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Protecting Your Ride….and Your Bank Account
By Justin Wynn

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon and you’re cruisin’ down the strip. All of a sudden you hear that horrible sound of wasted money. You check your rearview mirror to discover one of the scariest sights to the auto enthusiast: your local law enforcement.

Nothing against the police, but let’s face it. The officers of the law can be your worst enemy when it comes to your ride. Citations and tickets anywhere from suspension to body modifications can severly hamper your bank account and depending on the mood of the officer, they can seriously ruin your day.

Although many of the modifications we do aren’t exactly legal, there are things you can do to keep your ride somewhat law-abiding and on the road.

For those of you with an adjustable suspension, be careful hittin’ them switches on the road. In many states, playing with your suspension on the road can be considered reckless driving and can lead to multiple tickets for suspension and frame modifications. This also depends on the police officer as well but in short, watch your back before you play with your ride.

Modifying or shaving your factory taillights is a common modification among many enthusiasts. However, your recent efforts may not sit too well with the law. In modifying your taillights, remember that they have to be on the rear of the vehicle and clearly visible when lit up. The height of your taillights can also be an issue as well especially for those with bodydropped vehicles. In Ohio, for example, the taillights of all vehicles must be at least 16 inches off the ground in order to be fully visible according to the law. Try to keep these things in mind before you spend hours of work perfecting your newest addition.

One thing that cops will always get you for is the license plate and its light. I have been pulled over many times for not having a license plate light or having my plate mounted in the rear window. In most states, the license plate must be mounted at the rear of the vehicle with a light and it must be clearly visible. For those who have frenched plates, be forewarned that diagonally frenched plates can lead to a ticket in some states, as I discovered while driving through Indiana one evening, leaving me with a wonderful $75 ticket…

Although these are just basic things to watch out for, they can save you hundreds of dollars in fines in the long run. Little things, like a license plate light, can lead to the officer finding countless other violations. In the end, a burnt out headlight can unfortunately lead to the towing of your ride.

            Until next month, keep your head high and your ride low.


Gauge Columnist
Justin Wynn


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