RightHandDrive.ca/blog Canadian Right Hand Drive News and Thoughts


Another response from an MLA

So, I had a meeting with MPI this September. It was good, I learned a few things, and got across the frustration that us RHDers have in Manitoba.

This week, I got another response, this time directly from the of Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation.

Dear Mr. Guderian:

On behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, I am responding to your September 12, 2011 e-mail regarding grey imports. Your e-mail indicates that you are concerned about the inspection of right-hand-drive vehicles under Manitoba's Private Vehicle Inspection Program (PVIP).

The Minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has requested MPI to review this matter and to contact you upon completion of their review. It is my understanding that subsequent to your e-mail of September 12, 2011 MPI has met with you and is giving consideration to your concerns and requests regarding right-hand-drive vehicles and other grey imports.

MPI administers The Drivers and Vehicles Act (DVA) on behalf of the Government of Manitoba. Regulations under the DVA govern the PVIP. MPI has the technical expertise regarding vehicle equipment standards that is required to meaningfully address your concerns. As I trust you appreciate, the PVIP is intended to ensure that vehicles operating on our highways meet a minimum of safety-related standards. To this end, MPI is reviewing the implications of Manitoba's equipment standards and safety inspection programs on grey imports.

Should you wish to discuss this matter further with MPI, please contact Mr. Ward Keith, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, at (204) --------. Mr. Keith oversees MPI's Vehicle Standards and Technologies. I hope you find this information helpful.


So, yeah. Interesting.

I guess, my first reaction was, "Wow, this took 2 months to be sent".

My second reaction was disappointment. Though I'd be willing to work with MPI to solve this problem, the legislature MAKES the laws, MPI just FOLLOWS the laws that the legislature makes for them. If we want to solve this problem we need to go to the top, speak truth to power.

So, I'm between a rock and a hard spot. I want to reply and say that I want to make a meeting with them, but they'd just talk to MPI too. So, should I arrange a meeting with both them and MPI... have all the players in the room?

What do you all think? Comment or fire me an email at robg@righthanddrive.ca.

Tagged as: , No Comments

Manitoba RHD – MPI’s memo *updated*

So, I've heard from a few sources now that MPI has sent a memo to a all Safety Inspection Stations. I'm still trying to get a copy of this memo. If you have one, please forward it to me. I now have a copy of this memo, it is attached.

The gist of the memo is... look for DOT head lights, DOT tail lights, DOT and seatbelts. Some have said that the memo says to not safety the vehicle at all. At any rate, people are getting turned away from Safety Inspection Stations because of this memo. It has been an ongoing problem that RHDs are getting turned away, but this has made even more stations close their doors to us.

Manitoba is currently in provincial election mode. MPIs are going to be too busy to care about the little guys. I had a response from Hon. Andrew Swan earlier, but MPI has still refused to contact me.

Because of all this, I have sent another email to Hon. Andrew Swan, and Hon. Steve Ashton to see if they could help.

Hon. Andrew Swan and Hon. Steve Ashton,

I realize that you are probably very busy with your campaign, but no
one from MPI has contacted me. This is itself is fine, but MPI has
just released a memo to safety inspection stations that has caused
most stations to stop safetying right-hand drive vehicles.

This is exactly what I was trying to avoid. This approach to the
safety in these vehicles is not the answer.

I would like to set up a meeting, or at least open communications
between myself, MPI and all relevant parties. Can you help me with

Again, I realize you are probably very busy at this time. If you don't
have time to attend meetings about this, can you help me contact the
correct people at MPI.

Robert Guderian

So, hopefully I'll get some kind of response.


Attachment: Memo from MPI

Tagged as: , 2 Comments

Skirting the law

There are a few ways of skirting the law to get an RHD into your hands in Canada that would otherwise be impossible. This isn't supposed to be a tutorial on how to skirt the law, but as a way of avoiding accidentally getting one that has been illegally (or legally-grey so the legality is questionable) put on the roads.

How people illegally register RHDs that aren't 15+ years old

The VIN number swap - this one is pretty obvious and the most common. Buy two cars, one legal LHD and one illegal RHD.  Say you did a right hand drive conversion... take the VIN off the LHD, put it on the RHD. Done. This is called 'VIN Fraud', and is illegal. If you do a proper RHD conversion..... it's... well... it's complicated. That topic will come up later when I know more about the legal side of it. Buyer beware of these if you're in the market.

Insuring as a different car - "Yeah, it's uhhh... a Nissan Sentra......." Yeah right. This is about as legal as swapping VINs. You're insuring one car as another. If you get in an accident you might not be covered by insurance.

Not actually importing the car officially - The registrar of imported vehicles won't give you the paperwork to insure your fancy RHD that just came off the boat.  You have it as a shiny paperweight on your driveway. Well, you can find plates for it somewhere and just drive it! Yeah, that means you're driving without insurance.

Have the car insured somewhere legally and drive it in Canada - Now you're getting clever. This is possibly legal, depending on your insurer.  Most insurers require the vehicle and owner be in the province/country/state/place where the vehicle is insured for some amount of time per year. So, again, if you're not smart you're driving without insurance.

Illegal stuff on Legal RHDs

JIS logo you may see on your car

This can happen too, and you need to protect yourself from it.

Compliance - I talked a little about this last week, and still implore you to go to ivoac.ca if you have compliance questions. I've heard of a lot to bad stuff going on here.  Not all provinces will accept JIS (Japanese equivalent of DOT) as acceptable parts for cars.  This really affects headlights, seatbelts and taillights. Some people that can't find a good DOT replacement stamp DOT onto the non-DOT stuff, or in the case of seatbelts, will sew on DOT tags from a different car.  Clever, yes.... highly illegal?  Yes. Adding fraud to a list of offenses.... not clever.

Aftermarket mods - This is a common problem for any car, not just RHDs.  People like shiny things that just aren't legal.  Tires that stick out further than the fenders, taking off catalytic converters, not street legal tires (racing or offroad).... the list goes on.  Any old codger car buff can tell you all the stuff that he's done to cars that's illegal.

In Conclusion

The new JIS logo, as of 2008

Ok, so what does it matter that you're driving without insurance. Other than the fact it's illegal, if you get in an accident you are liable to pay all the bills even if the accident wasn't your fault. If you wrecked someone else's car.... you're buying them a new one. If you maim someone, you're paying their wage for the rest of their life. Well, it might not be quite that bad, but it's not inconceivable.

You're allowed to love and want an RHD, but don't bring the RHD name down by being an idiot.


Tagged as: , No Comments