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Thread: Do road regulations in your state require head lights at a c

  1. #1
    Positron Gage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Memphis TN
    United States

    Do road regulations in your state require head lights at a c

    Just curious, Do road regulations in your state require head lights at a certain height?

    I want to replace the headlights on my Atom with something sleeker looking and mount them further down, on or near the turn signals. It looks WAAAY better to me than having those big bug eyed things up higher.
    "Opportunities do not come to those who wait; they are captured by those who attack."

  2. #2
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Lake Tapps, WA
    United States

    Re: Do road regulations in your state require head lights at

    I think there is in Washington as they ticket street rods that lower their cars too far on that. It is kind of a double standard though, because trucks seem to have no limit to how high they can go.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    United States

    Re: Do road regulations in your state require head lights at

    Your state's DMV website should have a vehicle code book. That' will give the regulations

    If you are curious this is what it says about Oregon. Mostly says that they must be white light and face forward

    816.050 Headlights; rules. Each of the
    following is a requirement for headlights as

    (1) On vehicles required to be equipped
    with two or more headlights under ORS
    816.320 and 816.330 the headlights shall be
    equally distributed on each side of the front
    of the vehicle. This subsection does not apply
    to motorcycles and mopeds.

    (2) Headlights shall show a continuously
    burning light except that:
    (a) When permitted under ORS 814.320,
    headlights for motorcycles or mopeds may
    have an upper beam that can be modulated
    between a high and lower brightness at a
    rate of 200 to 280 pulses per minute.
    (b) A federally approved headlight flashing system may be used as emergency vehicle
    lights on police, fire, emergency or ambulance vehicles.

    (3) Headlights shall show a white light
    described in Standard Number 108 of the
    Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

    (4) Headlights shall show the light forward.

    (5) The Department of Transportation
    shall adopt and enforce rules establishing
    minimum standards and specifications for
    headlights. The rules shall conform, insofar
    as practicable, to safety standards and specifications for vehicle lighting issued by the
    federal government or to standards and recommendations established by the Society of
    Automotive Engineers.

    (6) When multiple beam headlights are
    used or when headlights are used in combination with auxiliary lights or passing lights,
    the lights shall be arranged on the vehicle
    so that the selection between distributions
    of light projected to different elevations may
    be selected by the driver at will or so that
    the selection can be made automatically.

    (7) Headlights shall be aimed in accordance with rules adopted by the department.
    If headlights provide only a single distribution of light and are not supplemented by
    auxiliary lights, the single beam headlights
    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 of the vehicle, project higher than five
    inches below the level of the center of the
    lamp from which it comes, or higher than 42
    inches above the level on which the vehicle
    stands at a distance of 75 feet ahead of the

    (8) The intensity of the light of single
    beam headlights shall be sufficient to reveal
    persons and vehicles upon a street or highway at a distance of at least 200 feet ahead
    of the vehicle to which they are attached.

    (9) Headlights that are required under
    ORS 816.320 and 816.330 must be mounted,
    adjusted and aimed in accordance with standards adopted by the department under ORS

    (10) Headlights that are required under
    ORS 816.320 and 816.330 and any part for
    such headlight that tends to change the original design or performance must be of a
    type that complies with standards adopted by
    the department under ORS 816.010.

    (11) Single beam headlights that are not
    supplemented by auxiliary lights shall be
    permitted on a motor vehicle in lieu of multiple beam headlights only if the single distribution of lights complies with any
    requirements for single beam headlights under this section. [1983 c.338 458 (2); 1985 c.16 240
    (2); 1985 c.69 1 (2); 1985 c.71 4 (2); 1985 c.393 13 (2);
    1985 c.420 6 (2); 1989 c.402 8; 1991 c.769 1; 2003 c.158
    the high profile toy thrower

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    United States
    in CA, there is a 23" min requirement.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    United States
    Old thread, but since I just had to look it up-- WA state is 24" to the centerline of the light.
    Last edited by havok1919; October 5, 2011 at 07:15 PM. Reason: Found the actual point of measurement in the RCW's

  6. #6

    Headlight Height

    This is a federal requirement. I became familiar with this when I bought a Lotus Europa in the '70s. They weren't legal and some states (California) were particularly difficult with it.

    It's still the law, but it basically comes down to the state enforcement. Fortunately many jurisdictions aren't knowledgeable or don't really care about enforcement.

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