Of Mice and Mods – A Legislative Fallacy?

Darkevo

Well-Known Member
#1
Further to a thread started in early Apr '10 ( general-chit-chat/allow-car-modifications-promote-motorsports-t21248.html ), please see hereunder the author's original draft of an article that should be published in a local mag, this month of June.
>>It has been a long while since the notion came up in mid Mar, but there was 'excessive heat & emotions' within the local fraternity back then, and it wasn't deemed an opportune time to voice out constructively.
>>The key objective remains unchanged (i.e. to reach out to the authorities (self-explanatory rationale therein article) and the critical masses for awareness & support), but couldn't get it published in the ST (& don't intend to distill the same into an ST Forum rant); now awaiting publication of the article, hopefully, as is.

Please comment :) :


Of Mice and Mods – A Legislative Fallacy?


My limited recollection has to date, noted four significant milestones in recent months that had revived hope for our humble motorsports fraternity: the Changi racetrack project was inching towards materialisation with support from the MCYS, having entered a post-tender/detailed technical evaluation phase; the F1 circus was more vibrant than ever and along with its amaurotic glamour and marketing forays, continued to generate precious tourism revenue for the economy; the government’s enthusiasm in cultivating young, locally-based talents, along with its endorsement of local motorsporting events; and what more could the fans ask for than having a listed global transportation giant, a pride and joy of this country, to support and to form arguably the largest local outfit dealing in quality aftermarket components and providing holistic automotive modification solutions.
>> Oh yes, the sanguine outlook of our motorsports enterprise and its affiliate tuning scene was irreversible indeed… or so we thought.

Every citizen should abide by the law of the land, for the rule of law has served the country well since independence. However, some may argue that the powers that be may not be learned in areas that pertain to our automotive interests, and that nanny knows best. Whilst we do appreciate the lawmakers’ efforts in regulating the needful with its set of rigid guidelines governing automotive modifications, crafted apparently with safety as paramount priority, one tends to wonder if indeed bureaucracy, sans in-situ practicality and packaged via the usual sophistry, will prevail for good.

If someone were to tell me that an engine modification leading to an increase in displacement capacity will ineluctably lead to engine-related failures, adversely affect exhaust emission, and compromise safety as (e.g.) an enhanced engine output may overwhelm capability of the OE brake system, I shall advise for that person to acquaint some experienced tuners and mechanics, be introduced to the rudimentary ‘mod’ principle of “safety first, performance second”, the fundaments of wholesome ECU tuning, and the R&D philosophy of established aftermarket manufacturers; subsequently and in good time, I shall then ask the person to rethink his initial statement.
>> However, if the authorities were to tell me that the same modification is disallowed and ‘non-negotiable’, per se, I shall then be compelled to wonder if there are other reasons behind such a firm rejection. Like many, I shall be glad to accordingly compensate for the increase in my engine’s capacity via my road taxes, over and above the corresponding safety modifications to enhance braking performance, handling, cooling of all fluids and charge, capped with a good tune to ensure that my ECU helps regulate the needful within prescribed safety parameters.
>> Wherein do the authorities’ concerns lie? For surely, there are substantive grounds for reconsideration and review of such a monitory guideline, most grounds being equally applicable to other regulations that refer to the ostensible cardinal rule against higher power output.

There are several minor replacement modifications that may though be approved, but will tend to increase power output nonetheless (e.g. intake, exhaust, ignition), thereby breaching the aforesaid cardinal rule. On the other hand, there are workshops carrying forth such modifications and more, having no choice but to straddle amidst ambiguities on both paper and ground, rendering wholesome services with legitimately imported/procured components; these entities (along with their patrons), I fear, will invariably end up victimised in the event of a crackdown by the book; subject to the urgent rectifications of apparent inconsistencies noted therein the current regulatory guidelines.

The authorities have rightly stated that only qualified personnel should carry forth aftermarket modifications, and that all enhancements should be proposed and rendered in accordance with manufacturers’ guidelines, where applicable.
>> There are many performance workshops (some certified as ‘authorised-centres’ by their respective aftermarket principals) serving the local fraternity, many represented by mechanics bearing little or no formal mechanical training, but armed with a wealth of experiential knowledge. Although these hands-on, skool ‘o knocks graduates have served the community well, the question remains: “What are the authorities’ definition and expectations of these qualified personnel, and how do these prerequisites affect the legitimacy of technical services rendered”?

Safety-wise, many are aware that the aftermarket addition of a roll-cage is strictly prohibited for road cars, despite its life-saving potential in road accidents. Some speculated that the authorities may fear a roll-cage will cause massive head injuries and obstruct cabin egress in a wreckage scenario, whilst some reasoned that it could be due to perceived aggravation of pedestrian injury attributable to enhanced chassis rigidity.
>> However, a professionally-installed, proprietary roll-cage system (e.g. a basic model without the obstructive cross-bracings, with all structural elements aligned by the fixed peripheral panels, edges and pillars of a cabin) should ensure that cabin occupants have a higher chance of survival in a mangled aftermath, and with solely the cabin being braced and rigidified, there should be no significant triangulative effect on stress loading and transfer between both frontal and rear crumple-zones of the vehicle. Furthermore, those who drive without helmets (i.e. on the road) will tend to have their roll-cages encased in dense polyurethane foam that will incidentally be gentler on the skull than most exposed cabin parts.
>> My presupposition would hinge on the authorities’ concern that roll-cage equipped road cars may be used for illegal street racing, and disapprove of it as such.

By the same token, aftermarket brake components and systems should be disallowed as well, for surely, if a road car were to comply strictly with the statutory guidelines (i.e. generally speaking, regardless of both nature and magnitude of modifications, there should be no increase in power output), why the need then for enhanced braking power (when OE brake components were tested and proven by manufacturers to be adequate and within international guidelines), if not to race?
>> Once again, wherein do the authorities’ concerns lie, pertaining to bona fide safety enhancements?

Eventually, it all boils down to social responsibility. The government cares about safety as much as we, the enthusiasts and practitioners, do. Motorsports is driven by passion, and it takes maturity to temper this passion responsibly, being an imperative for the fraternity to demonstrate, in hope that the government would then be more receptive to our opinions and relook certain aspects of its current guidelines in order to derive a more relevant context, that will continue to govern our passion in future.

Pretty soon, I shall bid my current ride adieu, for I do not wish to desecrate its motorsporting heritage, by having to encumber and throttle its intrinsic potential. For now, I shall endeavour to circumvent my daily contemplation against a perennial warning from electronic signboards that reads “Drive Safely, Speed Cameras Ahead”; quite frankly, one would be hard-pressed to concoct a more nescient message to confront fellow motorists; statutory humour perhaps?


(Dr Raymond A. Teo advocates the principles of Continuous Improvement. He has published a book on the same topic, addressing practical challenges confronting the global construction industry. Raymond’s belief in the said principles has formed the cornerstone of personal endeavours impacting many aspects of his life, including the “liberation” of his beloved CT9A-4G63.)
 
#2
IMHO, there is no connection between motorsports and (illegal) modifications. Legalising certain mods will not encourage a wave of bright-eyed bushy tailed youngsters to try karting and then on to real motorsports.

How many of the 600hp monsters on this forum actually even head to the track vs. those that prefer to restrict their activities to "spirited" (a.k.a. bloody dangerous) driving on the roads? I suspect the latter camp is much larger ("rounding anyone?"). I also suspect that Big Brother shares this viewpoint.

And to be clear, even hitting SIC once in a while for HPDEs is not really "motorsports". It is a hobby.
 

Ichimaru

Well-Known Member
#4
BabyEvo said:
dun give up ur monstrous ride pls.... stick to it, wif heros like u,, very soon we will see light at te end of the tunnel
^ +1 narrow minded as singapore officials are. there should be ways they can implement allowing heavier modification to cars. problem is are they willing to go through the extra trouble of inspecting the modified work for these things.
 

Protege

Active Member
#5
Oh c'mon doc, giving up already ?... I thought your party was just about to get started.

I was eagerly waiting to roll my sleeves up :albino:
 

Darkevo

Well-Known Member
#6
Approaching the third week of posting now, n still no tangible live pulse discerned from the ground.

I'm confident that the topic directly concerns, and to a certain degree affects, most local automotive and motorsports enthusiasts alike. We are united by a common passion that stimulates our being and motivates our actions, are we not?

Apathy is a terrible thing indeed; plagued the country, plagued our forums too.

(anywayz, i'v disallowed the principal mag to publish my humble thoughts, due to the shocking magnitude of editorial red-tapes encountered for a single 1000-word article :lol: , w anthr (mag) that clearly supported the spirit of regime change, but couldnt bring itself to print somethg whch may eventually cast the mag undr more adverserial spotlight of the gahmen's, being a reason, whch i'd readily accept frm a gahmen-owned entity no less..but i really shldnt expect others to sacrifice the equilibrium between their principles n livelihood for my own belief, even if initiated for the greater good, as i verily believe to be so.

Hvg answrd bro Gumby w my above para 2, i'l say to the othr bros that yes, i'll hv to part w car if i take up an expat package, but may still do so soon nonetheless, n Kev, no need to roll sleeves n all, u cn drive w a full bladder, skip second n fourth gears n still beat my cvt flat :alien: )
 
#7
The best lack all conviction, mate. Ok, so I'm misusing a great poem... :p

Apathy:
- is a fire extinguished by constant disappointment
- is a personal defence, a mask, so one can keep on keepin' on
- can be pretty satisfying, when you realise the very system which engendered such apathy is now condemning it. ("Take that!")

Anyway, I respect your views, good doctor, and for fighting the good fight. I'm rooting for you... in a limp-wristed, effete sorta way, of course!
 

Kiadaw

Well-Known Member
#9
The high cost of car ownership, as well as the inconvinces of traveling far & the safety factor (no disrespect to our Truly Asian's Friends), making motorsport hard to take off here.

Unless you have a workshop, or have deep pockets. Serious motorsport is beyond the reach of most people.

Building a race track in Singapore is a good start, provided it is affordable, but I don't think allowing more mods will really improve motorsport.

I don't think cars have to be ridiculously powerful, or fast to be fun, or make better racing drivers. IMO, the key is to make motorsport assessible to the mass. Maybe have some form of acedemies so that people that like the sport can start young, like high school level. Make it like some form of CCA, or like the Youth fighting club we have here. At the same time, let the participants knows the racing should only take place in a control environment with safety gears.

Cheers
 

Protege

Active Member
#10
Hahaa Ray, only time I'm motivated to roll my sleeves is to join your party in its efforts to create change & improvements in our fraternity, & never to race, CVT or not :lol: :lol:

In any case, congratulations on your moves (career &/or car), I trust these decisions could only be made when its aligned to your belief of Continuous Improvement :)


Cheers
 

Darkevo

Well-Known Member
#11
Some ancillary keywords of the article are as follows: 1) SAFETY; 2) Rigid, inconsistent, contradictory regulations?; 3) Bureaucratic red-tapes...etc.

Automotive modification is not tantamount to the buildup of engine power :)

Proponents (i.e. those aligned with principles of the cause) must understand and accept the above point, prior to any hope of putting forth a successful case with the authorities (and the lay majority) that will tend to adopt the same stereotyped assumption that "mod = +power" :))

(Hi Kev, I recvd an email from H.S. mag while overseas last week and i smsed to confrm if it was yur ride on the cover (of cos it was) :) like u, i too am a sucker for those minute details :lol: cheers)
 

Kiadaw

Well-Known Member
#12
I will be honest, if you wanted to enjoy driving, either motor sport or just enjoying your trip, this is not the place. Very sad indeed.

Even if the authority changed the rules to allow the modification like you mention, I don't see much differences.

If wanted to promote motor sport, the best route IMO is to make it for affordable & more accessible. If wanted to enjoy driving, I guess you have to live somewhere else.



I am also convinced, base on personal experiences, that having a good time not necessarily means needing to have a fast car or drives fast.
 

Darkevo

Well-Known Member
#13
Hi bro Kiadaw, having spent several years driving, 'modding' and 'cannonballing' in the UK, I concur that this country is far from being a driver's paradise :) Cheers
 

Kiadaw

Well-Known Member
#14
Hi Darkevo,

Being a city state, I can understand the high cost of running a car, as well as the inevitable jams & crowd. London is also very congested, in fact, its the only place I prefer to take the subway than drive (the eyecandy nicely dress chiobus that you only find in big cites is a factor to take the train as well).

Since you lived in Uk, then, you must be able to understand the sadness I feel when driving due to the type of drivers we have on our roads, impatient, inconsiderate, don't give way, etc. in our sunny Tropical Getaway Island. Anyway, after a while, I told myself, if I don't expect high standard, then I will not feel frastrated , and it works. Hehe.

Anyway, back to topic, whether we are able to produce world champion that can rub shoulder with the likes Lewis or Alonso, is not so important as people can have fun in driving (in a control, safe enviroment), & who knows, we may unearth a few gems.

There are already too many "street racers" in the street altready. Allowing more mods, even saftey mods, will encourage them to go even more "wild". I support you if you are helping to promote motorsport & awareness in Singapore, just suggesting that I believe the route isn't best through mods.

Cheers.
 

Darkevo

Well-Known Member
#15
Spot on Kiadaw :) Sigh..in a nanny state where many aspects of a People's lives are subject to strict/micro governance, the People will tend to feel opressed and crave personal freedom in a more liberal culture as They know or dream it to be. Sadly, there remain serveral virtues to inculcate to our Nation in hope that we'll (one day..) become a more gracious People that'll form a TRULY cosmopolitan culture (rite nw, Uniquely Sillypore we remain...) Sigh, it is a socio-political (root) issue; and the hardhand tactic nec. to govern the country from our rough beginnings of '65, together w our prodigious accelerated economic growth in a really short span of time, had long reared their ugly side-effects on us as a People and it shows herein our culture...sigh, our kia su, kia si, kay kiang n apathtic attitude (inc. road manners..), to name but a few, r jus a fragment of such negative manifestation bro :(

On a lighter note, i say no one should be crazy enough to drive their private cars in central London; the congestn charge, the hefty fines, costly parking fee (i.e. if a space could be found, unless u'r entitled to it), the JAM!.. Oh boy.. I swore by the Tube when I was puttin up there, n thank goodness i was based mostly in Edinburgh.. Loved driving around the Scottish highlands and even North & Rep Ireland, but London was just s#*%!
 
#16
vehicles molification rules and policies are written with a good faith in view that end users intepreted as it is. true and honest..they are made as ambiguious as they can be to covered as wide a range so why whould the authorities choose to rock their boat by micro tweaking just for the minority fews with the risks of more loopholes to be exploited? take an example....slap a sticker stating use for off road or racing only and with that, the products can be sold to whoever that drives an off roading car...who are we kidding here?
there are always black sheeps around..that the authorities is keen to weed it out. unfortunately, the brunt policy means the good ones gotten strained in the process.....

my 2 cnts

ex-modder
 

Darkevo

Well-Known Member
#17
U r right Tagout (hows yur red monster gettg on? we met at MR last yr when u first got your ride :) I've personally addressed n fwd the article to certain policy makers in the relevant stat bodies, and am lookg fwd to their replies; sigh...nothg to lose:) cheers
 

Protege

Active Member
#18
Regardless of the replies you are going to get from the policy makers, I'd like to say THANKS for taking this bold action for the fraternity.

I believe, its only a matter of time, that the relavant authorities, will inevitably face these issues to beef up safety in cars when the track is opened.
 

Protege

Active Member
#19
Darkevo said:
.. Hi Kev, I recvd an email from H.S. mag while overseas last week and i smsed to confrm if it was yur ride on the cover (of cos it was) :) like u, i too am a sucker for those minute details :lol: cheers
(Sorry to miss this.. ) Yeah it was mate :albino:

I was in Jakarta (before moving on to Manila) when I was informed by HS that it was published & distributed. So I thought I had to wait a week before I can come back to Singapore to see it. Kinda caught me by suprise cos i thought it was going to be on the issue after (I had more details to send!!!)... .

Coincidently, Gumby was coming to Jakarta and he chanced upon the mag at the airport, bought it and passed it to me in Jakarta.

THANK YOU GUMBY !!
That same copy, was then passed to the owner of Rota Wheels :lol:
 

swacet

Active Member
#20
I uderstand what every one is say and I can understand to a point why there is so many regulations set in place, however if money is not a problem then you see youngsters driving GTR's, Lambos and the like,
How many dicks have u seen on the road driving standard fast cars that dont respect others (not meaning the above), do they get victimised..............NO

I would bet if my Evo was going up the road next to a Porche and there was a cop with a hand held speed thingy he would point it at the Evo not the Porche.
I dont track my car, however I enjoy modding my car I run pretty high HP and enjoy the hell out of it, if I had the cash would I by a GTR hell yes, would that make me a different person behind the wheel.........NO

The LTA should change and have rules set in place, like I believe someone stated more HP, brakes & suspension needs to be upgrade.
would be simple enough to grade upgrades on HP and car types, which would gaurantee all cars modded are safe


need a smoke now cheers
 

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