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Old 08-15-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
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Smoked Tail lights

My dad was doing some research on smoked tail lights, and said that he found some cases of people who would be stopped at stop lights or stop signs and get rear ended, and because their tail lights were smoked, the person who hit them would just say he couldn't see their break lights on, and there would be no trial or anything, and that is a good enough reason for the person with the smoked tail lights to take full responsibility for the accident.

Has anyone ever had this happen to them? And would that be any reason to not get the tail lights smoked?


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Old 08-15-2009, 12:36 PM   #2
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I'd bet that's true. Considering you are technically obscuring your lighting. I can't imagine smoking the lights is legal everywhere, or anywhere for that matter.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
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Umm... If you can prove that your lights are legally bright enough, according to your local laws, no, this isnt the case. Unless your taillights are black and/or illegal, the situation would be no different then rear-ending someone with unmodified taillights (unless your local laws prohibit taillight modification.)
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:54 PM   #4
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Ok, did a little legwork (I work at a library, what can I say ) and it seems that as long as the light is visible from 1000 feet away you are OK.

It varies from state to state apparently so I guess check your local laws and regulations.
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:57 PM   #5
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In Missouri the law is 300 feet, but does it just have to be visible? Or does it have to have a certain amount of brightness that it needs from 300 feet away?

And if it is visible from 300 feet, then that gives the person no case to say that my lights were blacked out and therefore its my fault?
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:16 PM   #6
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In Missouri the law is 300 feet, but does it just have to be visible? Or does it have to have a certain amount of brightness that it needs from 300 feet away?

And if it is visible from 300 feet, then that gives the person no case to say that my lights were blacked out and therefore its my fault?
Visible is visible, I guess. I'm not a lawyer. And your second paragraph makes no sense, it would be their fault if they were visible and they hit you in the rear.
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:27 PM   #7
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Alright thanks for your help! You got the gist of what I was saying in my second paragraph, I phrased it kind of weird, sorry about that. But +1 rep for the help, thanks!
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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Hit you in the rear.... Jk. I would believe that as long as your lights are visible from the distance of your area and someone hits you then it's their fault. Unless there is something that says otherwise in your local law.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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"Visible" can be a matter of semantics with some police/judges/etc. If a policeman feels your lights were not visible, he can and will ticket you. Once ticketed, it is almost impossible to prove they were visible enough, particularly if blacked out or heavily tinted.

A friend of mine was rear-ended about 5 years ago in an old Datsun 240Z. He was blacked out and the cop felt it was too dark, so he was ticketed. Even with a number of photos "proving" they were visible from a certain distance, he still got nailed with a 50% fault in the accident.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BlackHayze View Post
My dad was doing some research on smoked tail lights, and said that he found some cases of people who would be stopped at stop lights or stop signs and get rear ended, and because their tail lights were smoked, the person who hit them would just say he couldn't see their break lights on, and there would be no trial or anything, and that is a good enough reason for the person with the smoked tail lights to take full responsibility for the accident.

Has anyone ever had this happen to them? And would that be any reason to not get the tail lights smoked?
O.E. lights and lenses fall under the Department of Transportation, which is a federal bureau. So, any alteration of O.E. lights or lenses is against federal law. I am a licensed state safety inspector and if a vehicle has O.E. lights or lenses that have been altered, the car fails inspection.

Reducing the distance your brake lights can be seen is not a wise idea anyway. We are talking about a safety issue here that could mean your life and that of someone else too.
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