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Why are California Police ticketing and impounding modified cars?

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CHP modified car
California police are cracking down on modified vehicles

California police along with CHP are cracking down on modified cars this summer in a big way. Here’s why.

With warmer temps on the way, cool summer nights in the forecast, and with California youth largely out of school, street racing along with illegal car related activities are on the rise. Earlier yesterday (June 7, 2018) according to Fox LA a street racing-related crash caused damage to at least eight cars on a street in Reseda, California. Some are taking this crash as the tipping point in what’s been a months-long fight with car enthusiasts holding illegal sideshows on busy Southern California intersections, causing traffic, injuries, and being an overall public nuisance.

In addition, some sideshow spectators have gone so far as to shoot fireworks at the CHP helicopter, really angering law enforcement.

In response, CHP in various Orange County Cities launched a task force that’s been sitting mostly dormant for 2018, specifically to go after cars they think might be involved in street racing, sideshows, or illegal car activities. In short, California police went after ANY vehicle they thought might have an illegal modification. Check out the post from CHP-Santa Ana below and the gallery of cars they cited and/or impounded. The original Facebook post has since been deleted but, like all things on the internet, there are copies.

 

According to The Compass Law Group, there have been at least 179 people killed in street racing-related activities over the past 18 years. Police are using statistics like that along with the latest round of sideshows and accidents that have happened to really step up their citations.

If the police get even a whiff that your car might be modified, they can and most likely will pull you over and throw every citeable offense at you.

If you want to know if your car is in violation of the California Vehicle Code, the section dealing with equipment of vehicles is online for you to check.

The most common citations include the most obvious like….

  • If your car is too low, more than 22 inches lower as measured from the center of your headlight.
  • If your engine modifications are in direct violation with CARB. That means if you’ve got an intake without a CARB sticker, that’s a ticket.
  • A modified exhaust, especially if it sounds louder than stock.
  • No front license plate.
  • HID headlights that are not white or yellow in tint.
  • Illegally tinted front windows and windshields.

In addition, your vehicle will get impounded for reasons like…

  • DUI
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving without registration
  • Outstanding tickets

Check out this modified car that got impounded in Antelope Valley for obvious reasons.

So, Yes California police are going after modified cars, but you won’t get impounded or handed a citation for no good reason. It’ll most likely be for something small like no front plate or a modified intake. If your car gets impounded, it’ll be for something on your part like the aforementioned lack of insurance etc.

The truth of the matter is that police are stepping up their presence. They want people considering going to illegal sideshows or participating in street racing to know that they’re out there.

And to an extent it’s already working. I’ve seen dozens of posts online from accounts with thousands of followers warning car enthusiasts about this increased police presence. One guy on Instagram is even getting a documentary started highlighting how most car enthusiasts that go to meets aren’t these people causing all the trouble.

There’s still going to be street racing and sideshows, but police want you to know that you’d better be ready to deal with the consequences.

It’ll be interesting to say the least how this summer plays out.

Stay out of trouble out there!

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