Hm... interesting.

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Re: DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by maxima_tyler on Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:02 am

very nice! i really like how actual acts and guidelines are quoted. very necessary to separate fact from opinion and guesswork.

If you are looking for a way to organize it, perhaps do it Engine Mods/Suspension&Chassis Mods/ICE Mods/Lighting Mods

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Improper Muffler Ticket

Post by hughheff on Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:34 am

Okay, so we already know small towns dont like Tuners. I got pulled over 2 weeks ago in Lindsey On. Basically I drove by a cop in my civic, who already had someone else pulled over, soon as i drove by I got the devil stare. Anyways he must have signaled to some cop a few km up the road. I was not speeding and was in a line of 8 other cars driving though a construction zone. I knew I was going to get pulled over but there was no chance the cop who saw me was going to catch me.

But I saw another crown vic coming down the road, this one made a 360, pulled up on my ass, followed me for about 2 mins before hitting the cherries.. After discovering you know im black, had my girl in the car who is of a opposite race, he did a car inspection. Gave me a tix for improper muffler. Let me tell you, my Civic is automatic, not loud, not ricey (Ask our prez) Anyways after giving me the ticket he told me if I get a receipt for a new muffler installed by Honda he would request to have the ticket dropped. What a loser. Anyways I fight everything cuz in the Tuner world we gotta stand up for ourselves and not be run over cuz of what we drive. I did some research, its a long read, but its pretty much a how to on how to beat this ticket. Copied from JDM Rides.

Default How I beat my "Improper Muffler" ticket
So today I went to the courthouse to fight my ticket for my supposed "improper muffler", which I received last August. I spent the last couple days researching this section of the highway traffic act, how it can be interpreted, and how others have fought these tickets.

I ended up beating the ticket, which inspired me to share how I chose to go about approaching my defence. Hopefully the next time you get one of these tickets you will also fight and win. The more people are willing to stand up for themselves in court, the less likely the cops are to harass enthusiasts like us about victimless "crimes" and focus on the real bad guys.

I should first say that this section of the highway traffic act (amongst MANY others) is complete bollocks, and to me seems to be designed simply as a way for the law enforcement agencies to line their pockets with your hard earned dough. It is extremely vague, which helps the police's ability to basically ticket anything that moves. However, the haphazard style that this piece of literature is written in also allows you as the defendant more freedom to interpret the law in your favor.

Now, I am definitely no lawyer, so please take my advice with a grain of salt. However, I feel that since I have absolutely no legal background, then anyone should be able to fight this ticket themselves and win. The key is to approach the trial with the mindset that you have committed no crime, and have done no wrong (which is likely true if you're like 99% of the people receiving these tickets). Where I come from, there's this principle that goes something like "innocent until proven guilty." Although some people seem to wish we would forget this principle, I believe it still holds up in a court of law.

So, let's get to the meat and potatoes. First, when you go in to request a trial date, make sure you also apply for what's called "disclosure". I can't stress how key this is because this is basically a copy of all of the officer's official written notes regarding your "infraction." This will tell you what (if any) evidence the officer has against you. Since the HTA (highway traffic act) is soo rediculously vague, he likely hasn't got any solid evidence against you since he didn't need any to begin with.

Now that you have received your disclosure, and know pretty much exactly what you're up against, you can begin to decide your fight strategy. My main focus when strategizing my defense was the period allowed in court to question the officer who wrote the ticket. I focused on this mostly because I am too lazy to devote a whole lot of time and resources to fighting such an absurd fine.

Basically, you may ask the Police officer a series of ANY questions you wish (as long as they are "yes" or "no" answerable) regarding the circumstances surrounding your ticket. The key is to use each question as a way of exposing weaknesses in the officers case, or flaws in his story. Since the HTA gives no actual standard for how loud a muffler is allowed to be, and most of these tickets are usually written because of something to do with noise, you may be able to use this strange anomaly to your advantage. I sure did.

Now, of course, every case will require a slightly different approach, but here's my own example. Hopefully it can act as a guideline or at the very least a source of inspiration for anyone else interested in defending themselves in court.

My disclosure letter didn't say anything that you would likely find too surprising. The officer has written that he could "hear <my> loud exhaust over his cruiser's radio." He also noted that he could hear my car quite some distance down the road before it ever became visible. At first glance this may seem like a surefire indicator of a treacherously loud exhaust. However, as you'll see, even a comment like this can be used to your advantage.

So, with my disclosure letter in hand, I ventured to start compiling my questions for the officer. Since I know what evidence he has against me, I should ask questions that I (hopefully) already know the answers to. I learned this little trick during my online research. Who says internet forums aren't serious business?

I decided to start my questioning with his observations about the volume of the sound emitted from my exhaust, since these are really all his disclosure gave me to work with in the first place, and since the "law" that I had supposedly broken actually gave no concrete standards for any noise violations.

1. Did you or did you not pull me over for PERCIEVED excessive noise being emitted from my car's exhaust?

"percieved" is important here! Now, I assumed he would answer "yes" to this question, so my next few questions are closely related to this one. Had he answered "no", I may have skipped a few of them.

2. Is it true that you heard this noise before my car ever entered your field of vision?

I knew this was going to be a yes, as my disclosure already stated.

3. Do you have any concrete evidence that this noise was emitted by my vehicle, and not a different vehicle in my general direction relative to your location at the time?

I was hoping this would be a "no", but I forgot to include the word "concrete" at the trial, so he basically just said "when I saw you drive up it was the same noise that I heard before." Oh well.

4. Do you have a standard or benchmark by which to judge the sound levels emitted from my cars exhaust?

This was going to be a no. He replied "whatever I deem to be unusual." Close enough for me.

5. Did you use any sound measurement equipment on my exhaust on that day?

Since he semi deflected my last question, this one didn't hit quite as hard as it could have.
However, I'm still in the green. I already knew that there was no standard, so my next questions were fashioned to question the officer's personal abilities at judging noise levels.

6. In your training as a police officer, have you ever been educated on how to tell how loud a noise is?

7. Is there any way you can be certain of the decibel level of the sound emitting from my exhaust on that day?

8. Can you demonstrate for the judge how loud my car's exhaust was on the date of the infraction?

On the surface, this seems like a silly and cheap interrogation method. However these questions reveal just how absurd the charges laid before me really are. You can probably guess at the answer I was hoping for in response to all of these questions. Luckily, that is very close to the answer I got.

At this point I decided to change my questioning style to focus more on the actual concept of an "improper muffler". I considered all of the inadequacies of the HTA wording regarding the topic. There is very little in there to actually condemn my exhaust setup, especially since I knew he did little to no actual inspection of my exhaust.

Improper Muffler Questions:

1. Are you, or have you ever been a mechanic, or ASE certified?

Not likely...

2. Have you ever received any formal training regarding how a muffler functions or works?

Nooope...

3. Can you describe for the court just how my muffler differs in performance, function, and operation, from the original equipment for my vehicle, if any difference exists.

He went on to mention how he's aware that some mufflers can be installed not to muffle sound but to boost power, and that he believed that was the type of muffler mine was. Admittedly he was pretty spot on, except this statement is certainly not very powerful evidence. In the end, it was this lack of solid evidence in the officers case, that made the difference, and allowed my charge to be dropped.

The above is obviously just one example. Every case is going to be different, but hopefully this gives you an idea of how you can enter the court room with a little bit of confidence. Please realize I read all of this stuff off a sheet of paper, not off the top of my head. Planning is key!

I'd really appreciate if some more of you guys out there who have beaten this ticket before could offer more pointers. I chose this method because it involves no lying under oath, and no dishonesty with the prosecutor. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It also involved no Db meters, and no hams sniffing around my ride. Admittedly it is very difficult to have the charge completely dropped using only the above method, but luckily my officer failed to mention what year my offense took place on while being questioned by the prosecutor. A very large final nail into his case's coffin.

There are, of course many other interesting ways to approach this situation other than bending over and taking it like a little bitch. I came up with this line of questioning the night before the trial. I spent far more time on this post than I did crafting my actual defence.

Remember, go to court prepared to pay the fine in full, and also prepared to fight the battle of your life. There's no way you'll leave disappointed! However, if you don't even attempt to fight, you're doing yourself, and all the other petrol heads out there a huge disservice.

END ...






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Re: DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by Hydrolikz on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:34 pm

Easiest solution is to get a "receipt" from your mechanic stating a stock muffler has been installed on your car.

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Re: DOs and DONTs of Modding - The Law

Post by hughheff on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:40 pm

im going to court. i wanna tell the judge the opp be racist.

he stuck a flashlight up my exhaust and said if i can see though its illegal.

nonsense...

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