MONTGOMERY — A bill regulating the height for squatted trucks to operate on the road passed the Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday.

House Bill 55 (HB55), also known as the Alabama Squat Truck Law, would prohibit altering a motor vehicle so that the height of the front fender is raised four or more inches greater than the height of the accompanying rear fender.

State Rep. Ron Bolton (R-Northport) presented the bill before the House, giving several amendments to clear up technical language and remove specific penalties.

Squatted trucks are pervasive in the South to varying degrees. Squatting involves modifying a vehicle with a lift kit on the front end and possibly lowering the suspension on the back. Often, adjustable suspensions, using inflatable bags, are used to increase the height of the suspension.

Bolton explained his concerns to 1819 News, including how some squatted trucks are angled so high in the front that the driver cannot see objects directly in front of the bumper. Additionally, Bolton said squatted trucks' headlights can often beam into the line of sight of oncoming drivers. Bolton had multiple photographs of similar truck modifications at the state house to prove his point. He also said the bill would not affect trucks with bags, allowing drivers to jack the vehicle up higher when not on the road.

"It's going to place restrictions on how high the front end of a vehicle can be jacked up or modified," Bolton said. "Sometimes it interferes with the vision of the driver seeing small objects in front of him, and also it does other things to the vehicle when it's cornering and when it's going to stop."

The original bill applied penalties of at most $50 for a first violation, not more than $100 for a second, and third and subsequent violations carry a $250 fine in addition to two points on a driver's license. After talking with the "squat truck community," Bolton amended the bill to remove the driver's license points, removing the possibility of revoking a license.

State Rep. Russell Bedsole (R-Alabaster) also amended the bill, removing a previous exception for vehicles originally manufactured with a squat.

The bill passed with a vote of 91-5-1. It will now move on for Senate consideration before becoming law.

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