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Old 02-01-2011, 08:47 AM   #1
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Thumbs down North Dakota Introduces Bill to Restrict Vehicle Modifications

http://www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62870

A bill (H.B. 1442) has been introduced in the North Dakota State Legislature to prohibit the modification of any motor vehicle that alters the manufacturer's original suspension, steering or brake system unless the state highway patrol issues an inspection certificate. Current law permits modification if the equipment meets “SEMA standards.” H.B. 1442 adds that modifying equipment may also meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Among other things, the bill also would require fenders on all motor vehicles. The bill will be considered by the North Dakota House Transportation committee on Thurs., Feb. 3, 2011.

We Urge You to Contact House Transportation Committee Members (List Attached) Immediately To Request Their Opposition to H.B. 1442

For those interested in attending the hearing to voice their opposition, the committee will meet on Thurs., Feb. 3 at 2:45 p.m. at the following address:

Fort Totten Room
State Capitol
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0360
• This bill makes no sense. There are no specific SEMA standards applicable to equipment used to modify suspension, steering or brake systems. SEMA does not set standards. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only issues FMVSS to regulate equipment that is required on all new motor vehicles. An aftermarket part may only be regulated if it takes a vehicle out-of-compliance with a required piece of safety equipment when installed. For example, lift kits used to modify ride height for function and utility are not specifically regulated by FMVSS.

• H.B. 1442 does not indicate any objective criteria that the state patrol will use to determine which modifications are legal.

• H.B. 1442 would require fenders on all vehicles regardless of whether or not they were originally manufactured with this equipment.

DON’T DELAY! Please contact members of the North Dakota House Transportation Committee immediately to request their opposition to H.B. 1442.

Please e-mail a copy of your letter to Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org. Thank you for your assistance.

North Dakota House Transportation Committee

Dan Ruby - Chairman
Email: druby@nd.gov

Dave Weiler - Vice Chairman
Phone: 701-255-5042
Email: dweiler@nd.gov

Lois Delmore
Phone: 701-772-8428
Email: ldelmore@nd.gov

Robert Frantsvog
Phone: 701-839-5307
Email: rfrantsvog@nd.gov

Edmund Gruchalla
Phone: 701-866-2305
Email: egruchalla@nd.gov

Brenda Heller
Phone: 701-873-7791
Email: bheller@nd.gov

Kathy Hogan
Phone: 701-235-1916
Email: khogan@nd.gov

RaeAnn G. Kelsch
Phone: 701-663-0774
Email: rkelsch@nd.gov

Scott Louser
Phone: 701-839-9587
Email: sclouser@nd.gov

Kenton Onstad
Phone: 701-862-3445
Email: konstad@nd.gov

Mark S. Owens
Phone: 701-792-1819
Email: mowens@nd.gov

Gary R. Sukut
Phone: 701-572-9607
Email: gsukut@nd.gov

Don Vigesaa
Phone: 701-797-2448
Email: dwvigesaa@nd.gov

Robin Weisz
Phone: 701-962-3799
Email: rweisz@nd.gov
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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Well being as i'm from north dakota this topic obviously caught my attention. But i doubt they would pass a bill like this. Don't worry
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:14 PM   #3
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You never know, so please contact the members of the committee. There could be countless others thinking the same way you are and not calling while committee members are thinking, "Hmm... I guess nobody opposes this..."
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
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Well I live here and I have not seen this , so thank you for bring ing this to our attention . Funny this law comes from a state where the roads SUCK ! Dont think it will pass , but I will forward this on . I agree with storm79 no way it passes inthis state .
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:40 PM   #5
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by fargomike View Post
Well I live here and I have not seen this , so thank you for bring ing this to our attention . Funny this law comes from a state where the roads SUCK ! Dont think it will pass , but I will forward this on . I agree with storm79 no way it passes inthis state .
This is again precisely why we're here - to inform enthusiasts of issues that will impact our hobby. That's why it's crucial to join SAN at www.SEMASAN.com and be ready for when such attacks occur. Joining SAN is free and will arm you with the material you need to be informed and to act.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:46 AM   #7
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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)


SAN does a good job of alerting it's members to issues that may affect our hobby.

I encourage all C5 members to join and support them, please!
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:39 AM   #8
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Wow. Just wow.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by hot_rod View Post
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)



SAN does a good job of alerting it's members to issues that may affect our hobby.

I encourage all C5 members to join and support them, please!
Thank you for the kind words. Please be sure to spread the word! We need as many pro-hobbyist voices on our side of the ball as possible to stop this kind of unfair law.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:08 PM   #10
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SEMA, I have to respectfully point out that you are mistaken, and this Bill has been blown way out of proportion by North Dakota citizens. They are not introducing the idea of prohibiting alterations to the suspension, steering, and brakes. This line already exists in the current North Dakota law as it sits now:

Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person may not operate upon a public highway a motor vehicle of a type required to be registered under the laws of this state with a weight of seven thousand pounds [3175.14 kilograms] or less with alterations or changes from the manufacturer's original design of the suspension, steering, or braking system of the motor vehicle.

So this is nothing new. The bill is removing the section about seven thousand lbs, and introducing the requirement to be inspected by the highway patrol if the design is deviated from. However, "Design" is a broad term, and one might suggest that most aftermarket parts use similar "designs" to OEM, though they aren't the exact same part. Additionally, since this is already in North Dakota law, and not aggressively enforced, I feel it's unlikely that enforcement would increase so significantly as to be a burden.

Additionally, the bill states that hydraulic suspension may not be operated while driving (a good idea anyway), and that tires with a diameter larger than OEM must meet federal safety standards. It seems to me that if you're using a DOT-approved tire, you already meet those federal standards.

Regarding the requirement for fenders, the bill does add a portion that states that the entire tread width of a tire must be covered by a fender. However, current North Dakota law provides an exemption for vehicles manufactured without fenders. It states, in a later section of this same chapter:


39-21-52. Exemption for certain street rod motor vehicles.
The provisions of this chapter or chapter 37-12-02 of the North Dakota Administrative Code relating to bumpers, tires, and fenders do not apply to street rod motor vehicles. However, a street rod must have all equipment, in operating condition, which was specifically required by law as a condition for its sale when it was first manufactured. A street rod is a modernized motor vehicle which was manufactured before 1949 by a recognized manufacturer and which retains the general appearance and original body configuration as manufactured or a motor vehicle designed and manufactured to resemble such a motor vehicle. A street rod may have improved modifications
to the body, chassis, engine, brakes, power train, steering, and suspension systems either by modifying the original equipment or replacing original parts with fabricated parts or those taken from other existing vehicles. The director may adopt rules to implement this section.


It really seems to me that people are getting quite bent out of shape over a bill that they don't quite understand and haven't bothered to fully research.

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Old 02-03-2011, 05:30 PM   #11
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Perhaps, BadlandsRacer needs to do some additional research. The North Dakota bill is based on a fundamentally flawed premise. Even the bill sponsors now recognize that. The current law references SEMA equipment standards. None exist. Never have. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only issues FMVSS to regulate equipment that is required on all new motor vehicles. An aftermarket part may only be regulated if it takes a vehicle out-of-compliance with a required piece of safety equipment when installed. For example, lift kits used to modify ride height for function and utility are not specifically regulated by FMVSS. So, what is the state patrol to do? Especially, if H.B. 1442 does not indicate any objective criteria that the patrol will use to determine which modifications are legal.

The bill requires an inspection certificate from the department or highway patrol after the completion of all modifications before the motor vehicle with vehicle modifications from the manufacturer's original design of the suspension, steering, or braking systems may be registered. That is a completely new requirement. As a consequence, every time anyone modifies their suspension in a manner different from the OEM design, they would have to get an inspection certificate. Burdensome requirement. How do you get the vehicle to the state police for the inspection? Tow the vehicle? Or do you have to get them to come out to your house to do the inspection? What would the effect be on state resources?
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SEMA Action Network View Post
Perhaps, BadlandsRacer needs to do some additional research. The North Dakota bill is based on a fundamentally flawed premise. Even the bill sponsors now recognize that. The current law references SEMA equipment standards. None exist. Never have. Moreover, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only issues FMVSS to regulate equipment that is required on all new motor vehicles. An aftermarket part may only be regulated if it takes a vehicle out-of-compliance with a required piece of safety equipment when installed. For example, lift kits used to modify ride height for function and utility are not specifically regulated by FMVSS. So, what is the state patrol to do? Especially, if H.B. 1442 does not indicate any objective criteria that the patrol will use to determine which modifications are legal.

The bill requires an inspection certificate from the department or highway patrol after the completion of all modifications before the motor vehicle with vehicle modifications from the manufacturer's original design of the suspension, steering, or braking systems may be registered. That is a completely new requirement. As a consequence, every time anyone modifies their suspension in a manner different from the OEM design, they would have to get an inspection certificate. Burdensome requirement. How do you get the vehicle to the state police for the inspection? Tow the vehicle? Or do you have to get them to come out to your house to do the inspection? What would the effect be on state resources?
I am well aware of the fact that SEMA has no equipment standards by which to measure. However, to state that the bill is flawed because of this portion would be an error, as this portion already exists in the current state law. This, yet again, is nothing new being introduced by this bill.

In addition, it is pretty evident in this bill that there is no desire to have items such as lift kits regulated by SEMA or FMVSS. It simply states that any suspension lift performed on a registered motor vehicle may not exceed 4 inches, which, once more, already exists in the current state law. The original intent of this bill was to eliminate or raise the weight that vehicles must meet in order to become exempt from these standards. Simply put, they want owners of lifted trucks that weigh more than 7,000 lbs to still be obligated to comply with state laws.

While I agree that a certification requirement is burdensome, it is simply a non-issue. The state simply does not have the resources to develop such a system, nor does the North Dakota Highway Patrol even WANT to be responsible for these inspections. The officers are not qualified to judge these standards, and having those officers perform those inspections creates a large liability for the NDHP.

Incidentally, the first words out of the chairman's mouth today at the legislative session were, "this bill is not intended to prohibit people from performing upgrades or improvements to their suspension, brakes, etc." This bill is in its infant stages still, and targeting something else entirely. It was conceded by those drafting the bill that the wording was not intended to create the perception that it did. Additionally, the NDHP spoke in opposition to the certification section of this bill today.
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