Skid Marks

Tips on modifications and accessorizing


Lately, the local government of Quezon City has been apprehending motorists with questionable modifications, particularly LED lights and flashing lights or winkers of any sort.

The private sector has been questioning the legality of the operation against these motorists and their allegedly questionable modifications.

But rather than throw in my own opinion on this matter, I thought about giving suggestions on these modifications, add-ons and accessories.

I love tuning, modifying, accessorizing and personalizing my own cars, but admittedly, many other motorists install accessories or modify their cars to an extent where it is a nuisance to the general public, or can endanger other people on the road.

I’d like to make simple and easily implemented suggestions for modifying and accessorizing your car that will not draw the attention of traffic enforcers.

1. Flashers/winkers

These add-on flashing lights, including modules that transform otherwise ordinary brake lights on most passenger cars into flashers or winkers, should be banned. Period.

These types of modifications and accessories should only be reserved and utilized by people in the government service, particularly police, military, fire fighters and those involved in public safety/defense.

Private citizens should have no business having these accessories and modifications. An exception would be ambulances and registered government volunteer workers such as volunteer fire brigade, emergency response teams, and of course, certified security agencies patrolling large private estates.

Flashers can trigger epileptic seizures, making it dangerous for people who have these tendencies.

2. Sirens

Same as above. No private vehicles should have these at all.

For sirens, and flashers and winkers, government should control the importation, distribution and sale of these items.

Unwarranted or unregulated sale and installation of these items by car accessory shops should be heavily fined.

3. Tint

In most developed countries, tint is limited in opacity for front windows and windshields.

I commonly see opacity no greater than 20 percent, i.e., the tint is only allowed to block 20 percent of light.

This allows easy screening/viewing of the vehicle driver and the front passenger, for the safety of lawmen and security officers should they flag down vehicles for inspection.

Again, this is something the government should regulate at the point of importation, distribution and sale because it is difficult to police if it is readily available.

4. Exhaust noise

The government should standardize exhaust noise as a basic guideline to prevent nuisance modifications.

In most countries, the new standard for modern vehicles both gasoline and diesel engines is around 76-78 decibels .

Since we still have a lot of old PUVs, we can raise this allowable limit to 85-90 decibels.

However, the vast majority of motorists who install aftermarket exhausts on both cars and motorcycles exceed 100 decibels.

A measuring equipment for decibels is quite common. In fact, most smart phones can download an app that makes your mobile phone a noise measuring device. It might not be very precise, but it would be a great start.

5. Headlights and tail lights

As per the rule of law, headlights can only have the following colors: white, goldish white, yellowish white, a tinge of bluish white, and nothing else.

For tail lights, it should be red/amber. Whitish lights are only reverse lights, and should only be triggered when reverse is engaged.

Yet so many people install pure blue or even green colored headlights, endangering their own selves as blue and green lights have poor illumination at night, and especially during adverse weather such as fog and heavy rain which may cause an accident, injury or loss of limb and life.

There are motorists, particularly SUV/4×4 enthusiasts who install bright white LED lights at the back. Their use has its place for nighttime off-road driving, but when left unattended, they are blinding to trailing/following motorists.

Lastly, on the issue of LED lights, i believe their use should be regulated, but not banned. They have their place on our roads, as the vast majority of provincial roads are poorly lit, if at all.

LED lights help illuminate the road, and improve our visibility and safety. But in the city centers, they should not be used at all.

Hence, lawmen should issue tickets for violations on unnecessary use of LED lights in city centers, but not the removal and confiscation of these items.

I wanted to come up with more suggestions, but implementing and policing five standards on car modifications and accessorizing is difficult enough.

It’s a lot of common sense, is easily enforceable, and should not cause any confusion. If we can’t simplify rules and regulations, anarchy will reign, and confusion will continue to spread on our roads.

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