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  1. #1
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    Tinted Taillights?

    Hi.

    I recently got pulled over for no front license plate. And the cop took a look at my tinted tail lights and gave me a ticket because they weren't "reflective." They are reflective and I've checked the laws. According to them, they are legal. I have also passed inspection every time without any problem.

    SUBCHAPTER E. GENERAL LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS FOR VEHICLES



    § 547.321. HEADLAMPS REQUIRED. (a) A motor vehicle
    shall be equipped with at least two headlamps.
    (b) At least one headlamp shall be mounted on each side of
    the front of the vehicle.
    (c) Each headlamp shall be mounted at a height from 24 to 54
    inches.

    Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.


    § 547.3215. USE OF FEDERAL STANDARD. Unless
    specifically prohibited by this chapter, lighting, reflective
    devices, and associated equipment on a vehicle or motor vehicle
    must comply with:
    (1) the current federal standards in 49 C.F.R. Section
    571.108; or
    (2) the federal standards in that section in effect,
    if any, at the time the vehicle or motor vehicle was manufactured.

    Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 324, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

    § 547.322. TAILLAMPS REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided
    by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole
    trailer, or vehicle that is towed at the end of a combination of
    vehicles shall be equipped with at least two taillamps.
    (b) A passenger car or truck that was manufactured or
    assembled before the model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least
    one taillamp.
    (c) Taillamps shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle:
    (1) at a height from 15 to 72 inches; and
    (2) at the same level and spaced as widely apart as
    practicable if a vehicle is equipped with more than one lamp.
    (d) A taillamp shall emit a red light plainly visible at a
    distance of 1,000 feet from the rear of the vehicle.

    (e) If vehicles are traveling in combination, only the
    taillamps on the rearmost vehicle are required to emit a light for
    the distance specified in Subsection (d).
    (f) A taillamp or a separate lamp shall be constructed and
    mounted to emit a white light that:
    (1) illuminates the rear license plate; and
    (2) makes the plate clearly legible at a distance of 50
    feet from the rear.
    (g) A taillamp, including a separate lamp used to illuminate
    a rear license plate, must emit a light when a headlamp or auxiliary
    driving lamp is lighted.

    Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

    § 547.323. STOPLAMPS REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided
    by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole
    trailer shall be equipped with at least two stoplamps.
    (b) A passenger car manufactured or assembled before the
    model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least one stoplamp.
    (c) A stoplamp shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
    (d) A stoplamp shall emit a red or amber light, or a color
    between red and amber, that is:
    (1) visible in normal sunlight at a distance of at
    least 300 feet from the rear of the vehicle; and
    (2) displayed when the vehicle service brake is
    applied.

    (e) If vehicles are traveling in combination, only the
    stoplamps on the rearmost vehicle are required to emit a light for
    the distance specified in Subsection (d).
    (f) A stoplamp may be included as a part of another rear
    lamp.

    Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

    § 547.325. REFLECTORS REQUIRED. (a) Except as
    provided by Subchapter F, a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or
    pole trailer shall be equipped with at least two red reflectors on
    the rear of the vehicle. A red reflector may be included as a part
    of a taillamp
    (b) A reflector shall be:
    (1) mounted at a height from 15 to 60 inches; and
    (2) visible at night at all distances:
    (A) from 100 to 600 feet when directly in front of
    lawful lower beams of headlamps; or
    (B) from 100 to 350 feet when directly in front of
    lawful upper beams of headlamps if the vehicle was manufactured or
    assembled before January 1, 1972.


    Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
    I have marked in bold the parts which apply. My lights are in accordance to all those laws.

    So, would I be able to take this info to the judge and get the ticket removed?

    Or, should I just take a picture with normal lights again and take that?

    I know my lights are legal, but is it worth the hassle to fight them instead of showing them I got regular tail lights again?

    And I also checked the front license plate law. I can legally place it on the dash right? It doesn't say anything about being on the bumper.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Bumpkin.
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    The windshield can obstruct the LP, especially if you hide it behind the registration and inspection stickers.

    You don't want it on the dash anyways. It becomes a projectile with fairly sharp edges when/if you come to a rapid stop (i.e. crash).
    **Courtesy--Service--Protection**

  3. #3
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    "Worth the hassle?" is kind of a tough question to answer. I don't see how you would be any worse off for fighting it. I think with a lot of things like that it might not make economic sense to fight it, especially if it's a very low cost ticket. But some people would feel better about it if they have their day in court and get to make their case. If you fall into this category, then go for it. Just be organized and bring copies of the statutes with the relevant parts highlighted and bring pictures clearly labeled or identified in some way. And always in front of any judge, be humble and polite and only speak when it's your turn. As an inexperienced attorney, this is pretty much the only way I get by in court.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. I don't really have the time to go to court and make a case out of anything. This being the first time I have to go to court for a ticket, what exactly do I need to do. The officer just gave me the citation and said appear in court on or before a certain date. Do I go to court to pay a fine? Or can I bring pictures with normal tail lights on my car and not have to pay a fine for that?

    I don't think I'll waste my time or money in court about the tail lights even though I'm sure they are legal.

  5. #5
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    Tinted or smoked taillights are illegal. The tint does reduce the visibility of the taillamps at nighttime. Why would you even want tinted taillamps anyway?
    When seconds count, we are ONLY minutes away!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KB8315 View Post
    Tinted or smoked taillights are illegal. The tint does reduce the visibility of the taillamps at nighttime. Why would you even want tinted taillamps anyway?
    Mainly for looks, that's all. Plenty of cars have them. According to the "laws," not all tinted tail lights are illegal. I put the text in bold in the first post about that.

    And just pop some LED bulbs in the lights and they are brighter than ever.

  7. #7
    Go on, touch it... JSD73's Avatar
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    No you can't place your LP on the dash, it is required to be at the front most and rear most portion of your vehicle. As far as your tail lamps, you'd have to show they are clearly visible within the required amount of distance during the daytime and nighttime hours

  8. #8
    Forum Member beavo451's Avatar
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    3 transportation code reasons for not placing your front plate in the windshield.

    I think the most important reason is so that you don't get decapitated by a flying license plate.

    Sec. 502.404. OPERATION OF VEHICLE WITHOUT LICENSE PLATE OR REGISTRATION INSIGNIA. (a) A person commits an offense if the person operates on a public highway during a registration period a passenger car or commercial motor vehicle that does not display two license plates, at the front and rear of the vehicle, that have been:
    ...
    The dashboard is not "at the front".

    Sec. 502.409. WRONG, FICTITIOUS, ALTERED, OR OBSCURED LICENSE PLATE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person attaches to or displays on a motor vehicle a number plate or registration insignia that:

    (1) is assigned to a different motor vehicle;

    (2) is assigned to the vehicle under any other motor vehicle law other than by the department;

    (3) is assigned for a registration period other than the registration period in effect;

    (4) is fictitious;

    (5) has blurring or reflective matter that significantly impairs the readability of the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered or the letters or numbers of the license plate number at any time;

    (6) has an attached illuminated device or sticker, decal, emblem, or other insignia that is not authorized by law and that interferes with the readability of the letters or numbers of the license plate number or the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered; or

    (7) has a coating, covering, protective material, or other apparatus that:

    (A) distorts angular visibility or detectability;

    (B) alters or obscures one-half or more of the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered; or

    (C) alters or obscures the letters or numbers of the license plate number or the color of the plate.
    The windshield can count as a "covering".

    Sec. 547.613. RESTRICTIONS ON WINDOWS. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person commits an offense that is a misdemeanor:

    (1) if the person operates a motor vehicle that has an object or material that is placed on or attached to the windshield or side or rear window and that obstructs or reduces the operator's clear view; or

    (2) if a person, including an installer or manufacturer, places on or attaches to the windshield or side or rear window of a motor vehicle a transparent material that alters the color or reduces the light transmission.
    Anything added that is not require by law to your windshield and windows can be construed as "reducing clear view".

  9. #9
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    Ok, thanks for the reply. I understand about the license plate. I know it's legally required to be on the front bumper now. There are a ton of people breaking that law...lol.

    So I know I'll be paying the fine for that. What do I do about the tail lights? Take a picture with stock tail lights on the car and show them in court? Or pay the fine for that too and move on? I've never had to go to court for anything before.

  10. #10
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    If you tint the tail lamps I doubt they are visible from 1000 feet but maybe they are I'd have to see them but I do stop for that violation.

    Our legal dept recently sent out a bulletin saying to stop stopping people for having an lp behind the front windshield if it's readable. Obviously if there is a sticker over it it's not readable but if you can actually see it, it's best to leave it alone

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by c3troop View Post
    If you tint the tail lamps I doubt they are visible from 1000 feet but maybe they are I'd have to see them but I do stop for that violation.

    Our legal dept recently sent out a bulletin saying to stop stopping people for having an lp behind the front windshield if it's readable. Obviously if there is a sticker over it it's not readable but if you can actually see it, it's best to leave it alone
    I'm pretty sure that the red light emitted from the tail lights is visible from 1000 feet away. Anyways, do I just pay the fine? Or can I do defensive driving for this?

  12. #12
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    That shouldnt effect your insurance. Its an equipment violation, not a moving violation, so defensive driving wouldnt do much good.

  13. #13
    HCC PCT 5 Big Sooner's Avatar
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    Couldn't the Officer/Deputy hit him with used unapproved equipment? Seems more PC.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bell4fan View Post
    That shouldnt effect your insurance. Its an equipment violation, not a moving violation, so defensive driving wouldnt do much good.
    Ok, that's good. I guess I'll just go to court and pay the fine for both things. And if they want to know if I fixed the lights, I'll show them a pic of the stock lights on the car.

  15. #15
    Forum Member gtstang1420's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by shorty87 View Post
    Ok, that's good. I guess I'll just go to court and pay the fine for both things. And if they want to know if I fixed the lights, I'll show them a pic of the stock lights on the car.
    You pretty much answered your own question with the posting of the law.
    "...emit a red light..."

    NOT "...emit a TINTED red light..."
    not trying to be smart but hope that helped.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shorty87 View Post
    Ok, thanks for the reply. I understand about the license plate. I know it's legally required to be on the front bumper now. There are a ton of people breaking that law...lol.

    So I know I'll be paying the fine for that. What do I do about the tail lights? Take a picture with stock tail lights on the car and show them in court? Or pay the fine for that too and move on? I've never had to go to court for anything before.
    And there are a ton of people that get stopped for that also. Come NB on IH-45 or 35E without a front license plate.

    I will be glad to introduce myself
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    And there are a ton of people that get stopped for that also. Come NB on IH-45 or 35E without a front license plate.

    I will be glad to introduce myself
    I've seen many police cars without front license plates too...lol. I guess they're cracking down more these days. My brother got pulled over and got a warning.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by shorty87 View Post
    I've seen many police cars without front license plates too...lol. I guess they're cracking down more these days. My brother got pulled over and got a warning.

    Did you notice the "exempt" on our plates?

  19. #19
    Forum Member beavo451's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor5191 View Post
    Did you notice the "exempt" on our plates?
    Is that a joke?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor5191 View Post
    Did you notice the "exempt" on our plates?
    What, does that mean you are exempt from the laws?!

  21. #21
    Have gun......will travel RoadKingTrooper's Avatar
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    State and Government owned vehicles are usually exempt from registration and taxation laws.

    You sound rather immature Police and Police vehicles have many exemptions to statutes that you must abide by. If you will stop typing and THINK about it for a few minutes it may come to you.




    Quote Originally Posted by shorty87 View Post
    What, does that mean you are exempt from the laws?!
    "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


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  22. #22
    Forum Member beavo451's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadKingTrooper View Post
    State and Government owned vehicles are usually exempt from registration and taxation laws.

    You sound rather immature Police and Police vehicles have many exemptions to statutes that you must abide by. If you will stop typing and THINK about it for a few minutes it may come to you.
    Yeah the cars are exempt from registration fees, but are still required to display 2 plates, one to the rear and one to the front.

    Raptor5191 posted a statement that can either be taken as a joke or as a serious statement that he believes to be true.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadKingTrooper View Post
    State and Government owned vehicles are usually exempt from registration and taxation laws.

    You sound rather immature Police and Police vehicles have many exemptions to statutes that you must abide by. If you will stop typing and THINK about it for a few minutes it may come to you.
    I did not know they weren't disobeying the law because they are exempt. I would sound immature because I didn't know.

    Why is the front license plate a law? And why is it not required in some states? That I don't understand.

  24. #24
    Have gun......will travel RoadKingTrooper's Avatar
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    LOL they are in Colo also.........I had a trunkful of plates I ran on my UC

    Who would enforce this on say a State Trooper's PC?


    Quote Originally Posted by beavo451 View Post
    Yeah the cars are exempt from registration fees, but are still required to display 2 plates, one to the rear and one to the front.

    Raptor5191 posted a statement that can either be taken as a joke or as a serious statement that he believes to be true.
    "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


    The real deal

    Outshined Pujulesfan Bearcat Chitowndet Sgt Slaughter jthorpe M-11 Lt Borelli L-1Sgt CHP Nikk Smurf Presence1 IcecoldblueyesKimble LADEP ateamer ChiCity R.A.B. Jenners IrishMetal GoldBadge willowdared Monkeybomb PhilipCal pullicords Chit2001 Garbageman Narco CruiserClass Fuzz 10-42Trooper Tex4720 irishlad2nv bajakirch OnThe gurmpyirishmanNYIlliniSgtScott31 CityCopDCcgh6366 FJDave

  25. #25
    Forum Member beavo451's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadKingTrooper View Post
    LOL they are in Colo also.........I had a trunkful of plates I ran on my UC

    Who would enforce this on say a State Trooper's PC?


    Out of all the responses you could have had, you chose, "I choose to ignore laws because who is going to stop me?"

    There are plenty of legitimate reasons for an officer or department to violate traffic code. I just can't think of any for something as simple or as stupid as following registration requirements on marked squad cars.

    I understand that a departmental vehicle is outfitted the way the department wants. But, the excuse you gave is just wrong.

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