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Old 08-02-2009, 08:19 PM   #1
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Underglow Laws

Okay, I live in TN and when I first installed my underglow kit on my late Mustang, I went to the local PD and the Sheriff's and asked if underglow was legal or not. They both said yes as long as it's not flashing. No worries on it being red, either.

I have never had cops hassle me about it until I moved up here to Middle TN. One pulled me over on my way to work. I told him the cops in my hometown said it was fine as long as it's not flashing, and he just shrugged and again told me to turn them off. The second time was when I was filling up at a station and a cop came out of the store and told me it was illegal. I asked him if there was written law on it, and he said to google "Tennessee Code Annotated" and look under "Lighting." I searched to no avail.

I've decided that I'm going to keep the lights on, because I pass a million cops everytime I drive here in town. But what I want is a written piece of paper, if it exists, that clearly defines the law, so I can shame these guys that pull me over. They seem like rookies to me, because both were young guys.

Any help? I can't find anything, and I'm tired of just telling the cops that I was told it was okay.

Thanks,
Chris


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Old 08-02-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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oops
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
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^ Okay... lol.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:40 PM   #4
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ahahah jsut leave them on!! i love my leds

But i crack one side tube bad :(
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NeweracapMAN View Post
ahahah jsut leave them on!! i love my leds

But i crack one side tube bad :(
Oh, I'm gonna leave em on, trust me.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:02 PM   #6
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when i first got my glow (i live in KY) i was worried it was illegal. well i talked to my buddies dad who was a cop. he actually found the section of the law that stated the rules about auxillary lighting and got me a copy. my suggestion is to either go to the courthouse on a day they are extremely slow (so they will give u the time of day) and ask if u can get a copy of the auxillary lighting laws of tenn. thats what Underglow is called here in ky... dont know bout Tn tho....
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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Your Google sucks . . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by TN Law


55-9-402. Lights required on motor vehicles — Exceptions — Regulations as to color, type and visibility distance. —



(a) (1) Every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, road roller, road machinery or farm tractor shall be equipped with at least two (2) and not more than four (4) headlights, with at least one (1) on each side of the front of the motor vehicle. No nonemergency vehicle shall operate or install emergency flashing light systems, such as strobe, wig-wag, or other flashing lights within the headlight assembly or grill area of the vehicle; provided, however, that a school bus may operate a flashing, wig-wag lighting system within the headlight assembly of the vehicle when the vehicle's visual stop signs are actuated for receiving or discharging school children.




(2) Auxiliary road lighting lamps may be used, but not more than two (2) of the lamps shall be lighted at any one (1) time in addition to the two (2) required headlights.




(3) No spotlight or auxiliary lamp shall be so aimed upon approaching another vehicle that any part of the high intensity portion of the beam therefrom is directed beyond the left side of the motor vehicle upon which the spotlight or auxiliary lamp is mounted, nor more than one hundred feet (100¢) ahead of the motor vehicle.




(b) (1) Every motor vehicle shall be equipped with two (2) red tail lamps and two (2) red stoplights on the rear of the vehicle, and one (1) tail lamp and one (1) stoplight shall be on each side, except that passenger cars manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1939, trucks manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1968, and motorcycles and motor-driven cycles shall have at least one (1) red tail lamp and one (1) red stoplight. No non-emergency vehicle shall operate or install emergency flashing light systems such as strobe, wig-wag, or other flashing lights in tail light lamp, stoplight area, or factory installed emergency flasher and backup light area; provided, however, that the foregoing prohibition shall not apply to the utilization of a continuously flashing light system. For the purposes of this part, “continuously flashing light system” means a brake light system in which the brake lamp pulses rapidly for no more than five (5) seconds when the brake is applied, and then converts to a continuous light as a normal brake lamp until the time that the brake is released.




(2) The stoplight shall be so arranged as to be actuated by the application of the service or foot brake and shall be capable of being seen and distinguished from a distance of one hundred feet (100¢) to the rear of a motor vehicle in normal daylight, but shall not project a glaring or dazzling light.




(3) The stoplight may be incorporated with the tail lamp.




(4) Motor vehicle tail light lamps may operate as following:




(A) A white backup light operates when the motor vehicle is in reverse;




(B) When the driver is in a panic stop condition going forward, the backup lamp pulses or flashes red; and




(C) Upon normal stops of the motor vehicle, there is no action by the backup light.




(c) Each lamp and stoplight required in this section shall be in good condition and operational.




(d) (1) No vehicle operated in this state shall be equipped with any flashing red or white light or any combination of red or white lights that displays to the front of the vehicle except school buses, a passenger motor vehicle operated by a rural mail carrier of the United States postal service while performing the duties of a rural mail carrier, authorized law enforcement vehicles only when used in combination with a flashing blue light, and emergency vehicles used in firefighting, including ambulances, emergency vehicles used in firefighting that are owned or operated by the division of forestry, firefighting vehicles, rescue vehicles, privately owned vehicles of regular or volunteer firefighters certified in § 55-9-201(c), or other emergency vehicles used in firefighting owned, operated, or subsidized by the governing body of any county or municipality.




(2) Any emergency rescue vehicle owned, titled and operated by a state chartered rescue squad, a member of the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads, privately owned vehicles of regular or volunteer firefighters certified in § 55-9-201(c), and marked with lettering at least three inches (3²) in size and displayed on the left and right sides of the vehicle designating it an “Emergency Rescue Vehicle,” any authorized civil defense emergency vehicle displaying the appropriate civil defense agency markings of at least three inches (3²), and any ambulance or vehicle equipped to provide emergency medical services properly licensed as required in the state and displaying the proper markings, shall also be authorized to be lighted in one (1) or more of the following manners:




(A) A red or red/white visibar type with public address system;




(B) A red or red/white oscillating type light; and




(C) Blinking red or red/white lights, front and rear.




(3) Any vehicle, other than a school bus, a passenger motor vehicle operated by a rural mail carrier of the United States postal service while performing the duties of a rural mail carrier or an emergency vehicle authorized by this section to display flashing red or red/white lights, or authorized law enforcement vehicles using red, white, and blue lights in combination, that displays any such lights shall be considered in violation of this subsection (d).




(e) (1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, nothing in this section shall prohibit a highway maintenance or utility vehicle, or any other type vehicle or equipment participating, in any fashion, with highway or utility construction, maintenance, or inspection, from operating a white, amber, or white and amber light system on any location on the vehicle or equipment, other than in the tail light lamp, stoplight area, or factory installed emergency flasher and backup light area, if the light system is a strobe, flashing, oscillating, or revolving system, while the vehicle or equipment is parked upon, entering or leaving any highway or utility construction, maintenance, repair or inspection site.




(2) As used in this subsection (e), “utility” means any person, municipality, county, metropolitan government, cooperative, board, commission, district, or any entity created or authorized by public act, private act, or general law to provide electricity, natural gas, water, waste water services, telephone service, or any combination thereof, for sale to consumers in any particular service area.




(3) As used in subdivision (e)(2), “cooperative” means any cooperative providing utility services including, but not limited to, electric or telephone services, or both.




(4) Nothing in this subsection (e) imposes any duty or obligation to install or utilize the lighting systems allowed in this section.




(f) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, nothing in this section shall prohibit a motor vehicle used for the driver education and training course for Class D vehicles as provided by § 55-50-322(f) from operating an amber light-emitting diode (LED) light system on the front and rear of such vehicle other than in the taillight lamp, stoplight area, or factory-installed emergency flasher and backup light area. The amber light-emitting diode light system shall not be placed in the driver's line of sight. Nothing in this subsection (f) imposes any duty or obligation to install or utilize the lighting system allowed in this subsection (f).




(g) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.


[Acts 1931, ch. 82, § 15; 1937, ch. 245, § 5; 1941, ch. 121, § 1; C. Supp. 1950, § 2700.16 (Williams, § 2695); Acts 1957, ch. 51, § 1; 1969, ch. 40, § 1; 1970, ch. 598, § 1; 1975, ch. 342, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-905; Acts 1981, ch. 111, §§ 1, 2; 1982, ch. 850, § 3; 1989, ch. 173, §§ 2, 3; 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1991, ch. 221, § 1; 1997, ch. 299, §§ 1-5; 2003, ch. 67, § 1; 2004, ch. 474, § 1; 2005, ch. 154, §§ 1-4; 2006, ch. 584, §§ 1, 2; 2008, ch. 967, § 2.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by TN Law
55-9-409. Inspecting and testing lamps emitting glare — Order to remove illegal lamps — Arrest of drivers. —





(a) Any member of the highway patrol having reasonable ground to believe that any headlamp or auxiliary driving or fog lamp or any device subject to approval upon a vehicle emits a glaring light as defined in §§ 55-9-406 and 55-9-408, or otherwise fails to comply with the requirements of this part, may require the driver of the vehicle to stop and submit the lamp to an inspection or test. In the event the lamp or device is not of the type that has been approved by the department, the officer making the inspection shall require the driver of the vehicle to remove the illegal lamp within twenty-four (24) hours, and may arrest the driver and give the driver a notice to appear, and may further require the driver or the owner of the vehicle to produce in court satisfactory evidence of the removal of the illegal lamp.




(b) In the event any headlight or auxiliary driving or fog light of a type that has been approved by the department, by reason of faulty adjustment or otherwise, emits a glaring light as defined in §§ 55-9-406 and 55-9-408 or otherwise fails to comply with this part, the officer making the inspection shall direct the driver to make the light or lights conform to the requirements of this part within forty-eight (48) hours. The officer may also arrest the driver and give the driver a notice to appear, and further require the driver or the owner of the vehicle to produce in court satisfactory evidence that the light or lights have been made to conform with the requirements of this part.


[Acts 1937, ch. 245, § 5; 1939, ch. 206, § 5; C. Supp. 1950, § 2700.16 (Williams, § 2695); T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-912.]


I'm no lawyer but I'm not "directly" reading that they are illegal; childish, ricerish and distracting, yes. The one term I did come across was "dazzling light". I'm not sure what the legal meaning behind that term is but I could guess that a distracting light such as underglow may fall under that category and therefore be illegal.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:30 PM   #8
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in NY i have heard they are illegal, different state different laws. The thing is here they consider it to be a distraction. If you have major problems use them more for show, i now it sucks bc u like it but i dunno
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:32 PM   #9
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(d) (1) No vehicle operated in this state shall be equipped with any flashing red or white light or any combination of red or white lights that displays to the front of the vehicle except school buses, a passenger motor vehicle operated by a rural mail carrier of the United States postal service while performing the duties of a rural mail carrier, authorized law enforcement vehicles only when used in combination with a flashing blue light, and emergency vehicles used in firefighting, including ambulances, emergency vehicles used in firefighting that are owned or operated by the division of forestry, firefighting vehicles, rescue vehicles, privately owned vehicles of regular or volunteer firefighters certified in § 55-9-201(c), or other emergency vehicles used in firefighting owned, operated, or subsidized by the governing body of any county or municipality.

Dang dude. I was hoping you could leave them on.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:42 PM   #10
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They don't display to the front of the vehicle, though...

In any case, I'm going to keep them on. Simply because out of the three years that I have had underglow, only TWO cops have said something to me about it. The lights are not flashing, and not that noticeable anyway. When the first cop pulled me over, he had first passed me, then decided to slow down and pull back in behind me to turn on his lights. Distracting? I don't think so.
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