SEMA eNews Vol. 18, No. 34, August 20, 2015

SEMA Submits Comments to Washington State Motor Vehicle Equipment Proposal

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

In comments submitted to a rule proposed by the Washington State Patrol to update the state’s motor-vehicle equipment standards, SEMA opposed efforts to modify the regulations by lowering the maximum bumper height requirement for passenger vehicles from 22 inches to 20 inches. The association also opposed a change to the current regulations that would remove the 6-inch minimum height requirement for windshields and replace it with a vague, subjective standard.

SEMA contended that with regard to incompatible bumper heights, regulations more stringent than the current standard in Washington will not solve this difference among vehicles in the national vehicle fleet. Vehicles of vastly differing bumper heights—from sports cars to stock pickups, to tractor-trailers and school busses—come off the assembly lines each year.

The proposal also would require that windshields “be of sufficient dimensions to protect the driver and occupants from insects, other airborne objects, and highway surface water and debris, when the motor vehicle is moving forward, or as originally equipped by a recognized manufacturer.”

This proposed change removes an objective requirement that the vertical height of the windshield must be at least 6 inches and replaces it with language that relies on the subjective interpretation of the individual inspector or law enforcement authority, rendering the vehicle owner without clear direction as to lawful modifications. 

For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.

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