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Thread: DOT approval and use on road ?

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    DOT approval and use on road ?

    So being I came from the sport compact side of modding a sometime ago, there was always talk of " DOT approval".

    Some of the parts that can be bought for a jeep may or may not have DOT approval.

    Can you shed some light into the term DOT approval, and how you as an officer look at that stuff? Or is this more of a MTO question?

    Thanks
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    There was quite a lengthy discussion on this prior to me giving a lecture to the folks who attended JK101. Responding to this, I must do it in the simplest of terms and cover it with a blanket statement. The following is cut and pasted from the other thread, where igotafrigginjeep was so kind as to relay my message.

    "In the most basic possible terms - ANY safety related item installed by the factory and/or federally tested and/or mandated to meet federal safety standards and/or required for a safety standards certificate inspection that doesn't function as intended and/or is damaged and/or removed, is cause for a ticket or report in notice by any law enforcement officer.

    This statement means that you COULD get a ticket but does not necessarily mean that you will.


    As for modifications of equipment/parts/structure of a vehicle and liability, any modification or removal of any part of a vehicle where that modification or removal has not been thoroughly tested by a laboratory to meet or exceed federal safety standards could potentially open you up for liability.

    Again, this statement means that you COULD get a ticket and/or be held liable but does not necessarily mean that you will.


    Some examples...

    5 point harnesses, although a 5 point harness may be considered safer than a factory installed 3 point (or 2 point) seat belt, your 5 point harness (and more specifically the installation) has not been tested to the same federal standards as the factory installed 3 point (or 2 point) seat belt, therefore it is not technically legal and opens you up to liability. You can still install 5 point harnesses, but your seat belts as equipped from factory (3 point for most vehicles, 2 point for older vehicles) must remain in place and be used while driving on roads, this includes access and logging roads on your way to and from trails.

    Roll cages, OEM installed "roll bars/cages" have been thoroughly tested in a laboratory to federal safety standards, your modified factory cage, or manufactured and installed cage, or home built cage have not been through the same testing and certification, therefore it is technically not legal and opens you up to liability.

    Aftermarket rear bumpers, many of them have receiver tubes welded in and could potentially be used for towing, however, most are not tested to federal standards to be rated for towing, towing with these unrated bumpers could open yourself up for liability.


    Even those modifications that most of us would deem to be for safety, may be safer for those in the vehicle, but may be the opposite for those outside your vehicle...take for example an aftermarket front bumper that is built to be stronger than the factory bumper, or a frame that has plates welded to it to make it stronger than factory...these items may compromise factory built and federally tested crumple zones and by doing so your vehicle may cause more damage and injury in an accident than your vehicle would have if it was stock as built and tested from the factory, again these modifications are not technically legal and open you up for liability.



    There are too many variables involved to be able to address each specific question or item directly, but to apply a blanket statement; If it was there from the factory, it better still be there in an unmodified state and functioning as intended by the factory and tested to federal safety standards.


    As has already been said, if items have been removed and/or modified and/or damaged and are no longer functioning as intended by factory and/or as tested to federal standards then you COULD get a ticket but it doesn't mean you will.


    If you wish to find out how your vehicle would do in an inspection, you could contact an MTO inspector or QUALIFIED ENFORCEMENT OFFICER and have them look over your vehicle and/or ask the questions directly to them.

    Again I would like to stress that all of these things do not necessarily mean you are going to get a ticket, but it is a possibility.

    More importantly is the case of circumstances where a collision occurs and there is an injury or fatality.

    In that type of situation you could potentially be held liable not only for criminal offences up to and including criminal negligence causing injury and/or criminal negligence causing death, but there would also be the potential that you would be held liable civilly and sued by any person involved in the situation and/or family members of any person who suffered an injury and/or fatality in those situations."


    I hope this answers your question, probably not what you wanted to hear unfortunately. It's all about making an educated and informed decision when you undertake modifications to your vehicle.
    Last edited by ON OFFroad; 06-08-2012 at 01:15 PM.
    Opinions expressed are those of the author, accuracy of information posted cannot be guaranteed. These opinions in no way represent the OPP, any other Police Department or Police Officer.

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    I didnt realize this was covered in another thread, but thank you for posting all that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazykid View Post
    I didnt realize this was covered in another thread, but thank you for posting all that.
    Anytime... My pleasure.

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    So does then a DOT approval on a part mean it has been tested to those said federal standards and would be considered a safe replacement for a stock part thus NOT opening you up to added liability?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drizit View Post
    So does then a DOT approval on a part mean it has been tested to those said federal standards and would be considered a safe replacement for a stock part thus NOT opening you up to added liability?
    Well you would THINK so, but my gut tells me aftermarket parts, unless they're OEM type, are not being tested by Canadian Safety Standards. I would want some documentation from the manufacturer to be sure.

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    Good morning ON Offroad, I see we will have some input on these forums from both sides of the fence. From my understanding of the situation manufactures will only use certified raw material and parts to make new parts, they will also only use certified assembly process and individuals so all parts should meet applicable codes. For example, long arm lift kits, companies will use steel meeting US manufacturing standards, bushings meeting the same standards, certified welders or machines set to meet at least the minimum requirements. To say the least, most offroad parts far exceed the standards of new car material as new car material is thin gauge stamped steel where as off road parts are heavy gauge steel in order to survive the abuse of off road.

    One would also assume, though we should never really assume in law, that companies are only licenced or permitted to sell items which meet or exceed OEM specifications.

    If required I could look into this further?
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    Quote Originally Posted by trafficticket View Post
    Good morning ON Offroad, I see we will have some input on these forums from both sides of the fence. From my understanding of the situation manufactures will only use certified raw material and parts to make new parts, they will also only use certified assembly process and individuals so all parts should meet applicable codes. For example, long arm lift kits, companies will use steel meeting US manufacturing standards, bushings meeting the same standards, certified welders or machines set to meet at least the minimum requirements. To say the least, most offroad parts far exceed the standards of new car material as new car material is thin gauge stamped steel where as off road parts are heavy gauge steel in order to survive the abuse of off road.

    One would also assume, though we should never really assume in law, that companies are only licenced or permitted to sell items which meet or exceed OEM specifications.

    If required I could look into this further?
    You see I CAN'T assume that. There is no way to know that each and every one of the hundreds of companies manufacturing aftermarket parts has had them tested to the same standards. It would probably be looked at on an individual basis if, let's say, a collision or other incident were to occur.

    A lot of what I was referring to, was non-OEM type items or let's say "modification" items that can (for example) raise the height of a vehicle. In such a case, there would be no standards to meet, regardless of what type of materials or bushings they are using. I would be the first one to agree that they would likely be built stronger than what came from the factory, but that's really not what we're discussing here I don't think.

    In addition, none of the above accounts for those who choose to do their own fab work (which many on here have the skills to do obviously).

    Hope this helps....
    Last edited by ON OFFroad; 06-09-2012 at 09:10 AM.

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    DOT (Department of Transportation) is an American standard. It has nothing to do with what is or isnt allowed in Canada.

    just FYI.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Karma View Post
    DOT (Department of Transportation) is an American standard. It has nothing to do with what is or isnt allowed in Canada.

    just FYI.
    You are correct.... "Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard" is how it is referred to here if I'm not mistaken, however most people commonly refer to it as they have heard it in the US.

    There is a symbol as well... you can find it here: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/a...e-10.html#h-14

    Thanks for the info though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ON OFFroad View Post
    A lot of what I was referring to, was non-OEM type items or let's say "modification" items that can (for example) raise the height of a vehicle. In such a case, there would be no standards to meet, regardless of what type of materials or bushings they are using. I would be the first one to agree that they would likely be built stronger than what came from the factory, but that's really not what we're discussing here I don't think.
    It would be interesting to see what would happen should something like this make it into court, for exactly those reasons. A coil spring conversion with 4-link arms for a vehicle that was OEM with leafs would obviously have no specifications to meet as it is nothing like the original suspension, but if one were to repack some leaf springs with an additional OEM leaf for height, one might say that materials and parts are OEM!

    Quote Originally Posted by ON OFFroad View Post
    You are correct.... "Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard" is how it is referred to here if I'm not mistaken, however most people commonly refer to it as they have heard it in the US.

    There is a symbol as well... you can find it here: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/a...e-10.html#h-14

    Thanks for the info though!
    Man if you hadn't have pointed that out I would have gone through life thinking that symbol was an error, it looks like someone screwed up a stamp or something. lol

    Oh and thanks for answering all of these questions and engaging in these discussions... I haven't had my own yet but these are a fascinating read and a great resource!
    But our trip was different. It was to be a classic affirmation of everything right and true in the national character. A gross physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country. But only for those with true grit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by salad View Post
    It would be interesting to see what would happen should something like this make it into court, for exactly those reasons. A coil spring conversion with 4-link arms for a vehicle that was OEM with leafs would obviously have no specifications to meet as it is nothing like the original suspension, but if one were to repack some leaf springs with an additional OEM leaf for height, one might say that materials and parts are OEM!



    Man if you hadn't have pointed that out I would have gone through life thinking that symbol was an error, it looks like someone screwed up a stamp or something. lol

    Oh and thanks for answering all of these questions and engaging in these discussions... I haven't had my own yet but these are a fascinating read and a great resource!
    On the first part salad, you're right. There are so many combinations, and nuances to each and every build, each one would have to stand on its own merits (or faults as the case may be). Most might go an entire lifetime, and never have it questioned. My aim with the info I give, although not being the answer I'm sure everyone wants to see, is to educate so people can make an informed decision.

    On the second part..... no kidding!

    On the last part, I thank you for your support! I'm happy to help out as much as I can....

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