BC laws, light bars, and legal driving lights.........

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Spokerider's picture

Sooke
BC laws, light bars, and legal driving lights.........

Guys,
I'm looking to put a 12" light bar on my DD / exped rig. What are the laws regarding light bars in BC? Do they need to be covered up for on-pavement travel, as in an opaque cover unable to emit any light? Or........would an amber-colored cover translucent cover be considered "legal"? At least you could still use some of the light bar light through an amber cover in a pinch.

Being my DD, I also want to install driving lamps. I have 7" round headlamps with H4 conversion bulbs, but still want a little more......... What makes a driving light legal? DOT? or maximum watts? or what? I'm hoping to add driving lamps that actually contribute to lighting the road, unlike some of the anemic "pseudo" driving lights found on some cars.

Thanks.

Butch's picture

Peter
Victoria

My understanding is that all external led lights need it be covered when driving on paved roads. However 6 months after I installed my pods I have yet to have any issues.

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

Thanks for chiming in Peter.

I read the motor vehicles acts section on lights. It appears that a vehicle can have auxiliary lights, fog lights, spot lamps, off road lamps and head lamps. It says the off road lamps must be covered with an opaque cover, that fog lamps must be wired into the parking lamp circuit, that auxiliary lamps must be wired to only illuminate with high beams, but does not mention any specific requirements for spot lamps other than how / where they are aimed.

http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/26_58_0...

Ok, so *if* a pair of led pods can be classified under the "spotlights" category, then it's all good? What's the technical diff between auxiliary driving lamps and spots?? other then how they are wired?

"Actually officer.........they are spotlights, as per section 4.24 of the Motor Vehicles Act, not auxiliary lights". Hummmmmm.

I put this question to Cory at Westshore........he seemed to think that one set of pods, mounted below the level of headlights, wired with it's own independent switch would be "ok". He said any lamps mounted above the headlight level are considered "off road".

A light bar will have to be covered for on-road use, that is clearly stated. I can live with that IF I can still have decent pods. Anyone here receive a fine for not having their led pods [ or other decent lights ] NOT wired into the high beam circuit, or otherwise hassled at road side checks or given a VI because of your lighting display?

I have a small flood pod that I want to mount onto the rear of my ride, and have it wired into a simple on / off switch, to be used independently of the back-up lamps.........as I don't exactly need a flood lamp to back into a parking lot stall, lol, but, with a total of two back-up lamps allowed, and not being wired into the reverse lamp circuit as per the MVA, then that may be a heat-magnet too?

Stocklocker's picture

Cody
Victoria

I see so many trucks rolling around victoria with LED light bars, roll bar lights, back bumper lights, extra light on brush bars, that I can’t imagine it’s a ‘problem’, though it is illegal. I would guess the police would only act if they either had a complaint, they caught you driving with your light bar or pods on, or they had some other reason to want to hassle you.

I think if you keep it low key, you have no worries, but don’t quote me on that.

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

Sounds good.
Seems that's the way most peeps fly, I will too.

aaol1's picture
Moderator

sam
Victoria

yea ive got 2 pods on lower windshield area, and a 22 bar on my bumper. Never had any issues with the pods over 2 years ( have had the bar only a few months) , but im starting to think I should get some covers before i get stopped for something else , and they ticket me for this too. My buddy matt also has 2 pods on lower windshield and he has been stopped for it, but got off free because they were wired yet.

Definitely seemed to be more layed back here than on the mainland though from what i hear!

Butch's picture

Peter
Victoria

I feel like that's the island lifestyle to Sam, people over here seem way more relaxed towards everything.

Except the timber companies....

aaol1's picture
Moderator

sam
Victoria

Haha very good point!

Out4aRip's picture

Rob
Victoria

If it casts a beam and it's mounted above headlamp height, it better have an opaque cover on it while driven on public roads.
Doesn't matter if it's incandescent or LED, how bright it is or if you have it disconnected. Cops can VI & IO you just on that if they want to.
That being said, I see trucks all the time with LED light bars driving around that are not covered.
"Marker lamps" with diffusers or tinted lenses can be used if they are are omnidirectional, do not cast a beam and don't create a visual hazard.
LED running lamps are permitted to use in place of stock beam lamps if they qualify as marker lamps and I guess there's some gray zone too.

This worries me too a bit since I am planning to upgrade to some really sweet COB LED front running lamps that I was able to order in bulk on the cheap. They are 2cmx15cm each and have 78 individual emitters in one array. They are mounted on an aluminum die with a slim bezel over the emitters which is backfilled with translucent phosphor bearing silicone that diffuses the light and makes it appear more uniformly distributed across the whole bezel instead of appearing as 78 tiny points of light. They can produce 1500-2000 lumen so they are much brighter than you standard marker lamps but they do not cast a beam and are not brighter than the stock headlamps and I plan to mount them just under the bowtie on the chromie plate of my grille, making them just below headlamp height. I'm hoping to be able to convince any inquiring RCMP officers that they are legit marker/running lamps because I have no intention of covering them.

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

We all know that getting a VI or ticket during a road side stop can be subject to the desires, intentions and knowledge base [ or lack of ] of the individual LEO. I once went through an RCMP traffic stop / check, and upon showing her my hunting firearm at her request, she asked her partner what the "thingy" was clamped on the trigger...........my hunting partner and I looked at each other in disbelief when she said that. Hummmm.

Maybe one should keep a copy of the Motor Vehicles Laws in the glove box, just to have on hand, if needed.

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

Regarding LED bars on the roof or anywhere on a vehicle -

- divsion 1 of the regs "interpretation " "spotlamp" means a lamp that

(a) is capable of projecting a beam of light on an object, and

(b) may be directed from within or outside of the vehicle; me - if you can loosen the mount with a wrench and turn it - its capable of being " directed"

then theirs this to go on Spotlamps
4.24 (1) A motor vehicle on a highway may be equipped with not more than 2 spotlamps that are capable of displaying only white light.

(2) An illuminated spotlamp must be directed so that the high intensity portion of the beam will not strike the windows, mirrors or occupants of another vehicle.

(3) A spotlamp must be securely fastened to the motor vehicle, and the lamp or control must not interfere with the driver's vision or control of the vehicle.

(4) A spotlamp must not be used in substitution of headlamps.

(5) Subsections (1) to (3) do not apply to emergency vehicles.

[en. B.C. Reg. 476/98, s. 2.]

tell the cop its a spot lamp quote these sections of the mva let him radio in aconfirm the regs and then be on your way , you are in complete compliance with the regs

Lancer101's picture

Lance
Ladysmith

I got pulled over just outside of ladysmith on Monday and got a fix it ticket within 14 DAYS...cop said all off road lights have to be covered with an Opaque cover. Reason for stopping me thou is when I switched my factory headlights to led I forgot to aim them properly and he thought they were illegal ...they were 3 inches high at 25 feet.
From there he went on about the coverings and how if they werent covered each light would be fined a hundred and something bucks...ridiculous!
Needless to say I've ordered the covers and aimed my headlights down lower also said there starting to crack down on them as people are using them on road

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

Ok, so you have LED headlights aimed a little high........how did he know this?

Your off road lights........are they mounted above your headlights, level with, or below?
If mounted level with or below.......they can be classified as "driving lights", for a number of two lights. Driving lights don't need to be covered........see the bclaws link that I posted.
ANY light mounted above the headlamp lights [ other than clearance lights ] can be classified as "off road", whether they are in fact for off road, or not.

I have a pair of pods that will be mounted below the headlamp height, and a small spot bar mounted at around the height of headlamps.......but I do have an opaque cover for the bar.

Cops........you get pulled over for something, and soon one *observation* leads to another, and another...........

Lancer101's picture

Lance
Ladysmith

There's my front..and he was in a little ghost Ford. Apparently they were so bright hebcouldnt tell what I was driving...

And yupp pretty much anything to justify

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

Is it those two pods that he was referring to?
Those pods could qualify for auxiliary driving lights, if you aim them as per;

Auxiliary driving lamps
4.09 (1) A motor vehicle may be equipped with 2 auxiliary driving lamps, mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height of not less than 40 cm and not more than 1.06 m, that are capable of displaying only white light.

(2) An auxiliary driving lamp must be directed so that the high intensity portion of the beam is, at a distance of 8 m from the lamp, at least 12 cm below the height of the lamp and, at a distance of 25 m from the lamp, not higher than 1.06 m from the road surface.

(3) An auxiliary driving lamp must operate so that it is illuminated only when the upper beam of a multiple beam headlamp is illuminated.

[en. B.C. Reg. 476/98, s. 2.]

Or, could qualify as spotlamps;

Spotlamps
4.24 (1) A motor vehicle on a highway may be equipped with not more than 2 spotlamps that are capable of displaying only white light.

(2) An illuminated spotlamp must be directed so that the high intensity portion of the beam will not strike the windows, mirrors or occupants of another vehicle.

(3) A spotlamp must be securely fastened to the motor vehicle, and the lamp or control must not interfere with the driver's vision or control of the vehicle.

(4) A spotlamp must not be used in substitution of headlamps.

(5) Subsections (1) to (3) do not apply to emergency vehicles.

[en. B.C. Reg. 476/98, s. 2.

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

In order to be "aux driving lamps" the lens must have an sae code , this applies to all lamps that are used on the road.

2 spot ( not flood or spot/flood combo,) are allowed and their is no mounting height restriction or cover restriction ,spots aren't even covered under lamp inspection guidelines used by cvse

Putting led bulbs behind lenses that are designed for halogen ,is illegal , the lens is not designed to focus the light emmited from an led , they turn your headlights into a blinding flood light

All headlamp bulbs also must have an sae code right on the bulb housing under cvse lamp inspection protocol

Further just the other week I wrote an email to cvse asking them how they make the distinction between a spot light ( legal to have 2 uncoverd) and an off road light ( must be covered ) since both off road and spotlights come in both flood (must be covered ) and spot beams , I got no straight answer in his reply ,if you want I can post the email if you'd like to take it to court providing those 2 led pods are in fact a spot beam and not a flood , you need the packaging to back up any claims though or a brochure from the manufacture

You can be pulled over for lights are blinding regardless for safety of everyone else , only grote currently makes an approved headlamp that is also sealed for street use , and a company called Brite lite I think.it is now has light bars with the sae code on the lens which can be mounted on your bumper for aux use which means they also can only be activated with the high .beams ,it's all in the regs and cvse lighting brochure

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

I'd like to look at that cvse lighting brochure.
My pods are flood........guess I'll need covers.......
I have H4 headlamps and will be using 80 / 100 watt bulbs. In the event of getting an "inspection", I'll pull the bulbs and put in the 55 60's.

blue........can you post up the email please?

Beer-n-Meat's picture

Larry
Nanaimo

Little bit of misleading information here and I'm going to guess it's just interpretation.

Fog lamps must go out when high beams are activated.

You can only have 4 lights shining at the front of your vehicle at one time 2 low beam lights plus fogs or just high beams.

Non compliant lights can not be classified as driving lights no matter where they are mounted.

There are a couple other items mentioned that are misleading/misinterpreted. I suggest you read through the regulations yourself and if you have questions, contact CVSE.

aaol1's picture
Moderator

sam
Victoria

Hmm thats interesting larry, so what about all those 18 wheelers that have like a million yellow ( amber) lights in front? Just curious

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

no where in the regulations does it say that - ones understanding and the law is not the same - the police dont even know what they are talking about half the time - trust me -ive been accused and proven them wrong at the roadside

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

all lenses must have dot ,sae ,ece marks or they are not legal , their are also mounting height requirements as well as how they are to be wired up - its all in the regulations under general lighting looking up bc hwy regs

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

their are no legal height estrictions on mounting spot lights because if you read on it explains the beam must not contact the windows or mirrors of another vehicle - no restrictions on covers - the regs are a legal document you go by what it says and dont worry about it doesnt say , if it needs to be updated thats their job and the only ones who can effectively push whatever agenda they have , you get ticketed when you something that says -you cant do that in the regs .

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

she was probably being sarcastic cause you are not required to trigger lock your gun in transit , only when its in storage , you can leave it hidden and unlocked -though not wise - in your vehicle and you are perfectly legal - i dont know anyone who keeps the lock on while their going shooting or hunting - maybe you dont trust yourself hey - LOL

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

their is one section for fog lamps and 1 section for auxilary lamps also called driving lights its in the regs - aux/drivign lights must only illuminate with the high beams - fog lamps can illuminate with low beams , be used instead of headlights during bad wether and must be wired to come on with just the park lights lit - its really simple if you take the time to read the general lighting section in the b.c. hwy regs

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

http://cvse.ca/vehicle_inspections/PDF/2009_Vehicle_Lighting_Protocol.pdf

Thats the current version - as you can see they are slow to update to new technology and of course s luck would have it - i m going to see if that email is still on my server - basically they threw the buck and said contact rcmp ,yet cvse is are the ones that count not the cops - in other words they dont know how they would diffrentiate between a spotlamp and an off road lamp so they could just in disciminantly write bogus tickets and their are cops who do that for no other reason , for me i would think another offence like speeding or driving erratically would draw that level of attention , but some cops think they are a hero and target the wrong crowds making them also dislike cvse and and police on the highways ,

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

are you taking about clearance lamps ?

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

http://cvse.ca/vehicle_inspections/PDF/2009_Vehicle_Lighting_Protocol.pd

just thought i would post this at teh top for all to see it covers how to properly aim ights vs the 25 foot rule on the package that doesnt quite explain it properly - as to where the brightest point the beam should be

Beer-n-Meat's picture

Larry
Nanaimo

Commercial truck forward facing "yellow/amber" penny lights are not considered Aux lights...they fall under a different classification and are inspected as "Marker" lights or "clearance" lights and there is no max regulation....there is a min requirement of 3. Commercial trucks, buses, tow vehicles etc. are exempt from some of the regulations, but have their own that passenger vehicles are exempt from.

I have been a commercial vehicle mechanic for many years, also a certified inspector and currently work for the biggest and busiest commercial/industrial repair shop on the island for the past 10 years

I deal with CVSE on a weekly basis.

I won't argue this as there is so much grey area when it comes to vehicle regulations...especially aftermarket lights. I can only offer my experiences...personal and professional.

I'm sorry I cannot simply just trust you because you won an argument on the side of the road with a cop that was probably just as confused as everyone else when it comes to lighting regs. I have to go by my training and certifications....because that's the law.

bluelargo's picture

john
nanimo

Better go back to class then cause it plainly states aux driving lights ( not fog lights )can only be come on with high beams , fig lights ( not aux driving lights ) must go off with the high beams , it's in plain English .their is no confusion

Fog lights are wide beams . Driving lights are long range beams makes sense why they would only be used on high beam now we know who's wiring up lights wrong with blinding driving lights aimed up in our eyes in the city his name is Larry aka beer and meat would you like me to copy and paste from the regs to make you look like an even bigger fool

I won the road side argument cause I carry a copy of the regs in my truck just for meat heads

Beer-n-Meat's picture

Larry
Nanaimo

I'm a fool?

Atta boy tough guy.
You carry no credibility when you can't discuss without calling people names, or twist words to fit your agenda.

Take your drama bullshit elsewhere, it's not welcome here.

And just for argument sake, you are correct...fog lamps must go out when high beams are activated, aux lights opposite.
Give yourself a pat on the back you won at the internet.

Everyone give Blue a big round of applause...he deserves it.

Stocklocker's picture

Cody
Victoria

I second the intent to keep VI off-road drama free.

Good points on all sides, and thanks everyone who contributed. I read all the Regs and links submitted, so thanks for sharing those.

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

Guys in the know.......
I have a two pairs of these lamps;

http://www.trail-gear.com/product/4765/led-light

One set for front running lamps and the other for front signal lamps.
I dunno what SAE Standard J2042-2003 is.......and if that means that they will be legal for my intended use or not.
Larry?

Thank you.

Beer-n-Meat's picture

Larry
Nanaimo

The J2042 is the SAE standard, and the 2003 is when the last revision on that standard changed. The whole number would actually be J2042-200305 which is year 2003 and month 05.
Here's what it says.

This SAE Standard provides test procedures, requirements, and guidelines for clearance, sidemarker, and identification lamps intended for use on vehicles 2032 mm or more in overall width. A clearance lamp, sidemarker lamps, or an identification lamp conforming to the requirements of this document may be used on vehicles less than 2032 mm in overall width.

Install and enjoy Spoke.

Out4aRip's picture

Rob
Victoria

They'll be legal as long as they are installed, wired and operated in accordance with the regulations in the MVA.
Look up the regs for vehicle lighting and make sure they're mounted and wired correctly and you're good.

I'm on the hunt for some new 2-mode amber marker/signal lamps myself.
I need something I can body mount to replace the ones that are going to go away with my old stock bumper when I get my new offroad bumper made.
I like the additional safety of a side marker lamp that doubles as a turn indicator because I almost hit a (stupid) cyclist try to pass me once on the right while I was turning right and then they got all pissed at me claiming that somehow I'm supposed to yield to them when they're the one breaking the law. Go figure. At least this way they can clearly see the indicator even if they're riding tandem ahead of my tail lights (also a stupid idea) so if they don't see it or chose to pass anyway, that's on them. The last thing I need is an idiot trying to sue me for injuries they sustained by their own negligence to ride properly, so a small investment in side marker/signal lamps and of course a dash cam system with realtime status indicators should go far to absolve me of any undue liability for the stupidity and carelessness of others.

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

I'm good to go. Sweet.
Thank you for the clarification Larry.

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

I had bought some 2" round led lamps for front running lights and signal from superbrightleds.......but they take the loose-fitting 2 prong plug in the back of the light..........el-cheapo china junk, no thanks.

At least the trail gear china lights have the wires sealed in with epoxy, so no chitty plug to fall out.

marsofearth's picture

Marsofearth
Houston

Great thread, such a huge amount of confusion towards aftermarket lighting on vehicles and what is actually legal on BC roads. Since the summer of 2016 the BC ministry of transport included into their Light Vehicle Inspection Manual, section 6, that any High Beam Driving Lamp must be lens designated: SAE "Y" or ECE "R" or "HR"

In order to comply with the Canadian federal Motor vehicle safety regulations on forward lighting, no more than 4 lamps may be illuminated at once on the front of a vehicle. This is specific to forward high beam lighting and low beam lighting. Fog lights are required to ONLY be illuminated while on the low beam circuit. High Beam Driving lamps are only allowed to be on the High Beam Circuit.

Since aftermarket auxiliary lighting falls to the jurisdiction of the provinces, you may find different laws and rules as you travel across Canada. Luckily for us in BC, the rules are quite clear.

In my opinion, probably the safest bet for aftermarket street legal lighting would be NightRider LED lighting. https://nightriderleds.com/product-category/automotive-equipment/street-...

I have a set of 2 x D12 Double row NightDriver series ECE R112 on my truck and just love them. The beam is fantastic. It shines far without lighting up the tree tops, gives a good wide flood into the ditches for picking out wildlife on the sides, and honestly, they are really really well built gear. And they are a BC company! Easy to talk too, super cool company.

BCiscool's picture

Neil
Nanaimo, BC

Hate to be the party pooper, however LED light bars on vehicles, either mounted to the roof or embedded in the grill, are illegal to use while driving because of the very strong white light they emit. Light bars must have covers over them while the vehicle is being driven, to ensure they cannot be activated while the vehicle is in motion. Vehicles without LED light bar covers will be charged a fine of $113.10, regardless of whether the lights are on or not, under the Highway Traffic Act - Section 4.25 Prohibited lights.

Off-road lamps
4.25 a vehicle equipped with off-road lamps when on a highway must
have the off-road lamps concealed with opaque covers.
[en. B.C. Reg. 476/98, s. 2.]

marsofearth's picture

Marsofearth
Houston

You are very correct, Off-Road Lamps are not allowed to be used while on public roads in British Columbia.

Of course LED lights that meet SAE Y or UECE R112 R or HR certification for high beam driving light are perfectly legal when mounted correctly, aimed correctly and wired correctly into the high beam circuit of a vehicle.

I have been pulled over twice with my street legal light bars at road side checks, and although one officer demanded I cover them, (which I did, he had a gun after all), I followed up with an educational at the local dispatch with no issues any further. Many RCMP officers do not fully understand the law on lamps and markings.

So to you BCisCool I say, don't be a party pooper, come ride the light fully and completely legal!

> thumbs up <

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

Well, doesn't that just confuse things.......

marsofearth, you have this light bar; https://nightriderleds.com/products/automotive-equipment/nightdriver-d12/

And I have this one; https://www.speeddemonlights.com/products/light-bars/dual-row/new-6-dual...

Physically, what makes your's different [ acceptable / legal for road use ] from mine?? JUST the print on the lens? To oncoming traffic, properly adjusted, wired into the high beam circuit, I'm betting that they look very, very similar.

marsofearth's picture

Marsofearth
Houston

So glad you asked! It is easy to look at each light bar and conclude they are the same. After all the double row housing is the same extruded aluminum structure being shared amongst hundreds of manufacturers. However, the outward appearance is where it ends.

1. In order to be street legal in British Columbia and many parts of Canada, a light has to pass strict standards of performance. IE. SAE Y - J581 or UNECE (ECE) R112 testing.

a) Testing for optical conformity and consistency (Physical Inspection)
b) Testing for beam intensity at multiple points in space. (Photometric Testing, Light Color Testing)
c) Testing of physical characteristics for durability. (Dust, Moisture, Corrosion, Vibration, Stress Testing)

2. Legally Marked on the Lens for easy identification for Vehicle inspectors (RCMP, Scales, MOT)

The testing is very rigorous, and the allowance for variation is very low. This means street legal lights in BC and most parts of Canada have to meet a much higher standard compared to off road lights. LED chips have to be a higher bin rating allowing for consistent colour, consistent output of light and consistent efficiency or Lumens/watt.

Also the reflectors in the light bars have to be refined to strictly meet the Photometry tests so that when a street legal light is aimed and positioned correctly on a vehicle, it will not dazzle on coming traffic, (at a far distance since high beaming is illegal anyways, just don't do it!)

I can honestly say, that my street legal lights put out more consistent and whiter light than most off-road lights. The beam shape for myself is also more preferred because light is not wasted vertically into the sky where I do not need it on highway driving. Off road though, I do enjoy the wider bigger flood of light that an offload light bar gives. While some off-road light bars may appear to produce a very focussed beam and share street legal high beam characteristics, if they have not been tested, certified and marked, then they are not legal in BC.

Speeddemon is a great company. They make many great products the one you showed me is fine but would never pass a street legal test due to LED chip and lensing . I prefer CREE or OSRAM chips for Automotive Lighting vs the philips chips. The reason is not because CREE and OSRAM make better chips than Philips, but because of the chip characteristic. Philips chips put out a really really wide almost 180º of light while CREE puts out a more focused output and OSRAM an even more focussed output. Of course it this is the reason the Philips light bars will tend to have a lens instead of a reflector. Unfortunately, lensing absorbs light, retains heat and is not nearly as efficient as as a highly refined reflector. In either case, the speeddemon bar makes for a good off-road light, and in some jurisdictions it may even be legal to use, but not here in BC on highway.

Now, as to your bet. "I'm betting that they look very, very similar" - I have tested hundreds of different light bars and each one has a different characteristic, with both strengths and drawbacks. As to whether you think there is no difference, that is really subjective, but can easily be be measured objectively with a lux meter and standard Grid test @ 25m. I can guarantee, they will not objectively be the same.

Beer-n-Meat's picture

Larry
Nanaimo

Marsofearth.

You offer some great information in your posts and are obviously knowledgeable on this topic, thanks for sharing....you mind if I ask what your back ground is?

Don't feel obligated to answer, I'm just curious as you've offered up much more information than what the standard regulation offer.

BCiscool's picture

Neil
Nanaimo, BC

One has to keep in mind that under section 4 (25) of the highway traffic act "prohibited lights" it states off road lights have to be covered even if thy are connected to the vehicles high beams! However in saying that… this is a gray area under the highway traffic act and its up to each police officers discretion… Police discretion is a vague term that has an appropriately vague definition. It is defined as the decision-making power afforded to police officers that allows them to decide if they want to pursue police procedure or simply let someone off with a warning. How it looks in practice is different from situation to situation.

Sometimes you might get a ticket, while other times you might just be let off with a warning. Oftentimes appealing to police discretion is the best way to avoid hefty fines or tickets. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a consciously manipulative process. You can simply tell the truth, and if the truth is a story that shows you to be a generally serious, upstanding citizen with good intentions, police will generally be convinced.

Traffic violations – a police officer may decide that it is more worth the province’s time simply to give a warning rather than to file the paperwork for someone likely never to commit the violation again.

In closing I am in the process of installing a 36” LED light bar on my jeep… just saying.

Spokerider's picture

Sooke

Interesting. And yes, any traffic stop / inspection has the propensity to go in whichever direction the peace officer so chooses........

Just yesterday, I spoke to a guy that has a 20" bar on his full size truck bumper. No, it didn't have an opaque cover on it. That piqued my interest......so, I asked him; "Say.....I noticed that you have a light bar on the front of your truck, wondering......has it been a cop-magnet? and do you get hassled for having it during a road block check? " He said that he had never been hassled by the police for having it, and had never been pulled over on account of the light bar not being covered. He said that if you have it wired into high beams only, and don't turn it on while on the hwy, it's not a problem. Then he said......"and I used to be a cop for 35 years".

marsofearth's picture

Marsofearth
Houston

Light regulations are my "beat", for Canada. Its a large part of my job in Canada understanding Auxiliary lighting regulations, laws, inspection manuals, and enforcement.

You are correct in what you say about the BC legislated regulations. The BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, makes no mentions of any required certification of lighting directly within the auxiliary lighting section. (please see attached for excerpt on auxiliary lighting or find it yourself within the regulations here: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/crbc/crbc/26_58_multi)

This can be frustrating when stopped by an inspector and being told your light is illegal in BC when in all appearance you may well be following the BC. MVAR to the letter.

SpokeRider is very correct in saying, "...any traffic stop / inspection has the propensity to go in whichever direction the peace officer so chooses..."
Because Vehicle inspectors and peace officers are given the power to, Inspect, ticket, enforce and prohibit.

The guidance for inspectors and officers to inspect, ticket, and prohibit is given under the Vehicle Inspection Manuals of BC.

The light vehicle inspection manual was updated last June or July of 2016 some time, and gives the guidance on auxiliary lighting inspection.
The inspection manuals are not freely available, but come at a price of the queens printer... Pay some money and you can proudly own your own copy :)

However, since it is my business to know, here is a snapshot of what the latest Light Vehicle Inspection Manual gives for guidance on Auxiliary lighting in the attachment below.

Of course the question of enforcement and law is yet another crazy matter. A peace office is perfectly within their rights to ticket someone or impound a vehicle if they feel it not safe or does not meet the legal requirements for being road worthy. Of course we then have the right to appeal that decision. If we win the appeal that does not mean that what the peace officer did was unlawful, simply unjust.

I personally have been driving BC with my off-road light bars on highway for quite a few years with no issues, or tickets. I always had them connected to my high beam circuit and turned the kill switch to OFF during the day, just incase. However, due to many complaints from the public on improper use of off-road lights, inspectors and peace officers have started to regionally "crack-down" on off-road lighting.

This is where I turned to understanding what would make an auxiliary high beam light in BC "street legal" . I have spent hundreds of hours researching and investigating the matter, talking to vehicle inspectors, deputy ministers, and law makers on the matter. ( It's a job thing ).

What I can tell you, is what is considered the most legal way to have auxiliary high beam lamps mounted to your vehicle strictly obeying enforcement, inspection, provincial jurisdiction and Federal motor vehicle safety regulations in BC.

The bonus is, that a certified ECE R or HR light can be just as good or even better than most off-road lamps.

However I do carry Black-out covers, just in-case. I would rather obey an officer and later win in appeal and overturn a ticket than make life even more difficult for myself or the officer.

Knowledge is power, I'm just here to share some of what I have learned over the past few years on the subject.

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