POLICE have slapped more than a dozen locals with fines and defects after they were caught driving with deadly and dangerous bull bars.
The one-day blitz this week nabbed 15 drivers across the Barwon, New England and Oxley Commands – almost half of the 38 caught across the Western Region.
Western Region Highway Patrol boss Inspector Jeff Boon told The Leader the bars are not only dangerous to the driver and passengers, but oncoming traffic, pedestrians and animals.
“They disable all of the modern safety features like air bags and crumple zones,” he said.
“They are designed to push animals and pedestrians under the car, that lifts the front wheels off the road and a loss of steering control is the immediate result.
“You pay good money for a new five-star-rated ute and end up with something that has the crash rating of a 30-year-old vehicle.”
Drivers can pay up to $6000 to deck their cars or utes in the five-poster bull bars, without realising they’re illegal on NSW roads.
“One manufacturer in Queensland and backyard shops in local towns have been identified as problems,” Inspector Boon said.
“Ninety-five per cent of bars getting around Tamworth are legal ... but 38 in one day, there is clearly a problem.”
Drivers must ensure their bull bars don’t have sharp edges and slope back towards the car. But the blame game lies both with the drivers caught with them and the manufacturers who are claiming the bull bars are safe. Rules meaning new cars don’t need inspection until five years can also trap those who’ve added the dangerous fronts.
“There is just no reason to have one,” Inspector Boon said.
“They upset the handling of the car, they use more fuel and they cause excess tyre wear. Not only are you paying $6000 for these monstrosities, but the toll it takes on your car is enormous.”
Based on the results, police maintain the bull bar blitz will continue, meaning drivers and manufacturers found to be doing the wrong things can face on-the-spot fines of up to $623 or defects on the road. The five-poster bull bars have been illegal since 2003 and rules mean drivers must make sure the bars don’t make the car wider or come up over the bonnet.
Police are urging any local drivers concerned about their bars to get them checked or face the consequences.