California laws regarding headlights and auxiliary lights

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by upsscott, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. upsscott

    upsscott Been here awhile

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    Today while traveling down HWY 70 in the Feather River canyon in Northern California, I got pulled over by the California Highway Patrol. I wasn’t speeding so I was curious as to why he made a hardcore u-turn and pulled me over lights blazing. He informed me that I had too many lights on the front of my bike. I have Clearwater Darlas set at 20% on low beam and full on high beam, and my stock headlight. All of this is on a 2014 GS. He had me turn the bike on and he inspected them. He said they were legal in low beam mode. Interesting since that’s what I was running them in when he passed me. He then told me to turn on the high beams. He said “Yep, that’s what I saw.” I said “Nope, you didn’t see that because I had the low beams on.” He accused me of challenging him and we went back and forth for a few minutes. He then said he would let me off with a warning. I asked him what the warning was for. He said I can only have four lights on the front of the bike at one time. I’m confused, wouldn’t the high beam be considered one light, the low beam considered one light, and the auxiliary lights considered two lights add up to four? If anyone living in California can enlighten me I would appreciate it. IMG_1441.JPG IMG_1453.JPG
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  2. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    (24405b) I decide you actually have three lights. CHP officer was a dick in this instance.
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  3. _Gir_

    _Gir_ Been here awhile

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    There was another thread that proposed the legality of non DOT lights eg Clearwater and the likelihood of being pulled over

    ..looks like we got a statistic.

    Odds are he could have said something to the effect of: those aren't factory installed DOT lights and you cannot use them on the road, only off-road.

    Clearwater's are bright LEDs that are fairly directional. Head on they're really bright, even at 20%. But once slightly off axis they fade quick. Probably why he said it was different.

    I'm surprised you tried arguing over a warning, generally doesn't turn out well.

    How well are they aimed/aligned?
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  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I'll be interested to hear what folks say. I'm not from California, but I thought the "4 headlights" rule was the rule, and DRL's don't count as a headlight. With your Darla's at 20%, and then being yellow too, I'd think they would be considered DRL's. I'd also consider your high beam and low beam to be one "lamp" not two.
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  5. Bhuddy21

    Bhuddy21 Adventurer

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    +1
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  6. ckindt

    ckindt Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Was he a rookie? Must have been a slow day for him.
    Safety, Service and Security.
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  7. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Meanwhile real crimes were being committed not far away.
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  8. upsscott

    upsscott Been here awhile

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    I wasn’t argumentative at all. I’ve been around the block enough to know that arguing is futile. I was just trying to get clarification and he couldn’t provide much. I have great respect for the CHP. Being a truck driver I am constantly amazed at the difficulty of their job and how well they do it. This officer for whatever reason was angry. My lights are aimed perfectly. They’re bright, I get that, but I bought them for that reason. I want to be seen. Interesting that it’s motorcycle awareness month in this stupid state and this officer chose to screw with me over my lights in broad daylight.
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  9. socalnative

    socalnative Been here awhile

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    I've been told, as motorcycle officers have passed me, to turn off my brights.
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  10. rollinrob

    rollinrob Long timer

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    I'm under the impression you can have fogs with low beams and driving lights with high beams. 1 set of fogs and 1 set of driving, 4 lights. Could be wrong though.

    You only have one set of auxiliary lights. Had seperate fogs and driving lights on a truck, no issues.
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  11. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    You can install as many lights as you want of any detail/make/style. You can only use 4 DOT approved front driving lights at a time on a public highway.
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  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Technically 4, BUT, the law is 4 forward facing WHITE driving lights. The yellow covered lights do not count. The cop was being a dick!
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  13. upsscott

    upsscott Been here awhile

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    This officer was counting every bulb in my headlight. That’s not correct right?
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  14. upsscott

    upsscott Been here awhile

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    Even if I was in the wrong(which I wasn’t) he had a bad attitude.
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  15. TurkeyRun

    TurkeyRun Been here awhile Supporter

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    24405.b
    “Each pair shall be considered one light”

    I’ve wondered about this too. I’m in CA.

    Stock LED headlight
    Pair of D4s up high
    Pair of D2s with yellow lenses down low

    So..... is that 3 lights?

    IANAL, and I didn’t stay at the Holiday Inn last night. I do however have reservations for one in a couple weeks.
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  16. upsscott

    upsscott Been here awhile

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    Seriously, could it be more confusing?
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  17. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    By this logic, Acuras have 5 clusters on each side..so 10 headlights! those must be illegal too.. :rolleyes Someone was being overzealous or just a dick

    Screen Shot 2019-08-25 at 19.59.13.png
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  18. TurkeyRun

    TurkeyRun Been here awhile Supporter

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    So, I just kinda cross-posted this thread over on bayarearidersforum.com (BARF). There is a really active LEO Forum there.

    It was pointed out to me, that at least where my Denali D4s are concerned, they are not DOT legal so, “off-road use only”

    Doesn’t straighten out the OP’s situation but, I guess I’m gonna at least turn mine down a couple notches.
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  19. smillerv2

    smillerv2 Adventurer Supporter

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    I had a similar thing happen with the Colorado highway patrol recently while riding my K1600B GA. I was just using the factory driving lights and the headlight on high beam. I've never heard of a law limiting the number of lights. He let me go but I looked it up when I got home. My factory driving lights don't count because the lights have to be over a certain candle power and these are way under that. I told him all my lights are factory but I turned off the driving lights to avoid a confrontation.
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  20. upsscott

    upsscott Been here awhile

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    On my bike, according to this officer, I was illegal if I ran my high beams with my darla auxiliary lights. Now, that’s not an issue because I’d only do that if I was alone on the highway or off-road. But the whole reason I bought the Darlas was to be seen during the day. Period.
    #20