The 39-year-old owner of a motor workshop Fong Kim Exhaust System Pte Ltd in Ubi was charged in court on Thursday (May 6 2021) with three counts of performing illegal vehicle modifications.
Raymond Tan Chia Long, the owner of Fong Kim Exhaust Racing Development, was charged under the Road Traffic Act with replacing the exhaust systems of two cars with unapproved systems on three separate occasions.
Court documents show the alleged offences occurred in June 2019, September last year and March this year, with one car getting its exhaust system replaced twice.
For performing illegal vehicle modifications, first-time offenders face a fine of up to S$5,000, up to three months in jail, or both.
The penalties are doubled for repeat offenders.
Modifying a vehicle illegally is a serious offence, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a media release on Thursday.
“Such illegal exhaust modification affects the durability and reliability of the vehicle, and increases the safety risks to both the driver and other road users,” said the LTA. Such modifications can also result in excessive noise, causing public nuisance, it added.
The agency noted that motorists must seek its approval before modifying exhaust systems.
“Only certified exhaust systems, which have undergone stringent testing in compliance with international standards, and are compatible with that particular make and model of the vehicle will be allowed,” it said.
“These exhaust systems are also required to meet the prevailing noise and exhaust emission requirements set by the National Environment Agency.”
It added that vehicle owners should check if their planned modifications comply with LTA’s guidelines before proceeding. Information on vehicle modifications are available on the agency’s One Motoring website.
“LTA takes a serious view of illegal modifications as they may pose serious safety and environmental hazards,” it said.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor said in Parliament in March that stricter penalties and regular enforcement have reduced the number of illegal vehicle modifications in Singapore, from about 1,800 per month in 2015 to around 550 per month last year.
In the past two years, LTA has issued an average of 610 notices of offences per month to owners of illegally modified vehicles, said Dr Khor then.
LTA does not provide further details on this statistics, of how many such offences are for motor cars and how many are for motorcycles. Some of the more 'popular' illegal modifications for motorcycles include unapproved exhaust systems, tint visors, naked handlebars, and aftermarket LED lights.
With this harsher clam down on illegal modifications in Singapore, with the law now punishing not just the owner of the vehicle, but also the workshop that assist in modifying the vehicle, does this spell the start of the end of individual styling and modifications of our beloved rides?
Hardest hit commercially with this new ruling would be the workshops that currently hold high inventory levels of non LTA-approved exhausts and other such illegal modifications. Some workshops have gotten around this law by stating with their sale invoices "For off-road and private road use ONLY".
If you want to know what modifications are allowed, you can refer to LTA's website here:
What do you think of LTA's move to clamp down on workshops and retailers that aid in illegally modifying vehicles? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the comments section down below!