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Old 06-27-2010, 02:00 AM   #1
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Illegal lights in MA

Just figured I would give a heads up to fellow MA owners. I was at a local gas station and was showing someone the lights I installed in the grill. Out of nowhere this State Trooper comes up and reams me for the lights. Runs my info and tells me what he can do.........Did I mention he was off duty in his own vehicle. Anyways long story short, I didn't end up getting a fine , but was informed that any lights no matter the color are illegal in MA. I was under the impression that white was fine. I have a white and colored strip installed. So I got home and did some research and they are in fact illegal. According to the MA RMV website, any lights on a vehicle have to be SAE or DOT approved.
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:11 AM   #2
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:08 AM   #3
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But normally(at least the way it used to be) it's only like a $25 or $50 ticket if they want to be a dink, but $350 or something extra if they're blue or red. If they're a cool cop, they'll usually only give you a warning or fix-it ticket. I believe if you're in a parking lot and not driving, they can't do anything because they're not being used on road.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:17 AM   #4
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Just figured I would give a heads up to fellow MA owners. I was at a local gas station and was showing someone the lights I installed in the grill. Out of nowhere this State Trooper comes up and reams me for the lights. Runs my info and tells me what he can do.........Did I mention he was off duty in his own vehicle. Anyways long story short, I didn't end up getting a fine , but was informed that any lights no matter the color are illegal in MA. I was under the impression that white was fine. I have a white and colored strip installed. So I got home and did some research and they are in fact illegal. According to the MA RMV website, any lights on a vehicle have to be SAE or DOT approved.
The cop must be new. I have never heard of laws written for station parking lots. Now it may be illegal while on the road (if on) but I'd bet they are not while on private property.

Then again maybe if you own a sidearm in MA they can arrest you for murder.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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I was under the impression that you have to be under motion for them to be considered illegal.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:23 AM   #6
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The cop must be new. I have never heard of laws written for station paking lots. Now it may be illegal while on the road (if on) but I'd bet they are not while on private property.

Then again maybe if you own a sidearm in MA they can arrest you for murder.
What he said.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:12 AM   #7
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Sounds like he was just busting your chops and abusing his badge. On private property to begin with, and unless he observed you using them on the street he had no jurisdiction in running your info unless he had due cause to do so.
Should have taken his name, reported him to his Supervisors and give him a taste of being intimidated a little.
Not all LEO's are that way so don't sweat it!!! By the way observe those lighting laws and only display them on private property while showing your car!
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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Sounds like someone is a little power hungry with their probably new badge. I can't imagine my friends that are cops wasting their time on their day OFF for something like lights....ridiculous!! Hope you don't have to pay a lot!
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:41 AM   #9
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While your version sounds like he went beyond the scope of his duty or authority, I will say here in Indiana we're on duty 24/7 whether in our take home or not. Personally I have better things to do besides reaming someone for a infraction if that's what it was? I have seen violations and made mental notes, plant them today and reap them tomorrow but a tongue lashing was a bit much. If I had seen you showing them off and really wanted to inform you, I would have said "Hey bud, you know those are illegal and if and when you had said "No way" I would have then said they are, I should know and look it up as you later did as to say yourself some money and possible points. Here, we don't have vehicle inspections so pretty much anything goes however there are specifics on flashing lights in red/blue/white/amber and a few other colors. For example, you can have a red & blue light on your car or dash and drive with it but its not illegal until you light it up. Now go figure on that one. Laws are so strange and those who make them as well as those who implement cause of interpretation. States that have seatbelt laws but its not illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
Use caution my friend as if he ran your stuff as you said, he will be on the lookout for you to enforce the matter. Again, I would have better things to do with my off duty time.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:26 PM   #10
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chronz4service, what would you say then about having the blue halos. You mention flashing lights in red or blue, but what if they don't flash, could I still run them while I drive? I live in Indiana and have been thinking about getting them. I have tried looking for state laws regarding different colored lights, but have not been able to find anything that made this clear to me.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Eric Baker View Post
But normally(at least the way it used to be) it's only like a $25 or $50 ticket if they want to be a dink, but $350 or something extra if they're blue or red. If they're a cool cop, they'll usually only give you a warning or fix-it ticket. I believe if you're in a parking lot and not driving, they can't do anything because they're not being used on road.
He told me he could write me a $500 ticket, take them out of my car and seize them.

It was in the paper, I think the Enterprise a while ago.....Easton gave a $300 ticket and siezed blue/red lights. Now he had them on while driving. I only intended to use mine for show not while driving. I have a white led bar and a blue/red. I removed the blue/red that day but intend on re-installing them. I will definitely be more aware when showing them.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:27 AM   #12
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Just figured I would give a heads up to fellow MA owners. I was at a local gas station and was showing someone the lights I installed in the grill. Out of nowhere this State Trooper comes up and reams me for the lights. Runs my info and tells me what he can do.........Did I mention he was off duty in his own vehicle. Anyways long story short, I didn't end up getting a fine , but was informed that any lights no matter the color are illegal in MA. I was under the impression that white was fine. I have a white and colored strip installed. So I got home and did some research and they are in fact illegal. According to the MA RMV website, any lights on a vehicle have to be SAE or DOT approved.
A local gas station is private property. He actually had no right to do what he did unless you drove on public streets using the lights. Gas station, private.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:28 AM   #13
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Sounds like he was just busting your chops and abusing his badge. On private property to begin with, and unless he observed you using them on the street he had no jurisdiction in running your info unless he had due cause to do so.
Should have taken his name, reported him to his Supervisors and give him a taste of being intimidated a little.
Not all LEO's are that way so don't sweat it!!! By the way observe those lighting laws and only display them on private property while showing your car!
Yup yup, I wouldn't have given the cop any information just because I don't have to. Private property.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:07 AM   #14
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Yup yup, I wouldn't have given the cop any information just because I don't have to. Private property.
Actually He has the right to ask.....Its called the Common Law Right Of Inquiry.... Was the cop outta line .....IMO yeah ....Its something i would Never do .....Unless there was something purely criminal going on ..... I went about My business..... As for your actions from this day fwd......Yea....He has your number ......

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Old 06-28-2010, 10:38 AM   #15
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In TX you can only have white or amber in the front.
If you are off road in carshow or parking lot ur car can look like a christmas tree as long as you dont drive on the street.
Im thinking on putting some multi color halos myself
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:50 AM   #16
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Actually He has the right to ask.....Its called the Common Law Right Of Inquiry.... Was the cop outta line .....IMO yeah ....Its something i would Never do .....Unless there was something purely criminal going on ..... I went about My business..... As for your actions from this day fwd......Yea....He has your number ......

Brian
Actually you can deny speaking to the cop. Just like with whole issue with the 'beer summit'. The guy had ever right not to speak to the cops at his door. The cops did not witness anything illegal, there for they had no right to force the guy out of his house. If a cop comes up to your door you do NOT have to answer unless they have a warrant or probably cause. Someone calling the cops because they saw something isn't probably cause otherwise you could call the cops on your neighbor thinking you saw something (or faking) to have him harassed by the cops. They either have to witness crime or have a warrant. Otherwise if you refuse to speak, tell them to go away, etc...they have no right to do anything else. This is in the Constitution.

Common Law Right Of Inquiry is abused A LOT and has been stuck down A LOT in courts. I am not saying to outright ignore a cop but you do have the right to question him and refuse. Have I been in this situation before? Yes, and I have thrown the law in the cops face before, just like I have had cops tell me I don’t have a right to an attorney for a traffic stop when in fact I do.

And how do I know all this? Well I know a lot about constitutional law and it is very common for cops to either not understand the law or to bend them because they are not practicing law, they are enforcers and there is a difference between the two.

Basically a cop can NOT go up to random people and start questioning them. Bottom line is this guy was on private property, a cop can not go up and just start questioning when no laws are being broken. That is illegal.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:52 AM   #17
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One thing you realize too is states generally have laws about how many lights can be on each side of the car, how far apart, how high off the ground, etc...
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:21 AM   #18
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The cop must be new. I have never heard of laws written for station parking lots. Now it may be illegal while on the road (if on) but I'd bet they are not while on private property.

Then again maybe if you own a sidearm in MA they can arrest you for murder.
A parking lot is an public access facility, most states no longer consider a parking lot as private property. I believe Cali still does...Florida and many others do not. That justifies reasoning for a traffic stop or officers completing crash reports within parking lots.

Then again the only Florida law in regards to head lights is that they do not exceed 4...either way it is cheese, but the guy gave you a warning.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:25 AM   #19
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chronz4service, what would you say then about having the blue halos. You mention flashing lights in red or blue, but what if they don't flash, could I still run them while I drive? I live in Indiana and have been thinking about getting them. I have tried looking for state laws regarding different colored lights, but have not been able to find anything that made this clear to me.
I was under the impression blue lamps or tint are illegal in all 50 states regardless of flash or strobe. (could be wrong though)
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:25 AM   #20
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Modded cars are the new focus for most MA state troopers and they will ticket you often if you aren't up to speed. I learned the hard way through my last car prior to my 350z: I was pulled over separately for tint (even though it was the legal percentage), aftermarket exhaust, tinted tail lights, etc, and can tell you that after all the fines, tickets, harassment, surcharges on my insurance and points on my driver's record it was NOT worth it IMO. This is why my Z is staying stock (for now, unless I move to NH), I just literally cannot afford to be pulled over again- if you're going to mod in MA, do it carefully and know what potential risks/penalties you are facing.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:36 AM   #21
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Actually you can deny speaking to the cop.

Basically a cop can NOT go up to random people and start questioning them. Bottom line is this guy was on private property, a cop can not go up and just start questioning when no laws are being broken. That is illegal.
Ok...since what you are saying is true to private property not public access you are not wrong or right. So please take this with no disrespect, but stop feeding this guy information that applies to your state. What applies in your state may not apply in his. The parking lot is private property but there is a stipulation because it is open to the public...quasi-public property.

Laws that govern police authority for parking and traffic violations on quasi-public property vary from state to state. In MOST states...At the request of the property owner, cops can enforce ALL traffic and parking laws. Most business owners prefer this to manage reckless/careless driving through their property. This INCLUDES simple equipment violations. Most property owners routinely request this as their insurance companies REQUIRE them to grant police authority. It is also FREE to them to do so as opposed to employing private security.

What you are speaking of is TRUE private property with no access to general public. Property that public has NO access too. Gas stations, convenience stores, retail businesses are held to those same restrictions. You have the right idea..and in WA where you live it may actually be all private. In Florida, GA, MS, TN, WV, and many other states on the east coast consider these all PUBLIC ACCESS - PRIVATE. Meaning officers absolutely can enforce any violations, conduct any investigation to include criminal law and traffic crashes.

The guy was off-duty but has state jurisdiction. Was it uncalled for? let the poster be the judge of that in his own state, he didn't get a citation.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:45 AM   #22
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In mass you can run "off road" accessories as long as you are parked and not impersonating a police officer ... thats the way it was 2 or so years ago when i fought and won against the ticket i got from a trooper because my car parked on the street with me sittin on the hood hanging out with other car people... and i had a whelen 660 strobe pack runnin on low power with the grille lights interior lights and under glow on ... bcuz i was parked and not in traffic even though i was on a public street in a public spot... i came out on top ... just dont use blues.... red you can get away with to the rear sometimes ... blue you can not ...ever haha
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:49 AM   #23
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They are not legal on the street but you can have them on your car -as said above.

Weird that the cop started reaming ya. You sure you didn't give him an attitude first..LOL
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:13 PM   #24
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In mass you can run "off road" accessories as long as you are parked and not impersonating a police officer ... thats the way it was 2 or so years ago when i fought and won against the ticket i got from a trooper because my car parked on the street with me sittin on the hood hanging out with other car people... and i had a whelen 660 strobe pack runnin on low power with the grille lights interior lights and under glow on ... bcuz i was parked and not in traffic even though i was on a public street in a public spot... i came out on top ... just dont use blues.... red you can get away with to the rear sometimes ... blue you can not ...ever haha
Absolutely...the way the law reads in FL is similar. As long as it is parked and there no one in physical control of the vehicle. MA seems to have similar laws....I guess they had to create some law to assist with auto shows / meets.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:54 PM   #25
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They are not legal on the street but you can have them on your car -as said above.

Weird that the cop started reaming ya. You sure you didn't give him an attitude first..LOL
No I didn't give him any attitude. I was quite polite and wasn't rude at all. He was most definitely from the get go to me and my husband. It took alot to hold back. He actually used his cell phone directly at the gas pump to call and run my reg and license. I wanted to tell him what an idiot he was for using his cell phone at the gas pump. I am sure that I would have walked away with a ticket.
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