WJBF EXTRA “Monster Truck” Danger

WJBF EXTRA "Monster Truck" Danger (Image 1)

Every time Chris Frix goes for a ride he gets a lift, “It's a '97 Tahoe, it's got 13 inches of lift on it. It's got suspension, it's got body lift, 38 and a half inch tires.”

Chris is one of many who take to the roads in a jacked-up or lifted truck, and while the big trucks may be cool or status symbols, other drivers aren't so sure they're safe.

“It would cause more harm then being hit your average height car,” said one driver.

“Is that safe,” we asked another driver. “No, it ain't safe…nope,” he answered.

Georgia allows the trucks to be lifted 27 to 31 inches and front headlights can be 54 inches off the ground. That's 4 and 1/2 feet.

“That's at my nose, that's terrible,” said one driver. “Hit you right in the face?” we asked. “Yes, there really should be a limit,” she said.

“Obviously, there is a very major safety concern when you have a vehicle of that height with one with a shorter height in a collision,” said Sergeant Chris Wright, of the Georgia State Patrol.

Some Georgia State Patrol troopers agree, there should be a lower limit because in a side crash, a jacked-up truck doesn't hit your door, it crashes right into your or passenger side window.

“Your in a smaller passenger car, and you encounter one of these larger vehicles in an intersection, who may run a red light or a stop sign, it's going to place that bumper height right at the level where it's going to do maximum damage to you and the occupants of the car,” said Sgt. Wright.

Larry Moore, who owns Trucks & Moore, has been in the truck business for 18 years and follows Georgia law when he lifts trucks. He doesn't want the state making changes, but understands the troopers' concerns. “There's no question, if a bumper hits glass, you don't have near the protection that you do if it hits the door, where there is re-enforcement built in. So, I think that's a common sense question and I would dare try to skirt it,” he said.

“I do think there should be a law limiting [how high] they should go. Yeah, I mean, I have kids…it could be potentially very dangerous,” said one driver.

“I'm going I'm going bigger…I'm going bigger,” said Frix. “Why are you going bigger?” we asked. “Bigger tires,” he said.

State law will allow Chris to jack up his Tahoe another 14 inches, he'll tower above the other cars on the road.

“Iis the law too much on the lift side and not the guy you hit side?” we asked Frix. “I'd say, yeah, the law needs to change. It's dangerous, it is dangerous. If one of these gets out of control, it's bad for everybody,” he said.

“Should the law change?” we asked Sgt. Wright. “I think so,” he answered.

“They look dangerous, they could hurt somebody if they hit them,” said a driver.

“That's like asking…would we be safer if the speed limit on the interstate was 25? The answer is yes, but at what cost?” said Moore.

They are the kings of the road, but how long should they be allowed to reign?

In South Carolina, there are even fewer restrictions on lifted trucks. For example, unlike Georgia, South Carolina has no limit on how high you can lift the frame of your vehicle, as long as the front headlights stay no more than 54 inches off the ground.

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