Cape Town - The motor industry is in uproar over the Cape Town traffic department’s efforts to clamp down on modified cars as part of their actions against illegal street racers. Even seemingly simple modifications, such as wider or larger wheels and tyres, larger exhausts, or any fittings not clearly specified by the car’s manufacturer may now have a motorist running the risk of having a car declared not roadworthy.

photo Mert Dere


But the motor industry is about to object loudly.

Various motor industry and motorsport spokesmen have decried the clampdown on modifications, heavily criticising the city for approaching the fight against illegal racing the wrong way.

The Retail Motor Industry Association (RMI) intends investigating the city’s actions after the issue was raised with them by the Midas group, one of the country’s largest suppliers of after market products.

Stefan le Roux, marketing director of the Midas Group, said he had reason to believe there was an issue of interpretation of the law and regulations.
“First, Midas does not promote illegal street racing or driving in unsafe or illegally modified vehicles,” Le Roux said.

“Although illegal street racers mostly modify their vehicles, it does not mean that all modified vehicles are used for illegal purposes. We have contacted the Retail Motor Industry (RMI) to assist in clarifying the interpretation of the different regulations as the quoted regulations and interpretation of such by the Cape Town Traffic Services may differ.”

He said there was a definite problem with the thinking by traffic authorities.

“The implications of this is too large to be immediately grasped,” he said. “We will have to tackle this head-on as an industry.”

Commentators have accused the city of trampling on the rights of car owners in general for the sake of getting at a relatively small minority of people who take part in criminal activities.

End of part 2 /3

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