Classic car owners call on ‘specific exemption’ from new ‘tampering’ driving law proposals

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The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) has been in contact with the Department for Transport (DfT) over its proposals to introduce new driving laws. The DfT launched a consultation proposal to look into how it could prevent car modifications that negatively impact on road safety, vehicle security and the environment.

The “Future of Transport” consultation was focused on supporting the automotive industry and ensuring that transport regulations are fit for the future.

As part of the Future of Transport: Modernising Vehicle Standards regulatory review, the DfT put forward proposals to enable the Government to better target and prevent harmful tampering with vehicle emission control systems.

However, some classic car owners and organisations were fearful of how this could affect the historic vehicle industry.

A spokesperson for the FBHVC said: “As a benefit of the long-standing working relationship between FBHVC and DfT, the Federation received an early invitation to respond directly to the DfT ahead of the formal Consultation.

“The Federation used this opportunity to ask for confirmation that the principle of no retrospective effect would be maintained and to address the concerns over anti tampering proposals.

“The Federation therefore sought assurances from the DfT on the following points:

“The DfT would follow the existing long policy principle that the revised regulations will not have retrospective effect.

“They would specifically not apply tampering provisions retrospectively, but confine them exclusively to “tomorrow’s” vehicles.

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“They would consider a specific exemption provision in the regulations allied to the definition of historic vehicles.”

In response to the consultation, a petition was launched on the Parliament website which called on the Government to “not implement new offences for vehicle tampering”.

It said that modified vehicles that are used on the roads are subject to the same MOT testing as all other road cars, showing there are adequate safeguards to ensure modified vehicles are roadworthy.

Since the petition reached a whopping 107,000 signatures, Parliament will consider it for a debate in the House of Commons.

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