THE NSW MINISTER for Roads Michael Daley has agreed to delay the introduction of proposed legislation that would have restricted suspension height changes to just 5cm above or below a car's standard ride height.
Intense pressure from off-road groups, aftermarket associations and car enthusiasts forced Mr Daley to reconsider the draconian modification rules.
It was not only 4WDs that were affected. Under the proposed legislation, all vehicle owners were to be required to seek engineering approval for any suspension modifications performed on any road-registered car.
“I’ve listened to feedback from the industry and the community, and have agreed to set up a working party to look more closely at how we are going to address this road safety issue,” said Mr Daley.
“All of those who attended today’s meeting agreed that safety is paramount and that unsafe modifications of vehicles do need be stamped out.
“The working group will include representatives from the NSW Centre for Road Safety, Four Wheel Drive NSW-ACT, Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association, the Australian 4WD Industry Council as well as other agencies and experts."
Executive Director of Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association Stuart Charity expressed relief at the minister's decision to hold off on the rule changes.
“We’re passionate about road safety and we understand the intent of the regulation is to make the roads safer,” Mr Charity said.
We’re looking forward to working towards a practical solution that meets road safety objectives while also taking industry views into account."
When they were announced two weeks ago, the proposed laws prompted a sharp backlash from automotive enthusiasts across NSW, many of whom believed they were being unfairly targeted by rules designed to stamp out illegal and dangerous modifications carried out by a minority of road users.
“We want to eliminate unsafe practices in the driving community and we’ll work with the government to make sure these new regulations meet those objectives without any adverse consequences for the motoring community at large,” Greg Redfern from Four Wheel Drive NSW-ACT said.
“We all agree that there is no place for extreme and illegal modifications, but the clubs in our association follow a strict code of conduct and ethics, and we want to make sure they’re not punished."