0 Comments
Isuzu iAdventure club Photo: Supplied
Isuzu iAdventure club Photo: Supplied
 
 

Sell your car without the hassle.
Get an instant offer from areyouselling. FIND OUT MORE

 
Alex Rae | Sep, 12 2018 | 0 Comments

The state that’s home to some of Australia’s greatest four-wheel-drive destinations, and most hostile roads, has introduced the nation’s most stringent modified suspension and lift laws.

The new regulations set out by the Queensland Government Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and enforced by Queensland Police under an initiative codenamed 'Operation Lift' has seen fines and defect notices issued to any modern four-wheel-drive vehicle with electronic stability control and a total lift of over 50mm.

The operation is alleged to have commenced without notice, with vehicles that have more than 50mm lift now considered defective.

Introduced retrospectively – meaning any ESC-equipped registered vehicle with such a lift, including visiting interstate cars – the new law has seen many tourists and locals unsuspectingly fined with defective stickers handed out, including the impounding of some vehicles.

According to the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) no notice was given prior to the operation being enforced, creating a “ridiculous situation” that’s a “serious concern,” and that for many Queenslanders a “75mm combined lift is a safety measure.”

Normally, a four-wheel-drive is given a 50mm suspension lift and the factory tyres, which are usually focused on sealed road use, changed for off-road-capable rubber. However, those tyres are usually larger by around 25mm, meaning the added difference is about 75mm.

The AAAA claims that such modifications are needed for people driving in rural areas, towing caravans and boats, and for visiting the state’s iconic four-wheel-driving parks such as the Simpson Desert, Cape York and Fraser Island.

It also added that most state emergency vehicles in rural areas are modified with an over-50mm lift, contradicting the state-set law. The rules in other states such as Victoria and New South Wales remain that any four-wheel-drive can be modified with a 75mm lift, including vehicles with ESC.

“The suspension industry is in total confusion because we were in negotiation with Queensland Government Transport and Main Roads to supply computer simulation evidence to verify the ongoing compliance and safety of 75mm lifts when Operation Lift was launched,” said AAAA director Stuart Charity.

“Effectively the Queensland Police are now enforcing laws that TMR were still negotiating with our industry.”

Operation Lift has been successful in seeing motorists hit with fines, defect notices and even some cars being impounded. A Facebook group with over 6500 users has been set up with numerous complaints, and a petition started that has already gained over 80,000 signatures.

The AAAA reports that one complaint comes from a driver who had purchased a new vehicle with dealer-fitted accessories that were defected once in Queensland.

“Vehicle owners that had only just picked up their vehicles or driven over the border from NSW were suddenly pulled off the road and told that their vehicle is not legal in Queensland,” said Charity.

“One driver picked up a new 4WD that had been modified by the authorised new car dealer and 15 hours later his car was issued with a Defect Notice by the Queensland Police - it is a ridiculous situation.”

“4WD owners that undertook a 75 mm lift late last year had a modification that was well within the law. Today that lift is outside of the law. But at no stage has the Department provided any evidence that a 75mm lift is unsafe and at no stage has an explanation been given as to why this modification was safe for ESC equipped vehicles in QLD in 2017 but is not considered safe in 2018 – why is it safe in NSW and Victoria and not in Queensland? The situation is seriously beyond belief.”

An over 50mm lift on a modern vehicle with ESC is possible in Queensland but only if fully tested by robotic calibration – an expensive procedure carried out by car makers. As Drive understands from one aftermarket four-wheel-drive specialist, no workshops in Queensland have been approved to undertake such testing.

The AAAA said that anyone affected by the latest blitz should write to the “Officer In Charge” of the Police station where the notice was issued and ask for the Infringement to be reviewed, given that the TMR website provided guidance that a 75mm lift did not require additional certification and this was changed without informing the industry or the public.

 
Filed under road rules Safety
 
TMR Comments
LOAN CALCULATOR
i
Latest Comments
 
The size of your tyre is located on the sidewall of your tyre.
It will be similar to the sample below.