Durban - The hashtag #StanceIsNotACrime movement may be gaining traction on social media, but authorities warned drivers that it is a crime.
The movement started when Aldayne Ramsamy, 23, posted on Facebook about his experience when he was stopped, fined and had his disc stripped from his car by police because the vehicle was riding too low.
“Yes, my car does have a dropped suspension, but it also has adjustable coilovers which means I can adjust it back to normal,” he said.
Ramsamy said he was stopped while driving on Florida Road this week by a police officer who said his VW Polo was “excessively low”.
Despite pleading with the officer, Ramsany was fined R1500 and the disc removed.
Ramsamy said when he asked for the officer’s name, he became upset and threatened to impound his car.
“I respected the officer, I didn’t try to antagonise him because this is my work car. If I don’t work then I don’t get paid, it’s my only source of income,” he said.
Ramsamy works for an IT company that supplies equipment to major retailers, so his job involves a lot of driving.
He has not been able to work since the disc was removed and has been trying to register for a new one and pay his fine, which he said he would not challenge.
“When I wrote the post, I didn’t expect it to get that much attention, I was just sharing my experience, that’s all,” he said.
“It’s for aesthetic purposes,” said Ramsamy, when asked why his car had a dropped suspension.
“We are young guys, it just looks good. It’s not for speeding, in fact we are the slowest drivers on the road, we are courteous and abide by the speed limits.”
Zinhle Mngomezulu, spokesperson for the Road Traffic Inspectorate, said tampering with the original specifications of a vehicle was a contravention of the Road Traffic Act.
“All vehicles are purpose-made as per the manufacturer’s specifications, so any modification of the original design is strictly prohibited,” she said.
Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, metro police spokesperson, said he was aware of a prevalent culture of dropped cars in Durban, but insisted the practice was illegal.
“When someone tampers with the vehicle, it interferes with its performance ability,” he said.
He added that problems could also arise if a crash occurred because the chance of proving mechanical failure was nil.
The #StanceIsNotACrime movement is gaining more momentum on social media, with drivers from all over South African posting pictures of their dropped cars.