SINGAPORE: The 39-year-old owner of a motor workshop in Ubi was charged in court on Thursday (May 6) 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.
READ: LTA issued about 610 notices of offences a month to owners of illegally modified vehicles: Amy Khor
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.
Separately, a five-day operation by the authorities in March - which came after a car crash in Tanjong Pagar which killed five people - found 54 offences related to illegal vehicle modifications.