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Discussion Starter #1
I got pulled over last night and received a handful of tickets, one being for my Raxiom smoked taillights. Trying to look for a way to drop the charge, are these taillights DOT approved? On American Muscle's website it says that they are, however I do not see a "DOT approved" badge on them anywhere.
 

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MM's Amazon Man
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What state are you in? I live in PA and anything darker than factory is illegal. I also have raxiom smoked tails but I have had no problems with police.

My bad, I just saw New York. You'll need to check your local state laws.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I believe in New York as long as it's DOT approved it's okay for use. I'm trying to figure out if these lights really are DOT approved or not.
 

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it may be DOT but that doesnt mean it falls into your states guidelines

i was pulled over for smoke factory tail light not even as dark as yours
 

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I believe in New York as long as it's DOT approved it's okay for use. I'm trying to figure out if these lights really are DOT approved or not.
atv4life95,

The 99-04 Raxiom smoked tail lights are truly DOT approved. I would plead not guilty for the tail lights and go to your Court date to see if you can fight it. Keep in mind that DOT only includes all of the standards for making a tail light. If your particular County/City outlaws darker than factory tail-lights, then you have to abide by their rules, as well.

Hopefully everything turns out for the best. Good luck!

Shane
 

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Discussion Starter #6
atv4life95,

The 99-04 Raxiom smoked tail lights truly DOT approved. I would plead not guilty for the tail lights and go to your Court date to see if you can fight it. Keep in mind that DOT only includes all of the standards for making a tail light. If your particularly Country/City outlaws darker than factory tail-lights, then you have to abide by their rules, as well.

Hopefully everything turns out for the best. Good luck!

Shane
I just wish the tail light housing actually said something on them about them being DOT compliant, like the factory tail lights do. Then I could actually prove it to them in person.
 

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Torchin tires...
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They like to rape is here in MA for tints too... sucks
 

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DOT approval just means they are safe to install and operate, it does not mean street legal; you should look up your state's statues so that you will know the exact wording and requirements.

Never mind, my curiosity got the better of me--a brief review indicates no hard performance specifications, but rather language empowering the Commissioner of motor vehicles to:

"...promulgate rules and regulations with respect to lamps, reflectors and signaling devices, their number, type, design, construction, location, attachment and use on vehicles being driven, operated or parked on any public highway or street in this state."
-- § 376 1.b.

and that:

"All lights, signals and reflectors shall be of a type and design approved by the commissioner."
-- § 376 3.

Quite arbitrary and capricious, and All available here.

It would seem that without the "commissioner's" approval they are illegal--DOT approved or not.

Here in Florida the statute is nice because it just says that tail lamps "shall emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 1,000 feet to the rear", that the stop lamps "shall be...visible from a distance of not less than 300 feet to the rear in normal sunlight."

In both sections it is further stated that no "...object, material, or covering that alters..." the visibility requirements is allowed--so as long as they meet those requirements thay are cool. I carry of copy of these statutes in the glove box, and have used it twice to document my way out.
 

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I just wish the tail light housing actually said something on them about them being DOT compliant, like the factory tail lights do. Then I could actually prove it to them in person.
I'm surprised there isn't a stamp somewhere on them. Again, if your County laws say they can't be altered in anywhere from factory, then you have to go by the local laws, unfortunately.

Wish you the best of luck though!

Shane
 

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Speed Junky
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The commissioner of motor vehicles is hereby authorized and
empowered to promulgate rules and regulations with respect to lamps,
reflectors and signaling devices, their number, type, design,
construction, location, attachment and use on vehicles being driven,
operated or parked on any public highway or street in this state. In
promulgating such rules and regulations the commissioner shall be guided
by the requirements with regard to lights, reflectors, signaling devices
and associated equipment on vehicles of rules and regulations
promulgated by
the United States department of transportation.

With that said you can easily secure a DOT approval letter from the manufacturer or whoever you purchased them from to present to the judge and the ticket will be set aside...
 

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get some stockers put them on take pictures and bring them to court with you saying you replaced and fixed it. they will drop the charges, then when your clear swap the smoked back on
 

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The statute states the Commissioner "shall be guided by", not that he shall follow or adhere to DOT rules and regulations. You will not want to argue that seemingly small distinction with a prosecutor or judge.

One thing to keep in mind about traffic court is that you walk in guilty, will piss of the cops and judge by challenging them, and will remain guilty until proven innocent well beyond any reasonable doubt.

The best hope you have is that the complaining officer doesn't show up--the good news is that very often, for something minor like this, they will not. Also traffic court "wins" do not establish any precedent, a pissed off cop can ticket you again in the court house parking lot...
 

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State troopers are the only ones who ever bitch at me (texas) but different countys handle it different Austin doesn't care but go too far north and they start freaking out on you about it, tried to say my headlights are too dark too but I showed them the dot stamp and he said oh ok well the tail lights are covered up but there just tinted with kit from AM
 

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atv4life95,

The 99-04 Raxiom smoked tail lights are truly DOT approved. I would plead not guilty for the tail lights and go to your Court date to see if you can fight it. Keep in mind that DOT only includes all of the standards for making a tail light. If your particular County/City outlaws darker than factory tail-lights, then you have to abide by their rules, as well.

Hopefully everything turns out for the best. Good luck!

Shane
Hate to tell you this... I have the Raxiom smoked headlights and taillights for 05-09 and though American Muscle said they were street legal, they are not legal in Texas. Texas has a law that taillights or headlights cannot be smoked or tinted at all. I only passed inspection cuz I know someone. You can't trust AM to know the laws. They clearly don't in this case. I got pulled over by a trooper a couple of months ago, but he just gave me a warning because he liked my car.
 

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Speed Junky
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Unless you can locate a statue that specifically states no tinted tail lights allowed and your car is equipped with DOT Approved tail lights which means in simple terms the federal government has approved them for federal highway use in accordance with their strict Federal Guidelines, because the product has passed their test standard... You can easily play stupid about any local/state law which most likely doesn't exist that overrides the federal highway safety standards by claiming you didn't know since you did install DOT approved equipment in an effort to be safe and see what the judge says... Never know you just might get off because after all you did adhere to federal guidelines for safety reasons... If you can prove you made a sincere effort and unknowingly violated a little known law that superseded a federal law by installing a DOT Federally Approved Safe Product which the State of New York bases their guideline off of, the judge has the option to let you off. Call your state highway safety commissioners office and ask where you can read the law online and go from there, but I bet even if there's a law on the books, it's stating they must be DOT approved... Most states do it this way knowing that most aftermarket companies don't have the funding to apply for DOT approval and it helps prevent law suits against the state by following federal guidelines...

Look into it by contacting the commissioners office and let us know what you discover...
 

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Hate to tell you this... I have the Raxiom smoked headlights and taillights for 05-09 and though American Muscle said they were street legal, they are not legal in Texas. Texas has a law that taillights or headlights cannot be smoked or tinted at all. I only passed inspection cuz I know someone. You can't trust AM to know the laws. They clearly don't in this case. I got pulled over by a trooper a couple of months ago, but he just gave me a warning because he liked my car.

Taxman,

Like I mentioned in both of my other posts, DOT approved light housings do not mean they're exempt from your County/City laws that may outlaw any aftermarket light housing. You still have to follow your State/City/County laws on top of the Federal laws. This of course, we don't have any control over, unfortunately.

Sorry for any confusion I caused!

Shane
 

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AM does not/did not say they were "street legal". They said they were "DOT approved" which as I stated, and has been stated by others, does not automatically or at all mean street legal.

I.e. DOT approval, even if actually acquired, means basically nothing. It's just a buzz-phrase used by vendors to imply some sort of legality. This is why legitimate car makers often do not mark the lamp housing as being DOT approved--because they are not, such as the OEM housings on my wife's 2003 Toyota Highlander.

Most aftermarket stuff was never submitted to the DOT for them to "approve" in the first. If you want to settle that just ask them for a copy of the DOT approval certificate, which they are required by law to supply.

And BTW don't hold your breath waiting for it...
 

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Speed Junky
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Straight from New York DMV and as you'll notice it's vague, which does in fact provide you with the ability to play stupid in court if in fact you discover they aren't legal in your state... Just because you received a ticket doesn't mean the officer is correct, they are in fact human and subject to making errors on occasion... Research the information and then determine how to best handle your specific situation. A few phone calls to determine if in fact you violated any law is far cheaper than paying a ticket that you just might not of deserved... So find out exactly what approved tail lights are in NY because you just might discover the law states must be DOT Approved...

Lights

All lighting must be of an approved type and inspected for operation, proper mounting, and broken or missing lenses. Side marker lamps, parking lamps, and additional flashing turning lamps mounted on the side of the vehicle are not inspected.

Headlamps (low and high beam)
Tail lamps
Stop lamps
Directional signals
Backup lights (1969 and newer)
License plate lights
Hazard warning/four-way flasher (1966 and newer)
Directional signal indicator

Simply call this number and find out where you can read online what type are tail lights are approved for use in NY

Consumer Services Section
Division of Vehicle Safety Services
Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 2700-ESP, Albany, NY 12220-0700
Phone: 1-518-474-8943 (between 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Monday - Friday)

NYS DMV - (Brochure) New York State Vehicle Safety/Emissions Inspection Program for Cars and Light Trucks
 

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do you have the stockers? or can you borrow some? I'd just put the stock ones on and go to court, show the judge you fixed the problem and then swap em out again.
 

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Speed Junky
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Here's the law the New York State Commissioner must follow... You simply need to find out if he superseded the tail light requirement and actually read that law rather than listening to someone on the phone... Either way with the info you currently have on hand you can easily have the ticket set aside provided you show up in court with a letter from the manufacturer showing you have DOT approved tail lights...

Email the manufacturer and they should be able email you a copy of DOT Approval same day... If they refused complain to SEMA.org that one of their members is selling a product claiming DOT approval and refusing to provide supporting documentation so you can present it in court to resolve a ticket involving this product, if in fact it meets your states requirements...

New York State Law...
http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/LAWSSEAF.cgi?QUERYTYPE=LAWS+&[email protected]+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=BROWSER+&TOKEN=50275213+&TARGET=VIEW


Vehicle and Traffic
§ 376. Lamps, signaling devices and reflectors on vehicles. 1. (a) It
shall be unlawful to operate, drive or park a vehicle, except a
motorcycle operated during the period from one-half hour before sunrise
to one-half hour after sunset, on any public highway or street in this
state at any time during the day or night unless such vehicle is
equipped with signaling devices and reflectors of a type approved by the
commissioner which are in good working condition; or to operate, drive
or park a vehicle, except a motorcycle, on any public highway or street
in this state, during the period from one-half hour after sunset to
one-half hour before sunrise, unless such vehicle is equipped with lamps
of a type approved by the commissioner which are lighted and in good
working condition; or to operate, drive or park self-propelled
agricultural equipment on any public highway or street in this state,
during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour
before sunrise and during such other times as visibility for a distance
of one thousand feet ahead of or behind such agricultural equipment is
not clear, unless such agricultural equipment is equipped with lamps of
a type approved by the commissioner which are lighted and in good
working condition.

(b) The commissioner of motor vehicles is hereby authorized and
empowered to promulgate rules and regulations with respect to lamps,
reflectors and signaling devices, their number, type, design,
construction, location, attachment and use on vehicles being driven,
operated or parked on any public highway or street in this state. In promulgating such rules and regulations the commissioner shall be guided by the requirements with regard to lights, reflectors, signaling devices
and associated equipment on vehicles of rules and regulations
promulgated by the United States department of transportation.


In simple terms any law the commissioner changes must still meet the DOT Standard... The commissioner has the ability to add restrictions but only so long as the changes he makes meets federal guidelines... Can he outlaw tinted tail lights yes, but has he put any changes into a written law...
 
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