Further to our article on Monday regarding the Queensland Police Service’s “Operation Lift”, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association have entered the fray with some sound advice for owners of modified vehicles caught up in the Queensland blitz.
During the “Operation Lift” roll out, Queensland Police were instructed to fine, issue defect notices, and impound modified four-wheel drives based on the recently changed regulations. This is further compounded by the fact that these changes are retrospective in nature – What was perfectly legal just six months ago, has now been deemed unsafe.
Where the issues have stemmed from, appears to be that the regulations regarding lift limits for vehicles have seemingly changed overnight, with no consultation with the general public, or the 4WD industry at all. What makes this fact worse, is that Queensland is the only state in the country that a 50mm suspension lift, in conjunction with a 25mm tyre lift (50mm over all tyre diameter) is deemed outside the law on vehicles with ESC (Electronic Stability Control).
According to AAAA Executive Director, Stuart Charity, this action directly contradicts a recent undertaking made by the Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey.
“Only a couple of weeks ago Minister Bailey said that the Queensland Government had no intention of subjecting their vehicle owners to tougher regulations than the rest of Australia and that he supported national harmonisation. It has now become very clear that his Department has other plans.
“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,” Mr Charity stated.
The AAAA has suggested that anyone who has been issued an infringement or defect for a vehicle with ESC that has a maximum combination of 25mm tyre lift and 50mm suspension lift, to write to the “Officer in Charge” of the Police Station where the notice was issued. They should ask for the infringement to be reviewed, given that the TMR (Transport and Main Roads) website provided guidance that a 75mm lift could be self certified and did not require any additional certification, and further, that this was changed without informing the general public, or the industry as a whole.
The AAAA further goes on to say that “…any penalised Queensland based 4WD vehicle owners who are customers of a retailer or workshop that is a member of the AAAA, that these companies have access to the AAAA legal hotline to support them. The AAAA is also encouraging drivers with previously legal 75mm lifts to contact the Minister and their local Member of Parliament in relation to this frustrating situation.”
With all of this in mind, there will be no doubt further developments on “Operation Lift”, so make sure you stay tuned, and keep an eye to Social Media to see what happens into the future.