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  1. #1
    neil1989 is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Neon Underglow in California

    What is the name of your state? CALIFORNIA.

    Ok so I have a Honda Prelude and just installed a BLUE Neon Underglow kit. A police officer pulled me over for having them on, stating that they were illegal. He gave me a citation stating I violated VC 25109 ILLEGAL RUNNING LAMPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by V.C. Section 25109
    Running Lamps

    25109. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with two white or amber running lamps mounted on the front, one at each side, which shall not be lighted during darkness except while the motor vehicle is parked.
    That is what 25109 states.
    Now, to my understanding, the Neons on my car ARE NOT "running lamps". They are categorized as "DIFFUSED LIGHTNING" since the bulb is not visible. All you can see the glow they emit which is reflected off of the ground. Since neons display light indirectly, so that you can't see the bulb, it falls under the category of "diffused lighting", and is subject to the regulations of VC 25400.

    Quote Originally Posted by V.C. Section 25400
    Lighting Requirements

    25400. (a) Any vehicle may be equipped with a lamp or device on the exterior of the vehicle that emits a diffused nonglaring light of not more than 0.05 candela per square inch of area.

    (b) Any diffused nonglaring light shall not display red to the front, but may display other colors. A diffused nonglaring light shall not resemble nor be installed within 12 inches or in such position as to interfere with the visibility or effectiveness of any required lamp, reflector, or other device upon the vehicle.

    (c) A diffused nonglaring lamp or device, other than a display sign authorized by subdivision (d), shall be limited in size to an area of 720 square inches and where any lease, rental, or donation is involved the installation of the lamp or device shall be limited to those vehicles operated either primarily within business or residential districts or municipalities, or between business districts, residential districts, and municipalities in close proximity.

    (d) An internally illuminated sign emitting not more than 0.25 candela per square inch and possessing copy which does not contain a white background may be displayed on each side, but not on the front or rear, of a trolley coach or of a bus being operated in urban or suburban service as described in Section 35107 of this code.
    Now that shows neons are ok. What about the blue color? V.C. 25950

    Quote Originally Posted by V.C. Section 25950
    Color of Lamps and Reflectors

    25950. This section applies to the color of lamps and to any reflector exhibiting or reflecting perceptible light of 0.05 candela or more per foot-candle of incident illumination. Unless provided otherwise, the color of lamps and reflectors upon a vehicle shall be as follows:

    (a) The emitted light from all lamps and the reflected light from all reflectors, visible from in front of a vehicle, shall be white or yellow, except as follows:

    (1) Rear side marker lamps required by Section 25100 may show red to the front.

    (2) The color of foglamps described in Section 24403 may be in the color spectrum from white to yellow.

    (3) An illuminating device, as permitted under Section 24255, shall emit radiation predominantly in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Any incidental visible light projecting to the front of the vehicle shall be predominantly yellow to white. Any incidental visible light projecting to the rear of the vehicle shall be predominantly red. Any incidental visible light from an illuminating device, as permitted under Section 24255, shall not resemble any other required or permitted lighting device or official traffic control device.

    (b) The emitted light from all lamps and the reflected light from all reflectors, visible from the rear of a vehicle, shall be red except as follows:

    (1) Stoplamps on vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1979, may show yellow to the rear.

    (2) Turn signal lamps may show yellow to the rear.

    (3) Front side marker lamps required by Section 25100 may show yellow to the rear.

    (4) Backup lamps shall show white to the rear.

    (5) The rearward facing portion of a front-mounted double-faced turn signal lamp may show amber to the rear while the headlamps or parking lamps are lighted, if the intensity of the light emitted is not greater than the parking lamps and the turn signal function is not impaired.

    (6) A reflector meeting the requirements of and installed in accordance with Section 24611 shall be red or white, or both.

    (c) All lamps and reflectors visible from the front, sides, or rear of a vehicle, except headlamps, may have any unlighted color, provided the emitted light from all lamps or reflected light from all reflectors complies with the required color. Except for backup lamps, the entire effective projected luminous area of lamps visible from the rear or mounted on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall be covered by an inner lens of the required color when the unlighted color differs from the required emitted light color. Taillamps, stoplamps, and turn signal lamps that are visible to the rear may be white when unlighted on vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1974.
    Now my thinking is that I proved that I am right and that the neon lighting in my car in California is street legal. Should I bring all this with me when I go to contest the citation that the police officer gave me? Also, if anyone knows that I am wrong, please tell me. Thanks.
  2. #2
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil1989 View Post
    Should I bring all this with me when I go to contest the citation that the police officer gave me?
    Yep.

    Also, if anyone knows that I am wrong, please tell me. Thanks.
    You're wrong.
  3. #3
    neil1989 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JETX View Post
    Yep.


    You're wrong.
    Ok, can you elaborate? Or is it just that I am wrong and the officer is right?
    Thanks.
  4. #4
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    check out the allowed colors and the dissallowed colors.

    Not sure where you found that blue was acceptable.

    if you want to use the light level arguement, you will have to prove the light level of your lights.

    So, what is the light level emitted by your lightss.
  5. #5
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    There are some county courts that do enforce this. However, the prevailing opinion is that so long as the light is indirect and dfirected downward, and the light source not directly showing, then it is generally lawful so long as it is not strobing.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  6. #6
    neil1989 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    There are some county courts that do enforce this. However, the prevailing opinion is that so long as the light is indirect and dfirected downward, and the light source not directly showing, then it is generally lawful so long as it is not strobing.

    - Carl
    I see, I see... Well, I got the ticket in Roseville, CA. Do you know anything about their county? (Asking since your signature says Nor Cal cop)

    And from my understanding, blue is ok in my situation, I haven't found a V.C. yet that shows that BLUE is not legal FOR underglow.. :-/
  7. #7
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil1989 View Post
    I see, I see... Well, I got the ticket in Roseville, CA. Do you know anything about their county? (Asking since your signature says Nor Cal cop)

    And from my understanding, blue is ok in my situation, I haven't found a V.C. yet that shows that BLUE is not legal FOR underglow.. :-/
    well, underglow is not a defined section within the code that I can see so,

    25950. This section applies to the color of lamps and to any reflector exhibiting or reflecting perceptible light of 0.05 candela or more per foot-candle of incident illumination. Unless provided otherwise, the color of lamps and reflectors upon a vehicle shall be as follows:

    (a) The emitted light from all lamps and the reflected light from all reflectors, visible from in front of a vehicle, shall be white or yellow, except as follows:

    (1) Rear side marker lamps required by Section 25100 may show red to the front.

    (2) The color of foglamps described in Section 24403 may be in the color spectrum from white to yellow.



    (b) The emitted light from all lamps and the reflected light from all reflectors, visible from the rear of a vehicle, shall be red except as follows:

    (1) Stoplamps on vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1979, may show yellow to the rear.

    (2) Turn signal lamps may show yellow to the rear.

    (3) Front side marker lamps required by Section 25100 may show yellow to the rear.

    (4) Backup lamps shall show white to the rear.

    (5) The rearward facing portion of a front-mounted double-faced turn signal lamp may show amber to the rear while the headlamps or parking lamps are lighted, if the intensity of the light emitted is not greater than the parking lamps and the turn signal function is not impaired.

    (6) A reflector meeting the requirements of and installed in accordance with Section 24611 shall be red or white, or both.

    (c) All lamps and reflectors visible from the front, sides, or rear of a vehicle, except headlamps, may have any unlighted color, provided the emitted light from all lamps or reflected light from all reflectors complies with the required color. Except for backup lamps, the entire effective projected luminous area of lamps visible from the rear or mounted on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall be covered by an inner lens of the required color when the unlighted color differs from the required emitted light color. Taillamps, stoplamps, and turn signal lamps that are visible to the rear may be white when unlighted on vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1974.

    So, it may not say blue, by name, is not dissallowed, by the requirements in the code, it is not an allowable color so, blue is no good.

    Carl is from Cali and has a better understanding of what actually happens in his state but by code, I do not see it as allowable.
  8. #8
    aztec_rider is offline Junior Member
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    i would fight the citation. the violation code on your citation does not forbid blue neons so the ticket becomes invalid. and even if any of the other violations do prohibit neons, you weren't cited for them at the time of the incident so they can't fine you for it.
  9. #9
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    In general, as long as the lamp itself is not visible, the indirect lighting should be allowed. However, this interpretation is not held in every jurisdiction, and not every court interprets the sections involving color (such as 25950 and 25109) the same.

    You will also note that the CHP site does not discuss these indirect lights when discussing tricked out cars:

    [url]http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/streetlegal.html[/url]

    I recall that even in San Diego County enforcement varied by agency and by court.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  10. #10
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil1989 View Post
    I see, I see... Well, I got the ticket in Roseville, CA. Do you know anything about their county? (Asking since your signature says Nor Cal cop)

    And from my understanding, blue is ok in my situation, I haven't found a V.C. yet that shows that BLUE is not legal FOR underglow.. :-/
    They are in Placer County, and I am not familiar with that traffic court.

    Blue is an unlawful color, but to my understanding the sections apply only to the visible lamps and not to the indirect lighting. So, unless some piece of the lighting element is physically visible, you should be okay ... at least, you would be in many counties - I have no idea how it is applied in Placer County.

    The law with regards to these lightings lends itself to some interpretation, and I am not aware of any clarifying case law on the issue.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  11. #11
    ts5245 is offline Junior Member
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    how much was the ticket?
  12. #12
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ts5245 View Post
    how much was the ticket?
    This thread is almost 4 months old and the OP is likely not checking back anymore. You may luck out and perhaps he is looking at the board periodically or he has it set so that he receives an email when his thread is updated, but, really, it is considered poor form to post on a thread that is so old.
  13. #13
    ninjapig123 is offline Junior Member
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    I'm getting Underglow

    I'm getting Underglow from Ledglow.com and I live in California...I'm wondering if it is illegal. From this forum topic, it seems as if it is legal so that is good! I just wondered what the ticket cost was?

    Regards,
    Jordan
  14. #14
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjapig123 View Post
    I'm getting Underglow from Ledglow.com and I live in California...I'm wondering if it is illegal. From this forum topic, it seems as if it is legal so that is good! I just wondered what the ticket cost was?

    Regards,
    Jordan
    The person who started this thread is certainly not around to answer that question after three years. Some of the other respondents are not even alive at this point. You really should start your own thread rather than tacking on to a long dead one.
  15. #15
    ninjapig123 is offline Junior Member
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    Lol

    Lol ok fine, whatever...just thought their emails wouldn't change...what shame...this was such a good thread to read

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