N.C. law banning ‘Carolina squat’ to take effect later this year

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POLK COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) — Whether you call it the ‘Carolina squat,’ the ‘Southern squat,’ the ‘Tennessee tilt,’ or the ‘Cali lean,’ the popular truck and SUV modification — named so because the front of the vehicle is lifted and the rear is either untouched or is lowered — will be banned in North Carolina later this year.

The law, passed by the North Carolina legislature in June and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper last week, takes effect Dec. 1. To read the law, click here.

The push to outlaw the modification was fueled by a petition signed by over 70,000 people.

Beginning Dec. 1, vehicles with the modification will no longer be street legal. After three infractions of the new law, drivers will be subject to losing their licenses for ‘not less than one year.’

“I had a constituent who was in an auto accident that involved a truck that was lifted where the front was higher than the back end. It’s [bill] really just about public safety,” Rep. Jon Hardister, a sponsor of the bill, said. “I don’t mind if trucks are lifted, but if they’re modified in such a way where the front end is higher than the back end, your view is upward when you need to be able to see the road in front of you.”

Both lawmakers and mechanics say the modification is dangerous. Spartanburg mechanic and Affordable Auto Repair Owner Shawn Thomson said he hopes South Carolina Lawmakers pass a similar law.

“I wish they would,” he said. “It’s just something that shouldn’t be on the road.”

According to Thomson, the modification can go beyond making the vehicle unsafe: It can also damage components of the vehicle through added stress.

“You’re raising and lowering stuff too far and it’s causing too much stress on stuff, like drive shafts, the suspension, the brakes,” he said. “The brakes are the big thing.”

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