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Is there a specific V.C. for a third brake light that is not working?

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  • Is there a specific V.C. for a third brake light that is not working?

    I've used 24252(a)V.C. in the past, but a judge recently threw out the P.C. for the stop because as long as the vehicle has two working brake lamps it is deemed to be working properly. If there's a specific V.C. for the third brake light being out?

  • #2
    Same thing here in Florida, the statute states that two brake lights must be working, meaning in most cars 2 brake lights have to be out in order to make a stop, not just one of them.

    Comment


    • #3
      24252 is a good section to use for a fix-it-ticket; not for a punitive ticket.

      Those vehicles that a manufactured with the third brake light must be properly maintained. Those that have it installed after market, do not have to maintain it.

      The third brake lamp is an option not a requirement. Cite as "Repair Only" and you will not have an issue.

      Lighting Equipment Requirements

      24252. (a) All lighting equipment of a required type installed on a vehicle shall at all times be maintained in good working order. Lamps shall be equipped with bulbs of the correct voltage rating corresponding to the nominal voltage at the lamp socket.

      (b) The voltage at any tail, stop, license plate, side marker or clearance lamp socket on a vehicle shall not be less than 85 percent of the design voltage of the bulb. Voltage tests shall be conducted with the engine operating.

      (c) Two or more lamp or reflector functions may be combined, provided each function subject to requirements established by the department meets such requirements.

      (1) No turn signal lamp may be combined optically with a stoplamp unless the stoplamp is extinguished when the turn signal is flashing.

      (2) No clearance lamp may be combined optically with any taillamp or identification lamp.

      Amended Ch. 723, Stats. 1979. Effective January 1, 1980.
      Stoplamps

      24603. Every motor vehicle which is not in combination with any other vehicle and every vehicle at the end of a combination of vehicles shall at all times be equipped with stoplamps mounted on the rear as follows:

      (a) Every such vehicle shall be equipped with one or more stoplamps.

      (b) Every such vehicle, other than a motorcycle, manufactured and first registered on or after January 1, 1958, shall be equipped with two stoplamps, except that trailers and semitrailers manufactured after July 23, 1973, which are less than 30 inches wide, may be equipped with one stoplamp which shall be mounted at or near the vertical centerline of the trailer. If such vehicle is equipped with two stoplamps, they shall be mounted as specified in subdivision (d).

      (c) Except as provided in subdivision (h), stoplamps on vehicles manufactured on or after January 1, 1969, shall be mounted not lower than 15 inches nor higher than 72 inches, except that a tow truck, in addition to being equipped with the required stoplamps, may also be equipped with two stoplamps which may be mounted not lower than 15 inches nor higher than the maximum allowable vehicle height and as far forward as the rearmost portion of the driver's seat in the rearmost position.

      (d) Where two stoplamps are required, at least one shall be mounted at the left and one at the right side, respectively, at the same level.

      (e) Stoplamps on vehicles manufactured on or after January 1, 1979, shall emit a red light. Stoplamps on vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1979, shall emit a red or yellow light. All stoplamps shall be plainly visible and understandable from a distance of 300 feet to the rear both during normal sunlight and at nighttime, except that stoplamps on a vehicle of a size required to be equipped with clearance lamps shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet during such times.

      (f) Stoplamps shall be activated upon application of the service (foot) brake and the hand control head for air, vacuum, or electric brakes. In addition, all stoplamps may be activated by a mechanical device designed to function only upon sudden release of the accelerator while the vehicle is in motion. Stoplamps on vehicles equipped with a manual transmission may be manually activated by a mechanical device when the vehicle is downshifted if the device is automatically rendered inoperative while the vehicle is accelerating.

      (g) Any vehicle may be equipped with supplemental stoplamps mounted to the rear of the rearmost portion of the driver's seat in its rearmost position in addition to the lamps required to be mounted on the rear of the vehicle. Supplemental stoplamps installed after January 1, 1979, shall be red in color and mounted not lower than 15 inches above the roadway. The supplemental stoplamp on that side of a vehicle toward which a turn will be made may flash as part of the supplemental turn signal lamp.

      A supplemental stoplamp may be mounted inside the rear window of a vehicle, if it is mounted at the centerline of the vehicle and is constructed and mounted so as to prevent any light, other than a monitorial indicator emitted from the device, either direct or reflected, from being visible to the driver.

      (h) Any supplemental stoplamp installed after January 1, 1987, shall comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (49 C.F.R. 571.108). Any vehicle equipped with a stoplamp which complies with the federal motor vehicle safety standards applicable to that make and model vehicle shall conform to that applicable safety standard unless modified to comply with the federal motor vehicle safety standard designated in this subdivision.

      Amended Ch. 924, Stats. 1988. Effective January 1, 1989.
      It is, however, a good violation to use as PC for a stop.
      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

      Comment


      • #4
        This is the subsection you should have bolded Sarge:

        (h) Any supplemental stoplamp installed after January 1, 1987, shall comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (49 C.F.R. 571.108). Any vehicle equipped with a stoplamp which complies with the federal motor vehicle safety standards applicable to that make and model vehicle shall conform to that applicable safety standard unless modified to comply with the federal motor vehicle safety standard designated in this subdivision.

        There is actually an appelate court decision affirming it's a good stop. It's a juvie case but I can't recall the name off the top of my head. If I can find it I'll post it.
        Today's Quote:

        "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
        Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mdrdep View Post
          This is the subsection you should have bolded Sarge:

          (h) Any supplemental stoplamp installed after January 1, 1987, shall comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (49 C.F.R. 571.108). Any vehicle equipped with a stoplamp which complies with the federal motor vehicle safety standards applicable to that make and model vehicle shall conform to that applicable safety standard unless modified to comply with the federal motor vehicle safety standard designated in this subdivision.

          There is actually an appelate court decision affirming it's a good stop. It's a juvie case but I can't recall the name off the top of my head. If I can find it I'll post it.
          If you want to cite for it, I would use 24252(a) CVC.

          I think the judge was wrong. Section 24252 applies to all required lighting equipment. The CHMSL is required by FMVSS 108, made applicable to California vehicles by 13 CCR § 621.
          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • #6
            The judge didn't agree with me stopping the vehicle for 24252(a)V.C. for the third brake light out. The driver was in possession of 11350 and because of the wording on 24252(a)V.C.,during the preliminary hearing the judge dismissed the charges.
            The D.A. also cited subsection (h), but the case was still dropped:

            (h) Any supplemental stoplamp installed after January 1, 1987, shall comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (49 C.F.R. 571.108). Any vehicle equipped with a stoplamp which complies with the federal motor vehicle safety standards applicable to that make and model vehicle shall conform to that applicable safety standard unless modified to comply with the federal motor vehicle safety standard designated in this subdivision.

            Because of this, I wanted to see if there's another V.C. to use for the third brake light.

            Comment


            • #7
              The judge was wrong (imagine that)

              • In re Justin K. (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 695, 700 (center brake light out—VC §§ 24252(a), 24603(h)).


              Not to mention:

              "A traffic stop is lawful at its inception if it is based on a reasonable suspicion that any traffic violation has occurred, even if it is ultimately determined that no violation did occur." Brierton v. DMV (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 499, 510 (exhibition of speed—VC § 23109).

              The violation need not actually be proven. "Reasonable suspicion of a Vehicle Code violation or other criminal activity justifies a traffic stop; probable cause is not needed. ... It does not matter whether the officer's suspicion proved correct." People v. Watkins (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 1403, 1408 (brake light dim, not burned out).
              And even if the officer misidentifies the proper section or offense, a stop that is objectively justifiable for any reason is lawful. Devenpeck v. Alford (2004) 543 US 146, 153. The stop can even be justified by violations that occur after red lights and siren are used, but before the driver yields. California v. Hodari D. (1991) 499 US 621, 626; US v. Santamaria-Hernandez (9th Cir. 1992) 968 F.2d 980, 983.
              Last edited by mdrdep; 09-05-2009, 02:20 AM.
              Today's Quote:

              "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
              Albert Einstein

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you all very much

                mdrdep where did you find all this case law?
                Last edited by oaklandPD163rd; 09-05-2009, 07:02 AM. Reason: change

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have officers come back to our traffic office every couple of months with that exact same question. IT IS GOOD PC FOR A STOP. As mdrdep quoted the Justin K case specifically addresses that issue. I linked below the SD Sheriff legal update web page for you.

                  Excerpt from People v Justin K

                  The general requirements respecting stoplamps are set forth in section 24603. Pursuant to that section, every car registered on or after January 1, 1958 "shall be equipped with two stoplamps." (§ 24603, subd. (b).) Specifically, "at least one [of the stoplamps] shall be mounted at the left and one at the right side, respectively, at the same level." (Id. at subd. (d).) Section 24603 additionally provides that a "supplemental stoplamp may be mounted inside the rear window of a vehicle[.]" (Id. at subd. (g), italics added.) If a supplemental stoplamp is installed after January 1, 1987, it "shall comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (49 C.F.R. 571.108)." (Id. at subd. (h).)
                  The Legislature' s use of the term "may" in section 24603, subdivision (g) indicates it did not intend to make supplemental stoplamps required equipment under that section. (See § 15 [may is permissive].) However, the Legislature has also authorized the Department of the California Highway Patrol to adopt regulations establishing standards and specifications for stoplamps. (§ 26103, subd. (a).) In lieu of establishing its own standards and specifications, the Department has expressly adopted the federal safety standards applicable to stoplamps. (Cal. Admin. Code, tit. 13, § 621.)
                  As Justin admits, federal safety standards require his car to have a supplemental stoplamp. (See 49 C.F.R. § 571.108, S5.1.1.27, S5.3.1.8 & table III (2002).)[FOOTNOTE 3] Nonetheless, he asserts those standards are irrelevant to the question of whether he was lawfully stopped because Officer Sauerwein did not "express any knowledge of federal law" during the suppression hearing and "had no idea if state or federal law applied." However, Sauerwein' s subjective understanding of the statutory scheme respecting stoplamps is not dispositive of the legality of his actions. So long as his conduct was objectively reasonable under existing law, no Fourth Amendment violation will be found. (See Arkansas v. Sullivan (2001) 532 U.S. 769; Whren v. United States (1996) 517 U.S. 806.)
                  Justin argues the facts in this case did not provide Sauerwein with an objective basis to believe he violated any law at all. He claims, "While federal law does require the supplemental [stoplamp], it says nothing about how many of the lamps must be in working order at any given time. That appears to be left to the discretion of the individual states." Regardless, section 24252, subdivision (a) requires "[a]ll lighting equipment of a required type installed on a vehicle shall at all times be maintained in good working order." Because a supplemental stoplamp was a required piece of lighting equipment for Justin' s car, Justin was obliged to maintain it in good working order. His failure to do so constituted a violation of section 24252.
                  Furthermore, section 24603, subdivision (h) requires any supplemental stoplamp installed after January 1, 1987 to comply with the federal safety standard set forth in 49 C.F.R. 571.108. Obviously, a supplemental stoplamp on a 1988 vehicle such as Justin' s that is not working would not be in compliance with that standard. Sauerwein was therefore justified in stopping Justin' s vehicle on this ground as well.
                  Because the undisputed facts provided an objective legal basis for Sauerwein' s actions, he did not violate Justin' s rights under the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, the court properly denied Justin' s motion to suppress.



                  http://www.sdsheriff.net/legalupdate...search2009.pdf

                  Around page 32-33....
                  Last edited by Fuzz; 09-05-2009, 12:11 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by oaklandPD163rd View Post
                    Thank you all very much

                    mdrdep where did you find all this case law?
                    Our District Atty puts out an article called "One Minute Briefs". This was from one dealing with traffic stop validity.
                    Today's Quote:

                    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                    Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      See if the D.A. will re-file the case wehn presented with all this "new" information
                      LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK CHEAP BEER!

                      Comment

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