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Non-Amber signals, etc...

2829 Views 28 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  steve95trc
OK, just to be ´clear´ about lights (pun intended):

The colors of the lights on your car(s) are not some odd designers
concious decision to be boring. They´re a common sense, safety issue.

Just like driving on the right side of the road, the specific color REQUIREMENTS for motor vehicle lights are setup to be uniform so that everyone can recognize the intent of the other drivers around them.

The feds REQUIRE car makers to build the cars as follows:

FRONT signals must emit AMBER light (amber bulbs behind white lenses or vice-versa). If your car isn´t setup this way, it´s been altered- and it´s a danger to others.

REAR signals may emit AMBER or RED light.

BRAKE lights must emit RED light only, and three are required (after the 1985 model year for cars, after 1993 for trucks/SUVs).

WHITE signal light is dangerous because the lenses do not aim the light as a headlamp does, blinding other motorists (who might just run into YOU). Other colors (such as blinking reds and blues) can confuse other motorists, who may think an emergency is involved, and their panic stop to allow you to pass may cause others to make worse moves...causing accidents.

Non-stock colors and locations are sometimes TOLERATED by local law enforcement (until you break another law), but it´s never LEGAL to change the mandatory lights and it´s often illegal to add more.

There is a REASON most of the add-on lights state on the package that they are for ´SHOW AND OFF-ROAD USE ONLY´. Read it, heed it.

It´s fine to think it ´looks cool´. But there´s a BIG difference between having them on a car at a car show, and running the roads with this stuff. Just because YOU know what your intentions are on the road, don´t assume that grannie in the diesel Chevette does. It´s a legal requirement that we all must follow the same rules as the dumbest putz out there....you shouldn´t risk confusing them, because they might kill you or someone you care about.

If you MUST install the goofy stuff, wire it separately from the required, proper lights. And do NOT drive on public roads with the silly sh*t ON!! You don´t just risk you...you´re risking ME!

Anyone can slap accessories on a car.
Smart owners install and operate them better.

(Brought to you by a NJ State Inspector, and similarly infected car freak).

John Rosa

and the Slammin´ Escort-SVT project...

See more at www.javelinamx.com/svt

[ This message was edited by: JWR-NoRice on 26-12-2002 23:34 ]
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Ahhh...its not about the lights...its about the "PaCHEEeeesshh!" haha..cool thanx for the Heads Up.
you didn´t mention anything about reverse lights, what are the legalities for them where you´re at?
JWR, thanks for giving us the lowdown on lighting regulations in NJ, and for your ´clear´ rebuke of those who run with non-standard colored lights.
for the record, all of the lights on both my cars, with one exception, still light in their intended colors, and in ´light´ of your sage advice, I plant to keep it that way for the foreseeable future. And when I do get around to making my scorts more colorful, I´ll definitely connect it all to a seperate switch as you suggest, so they can be disabled when appropriate.
Only exception for me is the license plate lights, which I changed to red. Do you know of any regulations against this? The plates are still just as readable, and I can´t imagine this could in anyway compromise safety or cause confusion. Anyone know?
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In response to both Jug and 2Red, both the reverse and plate lights are ´required´ to be white/clear. That doesn´t mean every inspector will spot the changes, so I suggest going to inspection with the mod in place and the LEGAL bulbs in your pocket. If you fail, correct it out in the lot, then go through to get your sticker.

Also, wiring them up the way I suggested also doesn´t mean it´ll pass. The law states you can´t have them on a street car, hence, even if they don´t work, they can require that you remove them. I mentioned the switches for the sake of courtesy and common sense (which is often at odds with the written law anyway!)

Heck, my own ´scort is gonna get a bunch of such changes, but I´ve stockpiled the parts and as soon as it gets its passing inspection sticker, they´ll go on....and they´ll be wired independent of the stock lights, and used when cruising slow at car gatherings and so on.
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Yeah JWR, that sounds like good advice to me!
Hey, has anyone had any problems with their scort passing inspection due to window tint? I believe these are state regulations, so I guess I´m especially asking anybody in Pennsylvania.
Also, what about stickers on windshields. I see that in a lot of pics, but i thought it was illegal, and it´s not exactly something they might not notice come inspection time!
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In Pa you can have a drop on your window no more than 5 inches down i think it is. And as far as neon and other colored lights in PA it must be hooked to a toggle. As long as it is it will pass. My best friends an inspection mechanic. And for the tint I ain´t sure. Just keep the front at 35 percent I think. I dunno mine is pretty freekin dark btu I ain´t got nabbed yet. I say yet. and I must admit I got clear bulbs in my clear corners. Thats it though, evrything else is legal. I think......
Nothing to do with this topic...but I just got a little smile when I noticed your NOS arrow points in the opposite direction that your driving JWR
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Thanx 91 ScortGTBoy for the input!
If your friend is an inspection mechanic, then maybe I´ll bring my scort to him when I get done with some of these mods I´m thinkin about.

If I do have the windows tinted, I know I want the same tint all the way around, not darker in the back. To me having two different degrees of tint on the side of a car just don´t look right.
I think I´ll start out with the amber bulbs in my clear corners and see what I think, but yeah, I think that clear probably looks way better.
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Alright i had myt friend that is a ford mechanic wire up this thing that makes the headlights flash the brights like a cop car (he got it off of one that they were working on) you know left, right, left, right you know. I was wondering if that was illegal, i only use it one people piss me off. I am pretty sure it is illegal but i thought i would ask.
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Yeah that´s called impersonating a police officer, nice jail time and or loss of license you´d be lookin at if a cop saw ya. Be careful.
In reference to the NOS sticker on my faux-SVT, umm.....I don´t think they make them in a left-sde version!

Maybe it´s pointing to the bottle in the rear?!?
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I think the NOS sticker looks good that way. The arrow kinda alludes to the added thrust the NOS gives, you know, like a jet engine!

That´s a pretty cool trick Trashknight, but DO be careful. I fail to see how blue foglights can be seen as impersonating an officer, but those flashing headlights truly are. Definitely not worth jail time.

BTW, I had a really cheap alarm in my 87 GTI, just a noise-maker really. When I went to drive home after class, I couldn´t disarm it cause the transmitter battery was dead, and I had no idea how to disconnect it. The siren would go for a while and then shut off, but every time I had to brake the change in current would set it off again. Some people were actually pulling over for my bright red VW. LOL!
Trash those wig-wags are illegal. No questions asked go directly to jail/court for impersonating an emergency vehicle. At a car show your fine, in public you are screwed. PA has some goofy laws about window tint. Somewhere I have the link... here´s one:
here is another:

the first also has the braking regulations and the lighting requirements.
pretty useful.
So do you think cops will care that I have little blue lights on my washer nozzles? I figure if someone is confused and thinks I´m a cop they deserve to be pulled over and sent to jail so Bubba can get a hold of them. Either that or they´re just too damned old and don´t need to be driving anymore.
Really the only way you can see them is if I´m tailgating and I don´t like to tailgate, especially with SNOW on the ground.
Thanx Birdog, that´s definitely helpful!
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Not true- those LED nozzle lights can be seen at a GREAT distance,
and in the rear view mirror (which, when properly used, is only glanced into for a split second every few seconds), the other guy can mistakenly believe a cop or volunteer fire/rescue vehicle is approaching. Same problem- he tries to move over, another driver doesn´t realize what he´s doing, pulls another dumb move, and somebody is on the way to the hospital.

In New Jersey (and many other states), you´re allowed forward-facing white and amber lights. To the rear, red or amber (reverse lights may be white, but may only operate in reverse). ALL ELSE IS ILLEGAL, AND CAN GET YOU TICKETED...OR WORSE.

Be smart- wire them separately and don´t use them on public roads.

John Rosa
and the Slammin´ Escort-SVT project...
See more at www.javelinamx.com/svt

[ This message was edited by: JWR-NoRice on 04-01-2003 09:03 ]
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Well in my personal experience I can´t really even see the LED nozzles until I´m within about 50 feet of a car. I´ve seen white ones around town here, to me they aren´t that bright, even at night. I do have them wired onto my fog lamps, which I only use at night, and because my headlights have to be on to turn on my fog lamps, I do have all that light going out ahead of the LEDs, so you really can´t see the blue unless I´m tailgating you, which I don´t do...unless you were that ****** in that red early 90s Lumina sedan this afternoon that cut me off, and then proceeded to piss me off by trying to brake check me.

Don´t worry I showed him how fast Escorts are when he tried to get away.
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Hey, don´t make fun of my Lumina!

It was a big enough joke when it left the factory!
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Hey I like Luminas, my friend used to drive one with the 3.1L V6 in it. It was a great car. (this was just before he bought his mustang GT...) He put in a 500 dollar indash cd player w/ remote, and put duel 12" subs in the rear. then he put shinier hubcaps on it and tinted the windows. that car ruled. I wish I had the money to make mine look like that did. I guess I only have a problem with the guy using his Lumina for evil purposes...like cutting me off. bastard!! oh well. i know I pissed him off cause I followed him through half the city.
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