Crackdown on modified vehicles spurs hundreds of citations at truckers rally

Crackdown on modified vehicles spurs hundreds of citations at truckers rally
Updated: Aug. 31, 2017 at 6:04 PM HST
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KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An annual truck rally held Sunday in Kapolei was disrupted when Honolulu police officers and city vehicle inspectors arrived in force.

The crackdown on modified vehicles caught drivers by surprise.

HPD said more than 300 citations on roughly 100 vehicles were issued. Nearly 40 reconstruction-related tickets were handed out and 17 recon permits were revoked.

"As soon as I came across the light, two biker cops followed me and their sergeant also followed me and they blocked me in before I could even park," said driver Michael Villanueva.

Villanueva, who denies his truck is  illegal modified, got several citations.

"They charged me four times for no flares and no mud flaps," Villanueva said.

The annual Almighty Truck Cruise is tradition for hundreds of automotive enthusiasts who gather and ride around the island in a convoy of trucks.

The event usually ends with a community beach barbeque.

Some say with so many complaints about the truckers and their public cruising, the crackdown on Sunday was inevitable.

"It was just out of control, "said Michael Kitchens, an avid car enthusiast. "They were blocking the road and doing burn outs and ust disrupting traffic."

Kitchens says he supports these types of events, but it was only a matter of time before HPD would send a message.

"It's one of those things where they put themselves on the radar and because of that, they're in the spotlight and they'll be getting all the action from police because of what has happened in the past," said Kitchens.

Vilanueva said the crackdown was harassment just because their hobby is unpopular and people don't like their trucks.

"If we have recon and our trucks up-to-date on safety and registration, it's obvious our trucks are safe to be driven," Villanueva said.

HPD said the enforcement followed years of complaints about prior rallies, including speeding, reckless driving and damage at beach parks.

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