Different rules for different 4WDers – Graham

Is it just me or is there a definite discrepancy in the way in which vehicle mods and attitudes towards 4WDs are shown dependent on location? Of course I know laws change across state lines but within a single state, you’d think things would stay fairly static right? I mean an illegal modification is illegal regardless of whether you are in the city or driving the Nullarbor…right?

…perhaps there is one or two things I get away with that maybe the very same rig up in the city might not.

See I don’t even know if I should be opening this rusted old can of worms because I have to be 100% honest here and say that for the most part this choice of attitude tends to be in my favour most of the time. No, I’m not for a second saying I’ve got a truck full of illegal mods but yeah, perhaps there is one or two things I get away with that maybe the very same rig up in the city might not. More on that later.

See I’ve done a fair bit of work and play in the central and northern extremes of WA, where 4WDs rule the show for both earning a crust and living the dream. I’ve noticed that without exception, there is a definite difference in what a 4WD can get away with in the Kimberley Vs Perth. A solid case in point is that of bullbars. See in the city, even my fully legal three poster on my GU ute gets its share of attention from the lads in blue at random breath tests and the like (despite it being 100% legit) however head north into Kimberley country where the very same laws exist and you will see five poster bullbars on utes and 4WDs on every corner (five poster bullbars are illegal in WA). Now you can’t tell me that these trucks are getting booked and yellow stickered regularly. They just aren’t – nope it’s local authorities choosing to look the other way because of location and circumstance.

Likewise spend a bit of time in any outback mining community and get a good look at some of the elaborate mods made to ute trays and roof racks. Every second 4WD has some form of backyard tube bent and welded structure with poles and wood and tools hanging off it. Can’t be legal. Yet just the other day I was driving back south outside the Perth airport and got pulled up and fined a $100 for having a fishing rod holder on my bullbar. You’re kidding me right?

Now as I was saying up top, I probably shouldn’t be too vocal on this given other than the minor run in with my fishing rod holder, I get away with more than I get caught with. I live in a very rural part of the south west and to say life is relaxed is an understatement. More than once I’ve driven home from down the coast with four beach rods hanging off the front and pulled into town for fuel! Can’t do that in the city (it’s been proven to me and my bank balance). Likewise I had a rear brake light out and I got chatting to the local cop while putting wetsuits on to go for a surf and he just mentioned it. “Your rear right brake light is stuffed mate – struth surfs pumping, catch you out there…”

Yep, dependent on where you live and to an extent what you do for a living, there are laws for all of us but only some of us need to follow them. Here’s my take on this; I bloody love it! See it’s all about common sense (not very common these days). Laws are there to protect the lowest common denominator (often from themselves) but in some (I’m not saying all) instances there certainly is wiggle room based on good old fashioned common sense. I for one am damn glad I live in the country and I’m also really damn glad my local police officers all surf, fish and drive 4WDs.

Now, reckon I could get away with a five poster on the GU… nah might be pushing my luck there hey!

What do you think about the vast difference in enforcement of 4WD laws in different areas? Is this okay or is it creating double standards for people in different areas? Shoot us an email to editorial@4wdaction.com.au