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Off road lights in Cali law?

Discussion in 'Northern California' started by mattgecko, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Sep 29, 2011 at 9:04 AM
    #1
    mattgecko

    mattgecko [OP] The Lighting guy

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    I am adding a light bar and I know California law says we must keep our off road lights covered on the highway/road.

    Does the KC stone guard count as a cover?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sep 29, 2011 at 9:35 AM
    #2
    05Moose

    05Moose Middle-Aged Member

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    In the snow (NorCal)
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    I'd say no because light can get through it.

    Auxiliary Lamps: Off-Highway Use

    24411. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a vehicle may be equipped with not more than eight lamps for use as headlamps while the vehicle is operated or driven off the highway. The lamps shall be mounted at a height of not less than 16 inches from the ground, or more than 12 inches above the top of the passenger compartment, at any place between the front of the vehicle and a line lying on a point 40 inches to the rear of the seat occupied by the driver, shall be wired independently of all other lighting circuits, and, whenever the vehicle is operated or driven upon a highway, shall be covered or hooded with an opaque hood or cover, and turned off.
     
  3. Sep 29, 2011 at 10:26 AM
    #3
    UndefinedTaco

    UndefinedTaco I'll eat all your food.

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    It's an 89 Toyota Pickup. I got some stuff done to it.. FJ axles going under it soon.
    IMO long as you have em within a certain height(say below your vehicles headlights), they are mounted/directing the beam correctly then your fine with no covers(unless you want them for rock protection).

    Plus if they are "driving lights" (such as Hellas)..then you can legally have them on.


    Talked to a few cops about it and that's what they state..no more then 4 lights total on once though(2 heads, 2 driving).

    I've never heard of a problem getting pulled over for it around here..everybody in my area runs around with no covers.
     
  4. Sep 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM
    #4
    Maverick904

    Maverick904 Resident Fishing Expert

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    Id like to imagine that as long as you dont have the extra lights on you shouldnt be bothered
     
  5. Sep 29, 2011 at 12:44 PM
    #5
    mattgecko

    mattgecko [OP] The Lighting guy

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    Years a go, a small group of lifted trucks were headed to Pismo and one of the trucks received a ticket for no covers. Guess the cop just needed to make his quota.


    Thanks for posting 24411, that's good to know.
     
  6. Sep 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM
    #6
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    I don't know how they are in CA but when I lived in VA I was hassled at inspection because the lights I had on the truck didn't have a DOT stamp on them. If they have a DOT stamp on them, you're probably right, you can run them on the road, if they don't, I doubt you can legally run them on the road without covers.
     
  7. Sep 29, 2011 at 12:52 PM
    #7
    UMBCrew

    UMBCrew Well-Known Member

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    the cops over in san luis, grover, pismo all of 5 cities basically and the CHP on the 66 are all asses and love to ticket trucks for anything they can think of. they think everybody in the dunes are a bunch of drunks and will pull you over for anything they can just so they can hopefully get a DUI out of you. be especially careful over there and similar communities like ski resorts or small lake communities but other places you should be fine.
     
  8. Sep 29, 2011 at 1:39 PM
    #8
    quattrokiwi

    quattrokiwi Well-Known Member

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    A California Superior Court Clarifies The Use of Auxiliary Lights For Off Highway Enthusiasts



    In California off road lights must be covered while driving on a highway, as defined in section #24411 of the California Vehicle Code. The California Vehicle Code also defines auxiliary driving lights under section #24402 as not needing covers. Each statute carefully describes the requirements for each type of light. So what’s the problem?

    The confusion arose when the California Highway Patrol began defining "Off Road Light" as any auxiliary light without SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) approval. Since this "approval" requirement is not in the law, it was never administered fairly by the California Highway Patrol. Conflicting statements from the Highway Patrol confused the public particularly if you were an off highway enthusiast. For example, have you ever heard of a Highway Officer stopping a sports car to check for SAE approval on their uncovered auxiliary lights?

    Recently the El Dorado County Superior Court issued a decision that clarifies California State Law regarding the use of Auxiliary Driving Lights. A three Judge panel over-turned a lower court’s decision in which a Highway Patrol Officer had cited an off highway enthusiast for not having his two auxiliary driving lights covered. The Officer testified that if the auxiliary lights were not marked SAE Approved then they were "off road lights" and must be covered on the highway. Unable to convince the Municipal Court in South Lake Tahoe, California to interpret the law (as it was written) or obtain a logical explanation, the driver appealed to Superior Court. Representing himself, the off highway enthusiast successfully presented his case and the higher court over-turned the lower court’s decision.

    In its ruling the Superior Court stated, "The uncontradicted evidence in this case demonstrates that appellant’s [the driver’s] lights fall within the definition of "driving lights" in Vehicle Code 24402. That section does not require driving lights to be covered. The administrative regulations pertaining to driving lights do not refer to any SAE requirements. While authority to regulate driving lights is vested in the CHP, there is no evidence that CHP has promulgated such a regulation and if so, what that regulation is."

    In this case the driver had installed two auxiliary lights on the bumper of his 4x4 vehicle in accordance with the California Vehicle Code section pertaining to Auxiliary Driving and Passing Lights (#24402). His auxiliary lights were 38" above the ground: well within the 16-42" limit. Section #24402 also states that auxiliary driving lamps are designed for supplementing the upper beam from headlamps and may not be lighted with the lower beam. To insure compliance he wired the auxiliary lights into the dimmer switch thereby limiting their use to only high beam operation. The auxiliary driving lamps were equipped with 110 watt bulbs, which is above the legal limit for primary lamps, but these are auxiliary driving lamps--not primary lamps
    Since the US Department of Transportation (DOT) does not have any regulations prohibiting a vehicle’s owner from installing auxiliary driving lights, of any power, nor do they have any regulations requiring auxiliary lights to be covered, it becomes extremely important to read and understand your own state’s laws regarding "Off Road" and "Auxiliary Driving" lights.
     
  9. Sep 29, 2011 at 4:53 PM
    #9
    05Moose

    05Moose Middle-Aged Member

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    Yeah, I didn't bring up the 24402 section because you said "light bar" which made me think above the cab. If they're on a light bar in front of the grill, then you can have 2 uncovered at all times (any more than 2 must be covered). And they can be on with the high beams.
     
  10. Sep 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM
    #10
    UndefinedTaco

    UndefinedTaco I'll eat all your food.

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    It's an 89 Toyota Pickup. I got some stuff done to it.. FJ axles going under it soon.
    Knew it :D
     
  11. Sep 29, 2011 at 8:05 PM
    #11
    brian

    brian Another Traitor

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    What about hidden behind a satoshi....


    NINJA WHAT?!

    Like I said before, screw cali laws... :D


    ok not literally, but you get it.
     
  12. Sep 29, 2011 at 9:13 PM
    #12
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Differential Breather Mod Light Bar: 2 Hella 4000 HID, 1 Kragen HID, 1 Cibie Halogen.
    The Kragen HID 'euro beam' off road lights come with a clear cover. My Hella spot beams have a white Hella cover. The Kragen covers do no block the light obviously, but if they were turned on, everyone would know!!!
     
  13. Sep 29, 2011 at 9:16 PM
    #13
    MJonAgs32

    MJonAgs32 asphinctersayswhat?

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    I just keep mine covered all the time. I know some people that keep the covers off all the time and they have no problems. On second thought, I think I might just start driving with them off lol
     
  14. Sep 29, 2011 at 9:17 PM
    #14
    Derpy Derek

    Derpy Derek Derp

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    Absolutely not
     
  15. Sep 29, 2011 at 9:24 PM
    #15
    RedruM29

    RedruM29 Blinking Car Mod...

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    Just enough, and never enough
    I have run mine without covers since 2008 and have not had a problem, even in Tahoe. I don't know what I am going to have to do to cover my PIAA's now.
     
  16. Mar 27, 2015 at 3:44 PM
    #16
    zombietaco22

    zombietaco22 Rookie

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    Would amber covers be ok? I bought the opaque covers just in case the amber ones wouldn't be.
     
  17. Mar 27, 2015 at 3:49 PM
    #17
    Taco me elmo

    Taco me elmo Who needs roads?

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    Totally legal front end here.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Mar 27, 2015 at 4:39 PM
    #18
    zombietaco22

    zombietaco22 Rookie

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    I'm installing a 50" light bar on the roof and want to cover it with Amber covers. Anyone else do this and ran into problems?
     
  19. Mar 27, 2015 at 6:55 PM
    #19
    BayAreaRunner

    BayAreaRunner Well-Known Member

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    Shit.... if anyone knows me, knows how many lights I'm running, and apparently I haven't gotten pulled over yet (knocking on woods).
     
  20. Mar 28, 2015 at 8:40 AM
    #20
    CalTacoma09

    CalTacoma09 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, keak don't you light up local sporting events in your area? :D
     
    machineman89 likes this.
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