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Old June 12th   #1
accordingly_tuned
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Turn Signals requirements

Someone help me out here. I've tried looking around the net and haven't found any solid information so far.

Does AL law require that front turn signals on automobiles blink only amber in color? From what I have heard, this seems to be the case. I'd like to be completely sure though.

Also, I know of some people running regular white (not hyperwhite) front turn signals in other states with no problems.
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Old June 12th   #2
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Well I can tell you this, I got pulled over once for having just plain white turn signals, I had just gotten my new tailights and did not chang any bulbs and my factory tails had an Amber lense on them, so they had a white bulb. It was nothing fancy, but I got pulled over and the cop accually wrote me a ticket and I had to get it fixed and go to the place and have an officer check it out so that I could get out of the ticket. The worst part about it was the cop pulled me over in my driveway.lol I have seen a bunch of people run different color turns in the rear and the front. I would just do what ever it is you have planned and worry about the cops when you get pulled over. All it is, is a fix-it ticket.
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Old June 12th   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchie
Well I can tell you this, I got pulled over once for having just plain white turn signals, I had just gotten my new tailights and did not chang any bulbs and my factory tails had an Amber lense on them, so they had a white bulb. It was nothing fancy, but I got pulled over and the cop accually wrote me a ticket and I had to get it fixed and go to the place and have an officer check it out so that I could get out of the ticket. The worst part about it was the cop pulled me over in my driveway.lol I have seen a bunch of people run different color turns in the rear and the front. I would just do what ever it is you have planned and worry about the cops when you get pulled over. All it is, is a fix-it ticket.
So I suppose cops are looking out for these things, whether or not an actual rule about this exists.

Similar to what you did, I replaced my factory turn signals and bumper signals, with aftermarket ones which don't have the amber reflectors. I do have the amber bulbs installed on these but for some reason I like the look of the white bulbs -especially on the corners, which remain lit when they are not blinking.
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Old June 12th   #4
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Anything that doesn't meet DOT standards can get you a ticket. But I've also seen people ticketed for perfectly legal stuff (like myself) so go figure.

DOT requires amber reflectors from the side. If you've removed them, then that in itself is a potential ticket. However, if you have amber bulbs in there, I highly doubt you'll ever get ticketted for it because during the day, you will have an amber color in the housing, just like ones with the reflector.

Now, I would caution on the white bulbs for signals. Those probably will get you a ticket. But what's worse is that people aren't accustomed to blinking white lights, only blinking red or amber, so that mod may make you more prone to get into an accident, especially during the day.

Now what I would do is put in amber LED bulbs if available. They'll be completely clear when the light is off, but when they are on, it's a sharp on and off that can be noticably different, yet familiar. Another route is the bulbs that look clear or blue, but are amber when they turn on.

Are these different turn signals than you had before? Or just the same ones with different bulbs. I haven't looked closely at your car in a while. You should've pointed it out to me the last time I was over.
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Old June 12th   #5
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Alabama State Code says: (I've put in bold the important parts. Scroll down, the part pertaining to this thread is toward the bottom)

Section 32-5-241
Additional permissible lights on vehicles.
(a) Spot lamps and auxiliary lamps.

(1) SPOT LAMPS. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed one spot lamp and every lighted spot lamp shall be so aimed and used upon approaching another vehicle that no part of the high intensity portion of the beam will be directed to the left of the prolongation of the extreme left side of the vehicle nor more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle.

(2) FOG LAMPS. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two fog lamps mounted on the front at a height not less than 12 inches nor more than 30 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands and so aimed that when the vehicle is not loaded none of the high intensity portion of the light to the left of the center of the vehicle shall at a distance of 25 feet ahead project higher than a level of four inches below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes.

(3) AUXILIARY PASSING LAMPS. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed one auxiliary passing lamp mounted on the front at a height not less than 24 inches nor more than 42 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands and every such auxiliary passing lamp shall meet the requirements and limitations set forth in this chapter.

(4) AUXILIARY DRIVING LAMPS. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed one auxiliary driving lamp mounted on the front at a height not less than 16 inches nor more than 42 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands and every auxiliary driving lamp shall meet the requirements and limitations set forth in this chapter.

(b) Signal lamps and signal devices.

(1) Any motor vehicle may be equipped and when required under this division shall be equipped with the following signal lamps or devices:

a. A stop lamp on the rear which shall emit a red or yellow light and which shall be actuated upon application of the service (foot) brake and which may but need not be incorporated with a tail lamp.

b. A lamp or lamps or mechanical signal device capable of clearly indicating any intention to turn either to the right or the left and which shall be visible both from the front and rear.

(2) A stop lamp shall be plainly visible and understandable from a distance of 100 feet to the rear both during normal sunlight and at nighttime and a signal lamp or lamps indicating intention to turn shall be visible and understandable during daytime and nighttime from a distance of 100 feet both to the front and rear. When a vehicle is equipped with a stop lamp or other signal lamps, such lamp or lamps shall at all times be maintained in good working condition. No stop lamp or signal lamp shall project a glaring or dazzling light.

(3) All mechanical signal devices shall be self-illuminated when in use at the time mentioned in subsection (a) of Section 32-5-240.

(c) Additional lighting equipment.

(1) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two side cowl or fender lamps which shall emit an amber or white light without glare.

(2) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than one running-board courtesy lamp on each side thereof which shall emit a white or amber light without glare.

(3) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two back-up lamps either separately or in combination with other lamps, but any such back-up lamp shall not be lighted when the motor vehicle is in forward motion.

(d) Special restriction on lamps.

(1) Any lighted lamp or illuminated device upon a motor vehicle other than head lamps, spot lamps, auxiliary lamps or flashing front direction signals which projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than 300 candlepower shall be so directed that no part of the beam will strike the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than 75 feet from the vehicle.

(2) No person shall drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device thereon displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the center thereof. This section shall not apply to authorized emergency vehicles.

(3) Any vehicle may be equipped with flashing lamps which may be used for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing, and when so equipped may display such warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this section. The lamps used to display such warning to the front shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and shall display simultaneously flashing white or amber lights, or any shade of color between white and amber.

The lamps used to display such warning to the rear shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall show simultaneously flashing amber or red lights, or any shade of color between amber and red. These warning lights shall be visible from a distance of not less than 1,500 feet under normal atmospheric conditions at night.

(4) Flashing lights may be used on motor vehicles as a means of indicating a right or left turn; a stop lamp may pulsate with different intensities provided that it meets at all intensities the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section; and the warning lights on emergency vehicles may flash.

(Acts 1927, No. 347, p. 348; Code 1940, T. 36, 41; Acts 1949, No. 517, p. 754, 11; Acts 1961, Ex. Sess., No. 136, p. 2062, 3; Acts 1965, No. 815, p. 1522.)
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Old June 12th   #6
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So according to state law, white is permissible?
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Old June 12th   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir
Anything that doesn't meet DOT standards can get you a ticket. But I've also seen people ticketed for perfectly legal stuff (like myself) so go figure.

DOT requires amber reflectors from the side. If you've removed them, then that in itself is a potential ticket. However, if you have amber bulbs in there, I highly doubt you'll ever get ticketted for it because during the day, you will have an amber color in the housing, just like ones with the reflector.

Now, I would caution on the white bulbs for signals. Those probably will get you a ticket. But what's worse is that people aren't accustomed to blinking white lights, only blinking red or amber, so that mod may make you more prone to get into an accident, especially during the day.

Now what I would do is put in amber LED bulbs if available. They'll be completely clear when the light is off, but when they are on, it's a sharp on and off that can be noticably different, yet familiar. Another route is the bulbs that look clear or blue, but are amber when they turn on.

Are these different turn signals than you had before? Or just the same ones with different bulbs. I haven't looked closely at your car in a while. You should've pointed it out to me the last time I was over.

I've recently replaced my oem corner and bumper lights with aftermarket "clear" lights. They do have a DOT and a number on them (possible fake certification maybe?) Are you sure that DOT requires amber reflectors?

The LED bulbs is a good idea but since the corners have a translucent reflector that covers the amber bulb, it's really not that visible anyway.

I have the amber bulbs in there right now. I guess it will be safer sticking with them.
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Old June 12th   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMack75
(3) Any vehicle may be equipped with flashing lamps which may be used for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing, and when so equipped may display such warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this section. The lamps used to display such warning to the front shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and shall display simultaneously flashing white or amber lights, or any shade of color between white and amber.
This is good information regarding addition lighting on the vehicle.

The bold text refers to a vehicle that may be considered a potential "traffic hazard", like a truck carrying an unusually heavy/oversized load, and how it could warn others using flashing lights.
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Old June 12th   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accordingly_tuned
This is good information regarding addition lighting on the vehicle.

The bold text refers to a vehicle that may be considered a potential "traffic hazard", like a truck carrying an unusually heavy/oversized load, and how it could warn others using flashing lights.
That's what I was thinking.
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Old June 12th   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accordingly_tuned
I've recently replaced my oem corner and bumper lights with aftermarket "clear" lights. They do have a DOT and a number on them (possible fake certification maybe?) Are you sure that DOT requires amber reflectors?
Possibly fake DOT. I'm pretty certain the amber is part of the requirement. It's found on every car in this country, but not in others.[/QUOTE]
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Old June 12th   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir
Possibly fake DOT. I'm pretty certain the amber is part of the requirement. It's found on every car in this country, but not in others.
hmm... I didn't know that. Definitely interesting.

I know that a lot JDM cars don't have the amber reflectors.

Last edited by Samir; June 12th at 11:21 PM. Reason: fixed quote tag
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Old June 12th   #12
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Japan is one of the places where I think it's not a requirement. Europe may be another, but my memory isn't that good and I wasn't a photographer the last time I went, lol.

I know the US has a reflector requirement for the rear. One of the reasons most aftermarket tail lights aren't legal.

At first I thought the Lexus rx350 tails weren't legal because they was completely clear. But if you look closely, you'll see reflectors in the bumper. No one ever said they had to be in the tail light.

The 350z, Pontial Solstice/Saturn Sky cheat like that by putting the amber reflector in the wheel well:
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Old June 12th   #13
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Yeah I was wondering about the lexus rx tails as well. They really went for that euro clear look with those!

I suppose with a lot of the newer headlight designs, like those on the Saturn Sky, having an amber reflector inside the housing would look out of place.
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Old June 13th   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by accordingly_tuned
This is good information regarding addition lighting on the vehicle.

The bold text refers to a vehicle that may be considered a potential "traffic hazard", like a truck carrying an unusually heavy/oversized load, and how it could warn others using flashing lights.
Oops...I didn't pay a lot of attention to the wording. Through further research:

Section 32-5-242
Requirements as to head lamps and auxiliary driving lamps.
(a) Visibility distance and mounted height of lamps.

(1) Whenever requirement is hereinafter declared as to the distance from which certain lamps and devices shall render objects visible or within which such lamps or devices shall be visible, said provisions shall apply during the times stated in Section 32-5-240 in respect to a vehicle without load when upon a straight, level, unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different time or condition is expressly stated.

(2) Whenever requirement is hereinafter declared as to the mounted height of lamps or devices it shall mean from the center of such lamp or device to the level ground upon which the vehicle stands when such vehicle is without a load.

(b) Multiple-beam road-lighting equipment. Except as hereinafter provided, the head lamps or the auxiliary driving lamp or the auxiliary passing lamp or combination thereof on motor vehicles other than motorcycles or motor-driven cycles shall be so arranged that the driver may select at will between distributions of light projected to different elevations and such lamps may, in addition, be so arranged that such selection can be made automatically, subject to the following limitations:

(1) There shall be an uppermost distribution of light, or composite beam, so aimed and of such intensity as to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of at least 350 feet ahead for all conditions of loading.

(2) There shall be a lowermost distribution of light, or composite beam so aimed and of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of at least 100 feet ahead; and on a straight level road under any condition of loading none of the high-intensity portion of the beam shall be directed to strike the eyes of an approaching driver.

(3) Every new motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, registered hereafter in this state, which has multiple-beam road-lighting equipment shall be equipped with a beam indicator, which shall be lighted whenever the uppermost distribution of light from the head lamps is in use, and shall not otherwise be lighted. Said indicator shall be so designed and located that when lighted it will be readily visible without glare to the driver of the vehicle so equipped.

(c) Use of multiple-beam road-lighting equipment. Whenever a motor vehicle is being operated on a roadway or shoulder adjacent thereto during the times specified in subsection (a) of Section 32-5-240 the driver shall use a distribution of light, or composite beam, directed high enough and of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and vehicles at a safe distance in advance of the vehicle, subject to the following requirements and limitations:

(1) Whenever a driver of a vehicle approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet, such driver shall use a distribution of light, or composite beam, so aimed that the glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of the oncoming driver. The lowermost distribution of light or composite beam, specified in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section shall be deemed to avoid glare at all times, regardless of road contour and loading.

(2) Whenever the driver of a vehicle follows another vehicle within 200 feet to the rear, except when engaged in the act of overtaking and passing, such driver shall use a distribution of light permissible under this division other than the uppermost distribution of light specified in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Single-beam road-lighting equipment. Head lamps arranged to provide a single distribution of light not supplemented by auxiliary driving lamps shall be permitted on motor vehicles manufactured and sold one year hereafter in lieu of multiple-beam road-lighting equipment herein specified if the single distribution of light complies with the following requirements and limitations:

(1) The head lamps shall be so aimed that when the vehicle is not loaded none of the high-intensity portion of the light shall, at a distance of 25 feet ahead, project higher than a level of five inches below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes, and in no case higher than 42 inches above the level on which the vehicle stands at a distance of 75 feet ahead.

(2) The intensity shall be sufficient to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of at least 200 feet.

(e) Lighting equipment on motor-driven cycles. The head lamp or head lamps upon every motor-driven cycle may be of the single-beam or multiple-beam type but in either event shall comply with the requirements and limitations as follows:

(1) Every said head lamp or head lamps on a motor-driven cycle shall be of sufficient intensity to reveal a person or a vehicle at a distance of not less than 100 feet when the motor-driven cycle is operated at any speed less than 25 miles per hour; at a distance of not less than 200 feet when the motor-driven cycle is operated at a speed of 25 or more miles per hour but less than 35 miles per hour; and at a distance of 300 feet when the motor-driven cycle is operated at a speed of 35 miles or more per hour.

(2) In the event the motor-driven cycle is equipped with a multiple-beam head lamp or head lamps the upper beam shall meet the minimum requirements set forth above and shall not exceed the limitations set forth in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section.

(3) In the event the motor-driven cycle is equipped with a single-beam lamp or lamps, said lamp or lamps shall be so aimed that when the vehicle is loaded none of the high-intensity portion of light, at a distance of 25 feet ahead, shall project higher than the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes.

(f) Alternate road-lighting equipment. Any motor vehicle may be operated under the conditions specified in subsection (a) of Section 32-5-240 when equipped with two lighted lamps upon the front thereof capable of revealing persons and objects 75 feet ahead in lieu of lamps required in subsection (b) or subsection (d) of this section; provided, that at no time shall it be operated at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour.

(g) Color of clearance lamps, side marker lamps and reflectors.

(1) Front clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall display or reflect an amber color.

(2) Rear clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall display or reflect a red color.

(3) All lighting devices and reflectors mounted on the rear of any vehicle shall display or reflect a red color, except the stop light or other signal device, which may be red, amber or yellow, and except that the light illuminating the license plate or the light emitted by a back-up lamp shall be white.

(h) Mounting reflectors, clearance lamps and side marker lamps.

(1) Reflectors, when required by subsection (d) of Section 32-5-240 shall be mounted at a height not less than 24 inches and not higher than 60 inches above the ground on which the vehicle stands; except, that if the highest part of the permanent structure of the vehicle is less than 24 inches the reflector at such point shall be mounted as high as that part of the permanent structure will permit.

The rear reflectors on a pole trailer may be mounted on each side of the bolster or load.

Any required red reflector on the rear of a vehicle may be incorporated with the tail lamp, but such reflector shall meet all the other reflector requirements of this chapter.

(2) Clearance lamps shall be mounted on the permanent structure of the vehicle in such a manner as to indicate its extreme width and as near the top thereof as practicable. Clearance lamps and side marker lamps may be mounted in combination provided illumination is given as required herein with reference to both.

(i) Visibility of reflectors, clearance lamps and marker lamps.

(1) Every reflector upon any vehicle referred to in subsection (d) of Section 32-5-240 shall be of such size and characteristics and so maintained as to be readily visible at nighttime from all distances within 500 feet to 50 feet from the vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps. Reflectors required to be mounted on the sides of the vehicle shall reflect the required color of light to the sides, and those mounted on the rear shall reflect a red color to the rear.

(2) Front and rear clearance lamps shall be capable of being seen and distinguished under normal atmospheric conditions at the times lights are required at a distance of 500 feet from the front and rear, respectively, of the vehicle.

(3) Side marker lamps shall be capable of being seen and distinguished under normal atmospheric conditions at the times lights are required at a distance of 500 feet from the side of the vehicle on which mounted.

(Acts 1927, No. 347, p. 348; Code 1940, T. 36, 42; Acts 1949, No. 517, p. 754, 12; Acts 1955, No. 273, p. 621, 1.)
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Old June 13th   #15
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If it boiled down to it, I would still argue the point that any color between white and amber is stated to be acceptable in the law...technicality...ain't law grand! lol
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Old June 13th   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMack75
(g) Color of clearance lamps, side marker lamps and reflectors.

(1) Front clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall display or reflect an amber color.
Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
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Old June 13th   #17
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Learned something new. Good stuff! Thanks Jay!
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