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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John RCMP are going to focusing enforcement of defective vehicles over the next few months.

In a release this morning, Sgt. Dave Tyreman said that the RCMP will be targeting six commonly-observed modifications on vehicles in the Fort St. John area.

The first modification is illegal suspension and lift kits, which the Tyreman said is a common modification seen by officers, and involves the illegal raising or lowering of the vehicle’s suspension height. A car’s height changed by more than 10 centimetres cannot be driven or parked on a highway in B.C. until it has been inspected by a certified inspector to ensure the modification meets safety standards. Tyreman explained that illegal height modifications could mean a fine of $598.

In the same vein as ride height modifications, police will be enforcing faults with vehicle headlamps and headlamp heights, specifically focusing on vehicles with High Intensity Discharge lights. RCMP advises those considering those lights to check out the Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement website to make sure they comply with the Motor Vehicle Act. Drivers with improper light locations, inadequate headlights or headlights blocked by dirt or other materials could face a $109 fine.

Vehicles with insufficient or no mud flaps is the third area of vehicle defects that police will focus on. That fine can also cost a driver $109.

Among other issues, Tyreman said that officers still encounter vehicles with illegally tinted windows, making it number four on the list. Tyreman explained that anything that reduces the amount of light a window lets through cannot be installed more than 75 millimetres below the top of the windshield, or on a side window that isn’t behind the driver. The fine for illegally tinted windows is also $109.

While rock chips and impacts are a fact of life during winter in Northern B.C., police say that windshields obstructed by damage is number five on their crackdown list. A crack over 300 millimetres long in any part, more than two cracks over 150 millimetres long, a stone injury over 40 millimetres in diameter or any clouding on the driver’s side of the windshield could mean paying a $109 fine.

Finally, licence plates make number six on the list, with the RCMP noting that it shouldn’t be difficult to find a car’s plates. Cars and trucks in B.C. are required to have two licence plates secured to the vehicle – one on the front and one on the rear – and those plates must be entirely unobstructed and free from dirt so the letters and numbers can be plainly seen and read. Vehicles without a front and/or rear licence plate will see a $109 fine for the driver, while an illegible licence plate will cost the driver $230.

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