The Supreme Court has passed an order that no motor vehicles can be modified in the country. Basically, making it illegal to modify any vehicle. This includes any sort of modification on both two and four wheelers and includes any changes that are made in the original specifications or on the registration certificate.
The state of Kerala, where a large number of modified vehicles are seen, finds many such vehicle owners against this new ruling. Enthusiasts in the state have appealed against this regulation and shot off letters to the Chief Minister of the State claiming that it is these very modified vehicles that made rescue operations possible in the recent deluge that affect the entire state of Kerala. This was particularly seen in the case of modified SUVs.
The 4×4 community has urged the government not to include these vehicles in the new regulation. They state that these vehicles should not be considered as modified vehicles and should be labeled as upgraded vehicles. The 4×4 community also seeks to challenge this regulation and is taking the legal route to ensure that their vehicles are exempted from the Supreme Court order. They urge the government to set up a committee to study these vehicles and suggest new norms.
Modified vehicles are particularly capable of taking on the most varied of terrain. They come in handy in the event of natural calamities as they can be fitted with better tyres, brakes and extra lights besides snorkels and other equipment that allow them to travel through deep water with ease.
During the floods in Kerala, it was the Chief Minister himself that posted a request on Facebook calling all owners of 4×4 vehicles to help in rescue operations. This community was also felicitated by the Chief Secretary of the State after these rescue operations were complete and it may be added that none of the owners of these vehicles demanded any compensation for any damage their 4×4 may have suffered during the rescue.
The owners of these modified vehicles also cite that banning these vehicles is not the answer. These modified vehicles cannot be used over long distances and cannot exceed a certain speed. They are exclusively for recreation and hence should be exempted from the ban, claim the owners.