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Smoked/Tinted tail lights....... legal?

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Old 04-02-10, 04:12 PM   #1
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Default Smoked/Tinted tail lights....... legal?

I'm not sure about this but are smoked/tinted tail lights legal in California? I see them every day where I live (Glendale). Say you got rear ended and had smoked tail lights, would the other driver have a case if he said he couldn't see the tail lights because they were smoked?
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Old 04-02-10, 04:59 PM   #2
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I think it is illegal, but not enforced so strictly. Kinda like tints on the front windows/no front plate. But say you get pulled over for speeding, the cop might add that you have tinted tails as part of the ticket.
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Old 04-02-10, 05:17 PM   #3
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its def illegal.. it is strict in some area but not so much in some areas...
i did get pulled over for my smoked tails before.. so..
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Old 04-02-10, 05:21 PM   #4
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its illegal, and at the body shop my dad works at, there was a g35 coupe with tinted tails that got rear ended. and the insurance did not cover his car and he had to pay for the car that him to be fixed. but anyways my are smoked, and knock on wood but i have no problems.
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Old 04-02-10, 06:40 PM   #5
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100% agree ^^^^^^^

One of my friend from AAA insurance broker told me... This one insured driver who rear ended a car, whom had dark tinted tail lights, won the case as well. Driver claimed that the car he rear ended, he couldn't see the braking lights due to its darkness of the tail !!

Just becareful.. eversince this incidents, some idiot drivers out there looking for dark tinted tailights so they can go rear end them on purposely.
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Old 04-02-10, 06:59 PM   #6
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Did the car have a 3rd brake light or spoiler light?
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Old 04-02-10, 10:04 PM   #7
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Doesn't all cars require to have a 3rd brake light in case the primary one fails? I notice all cars have them unless they're intentionally removed.
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Old 04-02-10, 10:10 PM   #8
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Modification of Vehicle Equipment

26101. No person shall sell or offer for sale for use upon or as part of the equipment of a vehicle, nor shall any person use upon a vehicle, any device that is intended to modify the original design or performance of any lighting equipment, safety glazing material, or other device, unless the modifying device meets the provisions of Section 26104. This section does not apply to a taillamp or stop lamp in use on or prior to December 1, 1935, or to lamps installed on authorized emergency vehicles.

Amended Sec. 26, Ch. 945, Stats. 1997. Effective January 1, 1998.

Required Laboratory Tests

26104. (a) Every manufacturer who sells, offers for sale, or manufactures for use upon a vehicle devices subject to requirements established by the department shall, before the device is offered for sale, have laboratory test data showing compliance with such requirements. Tests may be conducted by the manufacturer.

(b) The department may at any time request from the manufacturer a copy of the test data showing proof of compliance of any device with the requirements established by the department and additional evidence that due care was exercised in maintaining compliance during production. If the manufacturer fails to provide such proof of compliance within 30 days of notice from the department, the department may prohibit the sale of the device in this state until acceptable proof of compliance is received by the department.

Amended Ch. 399, Stats. 1980. Effective July 11, 1980.
Then there is this:

24600. During darkness every motor vehicle which is not in combination with any other vehicle and every vehicle at the end of a combination of vehicles shall be equipped with lighted taillamps mounted on the rear as follows:

(a) Every vehicle shall be equipped with one or more taillamps.

(b) Every vehicle, other than a motorcycle, manufactured and first registered on or after January 1, 1958, shall be equipped with not less than two taillamps, except that trailers and semitrailers manufactured after July 23, 1973, which are less than 30 inches wide, may be equipped with one taillamp which shall be mounted at or near the vertical centerline of the vehicles. If a vehicle is equipped with two taillamps, they shall be mounted as specified in subdivision (d).

(c) Every vehicle or vehicle at the end of a combination of vehicles, subject to subdivision (a) of Section 22406 shall be equipped with not less than two taillamps.

(d) When two taillamps are required, at least one shall be mounted at the left and one at the right side respectively at the same level.

(e) Taillamps shall be red in color and shall be plainly visible from all distances within 500 feet to the rear except that taillamps on vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1969, shall be plainly visible from all distances within 1,000 feet to the rear.

(f) Taillamps on vehicles manufactured on or after January 1, 1969, shall be mounted not lower than 15 inches nor higher than 72 inches, except that a tow truck, in addition to being equipped with the required taillamps, may also be equipped with two taillamps which may be mounted not lower than 15 inches nor higher than the maximum allowable vehicle height and as far forward as the rearmost portion of the driver's seat in the rearmost position. The additional taillamps on a tow truck shall be lighted whenever the headlamps are lighted.
Amended Ch. 924, Stats. 1988. Effective January 1, 1989.

Last edited by RA40; 04-02-10 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 04-03-10, 10:05 PM   #9
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I got pulled over at least 3 times in OC for my blacked out tails.....finally just took them off. Sucks because I really like the look on silver cars.

I will say that I see them everyday though. My guess is that eventually cops are just going to throw the towel in and not enforce it anymore because there are just too many cars blacked out.
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Old 04-03-10, 11:11 PM   #10
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i hope you're right, slowdiver. i feel that and the choosing not to put on a front plate are some instances that the cvc should just do away with. ive always known it was illegal to have even a smoked effect on the taillights, but it looks so good on certain cars, esp black and silver. a few cops have followed me, but no trouble in the two years since ive had them. driving at night reduces the likelihood of being picked, but even then ive heard cops can get really picky, especially during times like these.
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Old 04-05-10, 05:58 PM   #11
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ILLEGAL and here is why i don't run them anymore....Sadly, as i too loved the look on my silver gen 1 IS...

i was nailed 2x in 5 weeks for this ... the 1st time I had DARK tint film on them and i got a fix it ticket, the 2nd tiem i had MUCH lighter film on them but since they are JDM dark tails they still looked kinda dark....but MUCH lighter than the "BLACK" they were with the original tint....

... I no longer run ANY tint film because the F*$king CHP jagoff who got me the 2nd time KNEW it was whithin the existing time i had to fix it and show proof - just over a month of the 1st ticket and he found a DIFFERENT veh. code to NAIL me with AND this code was NOT A FIX IT TICKET.... so i HAD to appear in court and i HAD to pay over 175 dollars to deal with it PLUS the $25 plus i had to pay to get each ticket signed off...

$225.00 for a fix it ticket offence

So, the CHP station, I asked the officer:

" So,... what is up with this deal, I got two tix for the same offense bu he specifically told me it was NOT a fix it ticket etc etc... what does that mean when i still have to come here and get you to sign off that i fixed the issue....?"

the cop said ... ."well he was basically jacking you... he really shouldn't have written a ticket if you were whithin the time frame for the court date for the 1st ticket....and he used the 2nd veh code to make sure the ticket was not protestable due to that, (different/separate violation) and in doign so he made sure that you paid 7-8x more to fix it than you would for a regular fix-it ticket... were you a smart *** or disrespectful in some way....?"

I explained i was in stop and go traffic on the hollywood freeway and he was in the exit lane about to get off when he noticed my car thru a gap in traffic and took the next 5 miles and 15+ minutes to move back over lane by lane untill he was behind me and decided to pull me over in traffic..... i told him that I am ALWAYS respectful, (which i truly am, I've been screwed too many times for not being chill, so i eat it and act accordingly) and when he said he was writing me up for the tails i told him I could just peel the film off as i had just put it on for a car show that day & I was heading home from the show when he stopped me, I even showed him the 1st place trophy in the back seat to prove i was coming from the show and my tickets and wristbands etc... the **** said it's too late as he had already started writing the ticket... which was TOTAL BULL***** as i was WATCHING HIM and he had JUST pulled the book out and opened it up and hadn't even got his pen out yet when I spoke to him about pulling the tint sticker off the tails & taking care of it right there....

bottom line ..DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SELF OPEN TO GETTING HASSLED IF YOU CAN!!.... this state is BROKE and the CHP and cops are looking for EVERY DARN WAY to STEAL your money from your wallet to offset their fiscal mismanagement.

I drive with an EAGLE EYE out for the PIGS (yeah, i said it!) so i can drop my tinted front windows & up shift to a higher gear to reduce my exh noise and just FLY LOW to avoid being noticed.

Unfortunately in OUR culture here,... making the car LOOK GOOD means it STANDS OUT and attracts attention.. .which these days can be a REALLY BAD THING... when the average cop is out to take some of your money if they can & the silly little Veh. Code violations they may have ignored before they WILL NOT look past now..

...WE ARE ALL TARGETS ... DON'T GIVE THEM A REASON TO STOP YOU. used to be that driving like an idiot was what got you noticed.... .running a red.. .speeding,.. following too close,.. unsafe lane changes etc. etc. etc.....

NOW it is ANYTHING that is not totally OEM SPEC on your car can be a reason to stop you & look for something even marginally out of code.

We are living in a *****ing broke a s s Gestapo/Nanny state i tell ya.
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Old 04-09-10, 03:04 AM   #12
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i got a ticket for my smoked tails a month or so ago. cop was nice enough to give me a ticket for my front window tint and was going to give me one for no front plate until i explained to him that i had already gotten one a few weeks before that. needless to say im gong to get it signed off and they will go back on.
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