The sad case in the news today where a father has been convicted in relation to the death of four of his children when his modified Land Rover crashed and ended up in a river raises a question regarding modified cars which has been common for many years.
The truth is that there are an enormous amount of modified cars on the road which are not safe either for the driver or for other road users.
I was really aware of this problem when I was councillor for Fakenham on North Norfolk District Council and we had (and probably still have) a problem with teenagers driving modified Vauxhall Corsas around the town late at night, very often speeding, and in cars that had been modified in carious ways that rendered them dangerous.
The classic example of this was the group who had their 1.2 litre Corsa's altered to take wider lower profile tires. The problem was that these tyres actually rubbed against the bodywork when they got full lock on their steering. Not happy with this, the cars were sometimes lowered (meaning they caught the bottom of the car on ruts and speed bumps) and to add to the danger, they had an array of flashing neon lights that lit up the road in various patterns which seemed specially designed to distract other drivers.
How did they get through their MOTs I hear you ask ? Well in the first instance they simply reverted to their old tyres when their test was due (a cheap job if you have a few friends who will help you with the tyre change and MOTs are not concerned with things like neon lights.
I'm sure Fakenham is not the only place with such problems. But today's events highlight the need for the police to be vigilant in stopping modified cars, but with the number of police patrols being lower than ever, the chances of them being stopped is lower than ever.