Not all vehicle lights are legal on public roads

Adam Curtis Police Press Releases, Public Affairs Press Releases

Sierra Vista Police Department officers have observed a recent increase in vehicles being driven with extra lights installed and sometimes drivers are surprised to learn that not all of the lights available to buy are actually legal on public roadways.

“It’s a common misconception that just because the lights and related equipment can be purchased it means they must also be legal to use on public roads. That’s simply not the case,” SVPD Public Information Officers Cpl. Scott Borgstadt says.

Under state law:

  • Vehicle lights visible from the front must be amber or white
  • Rear clearance lights or marker lamps must be amber
  • Rear stoplights or signal devices may be red, amber, or yellow
  • The license plate light and rear backup light must be white
  • Vehicles with red or blue lights visible from directly in front are not permitted on state highways (except for emergency vehicles)

Vehicles may be equipped with up to two side cowl or fender lamps that emit amber or white light without glare. And one running board courtesy lamp is allowed on each side of a vehicle providing it emits a white or amber light without glare.

Lights emitting any color not expressly permitted in state law are not legal. Driving a vehicle with illegal lighting may lead to a traffic stop and could result in a fine of $117, plus additional court-related costs.

“We urge drivers to do some due diligence to ensure lights comply with the state law before they install them and take them out on the road,” Borgstadt says.