Trinidad: When is a low rider too low?

Lowered Mitsubishi Lancer.

(Trinidad Guardian) 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,

Car enthusiast Brent Gerard Housian’s former ride, a 2004 Mazda RX8 that was two inches off the ground.

“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.

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