If you’re riding around in a vehicle with the “Carolina Squat” modification in Virginia, it might be about time to buy the other half of that lift kit. Governor Glenn Youngkin signed Senate Bill 777 into law which makes it illegal to drive a vehicle on public roads if its front bumper is four or more inches higher than its rear bumper.
The bill comes less than two months after a fatal accident involving a truck featuring the Carolina Squat modification took place. In late February, the driver of a vehicle with that modification drove into an oncoming lane, collided with another truck head-on, and killed the driver of that vehicle, a man named Jody Upton.
Upton’s family blames the modification in part for the death and had a large role to play in the passing of this new legislation. They say that limited visibility was the main reason that the vehicles collided and reason that if the vehicle hadn’t been altered in such a way, the driver would’ve corrected their course.
“I’m honored today to be here with BJ’s family, the public servants who acted quickly to move legislation to my desk to address the problem, and the law enforcement heroes who will enforce this new law and keep our roads and highways safer,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin.
“Nothing can bring BJ back, but with faith, time and love we can begin to heal from the pain of losing him. But the spirit of Virginia is strong, and when Virginians see a problem they come together and act,” he continued. The ban goes into effect immediately due to an emergency clause in the bill itself.
The modification was illegal previously but police couldn’t pull a vehicle over specifically for the modification. Now that it’s a primary offense, they can. In fact, authorities now have the legal right to tow the vehicle on the spot.
This legislation follows a similar law passed in North Carolina last year. There, owners can’t modify the vehicle by more than three inches at the front and two inches at the rear. It went into effect in December of 2021.
[email protected] says the “Carolina Squat” modification took the life of a young Virginia man after a crash last month.
Family of that man is here today. His grandmother is speaking now and says she hopes this bill saves lives. pic.twitter.com/MWEaTriO2h
— Kristen Mirand (@kristen_mirand) March 21, 2022
Opening image credit: Squat Truck, YouTube