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  1. #1

    Default Ticketed for Malfunctioning Tail Lights when My Brake Light Was Out

    My question involves vehicle maintenance laws for the State of: Washington

    i received a ticket (RCW 46.37.050) for malfunctioning tail lamps during the mid afternoon. according to RCW 46.37.020 these lights as well as headlamps are not required until a half hour before sunset. it was a clear day so visibility is not a factor. the officer was trying to ticket me for faulty stop lamps, which should fall under 46.37.070 ... correct? basically im wondering if i get off of this infraction by default.

    RCW's noted:


    RCW 46.37.050
    Tail lamps.



    (1) After January 1, 1964, every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer, and any other vehicle which is being drawn at the end of a combination of vehicles, shall be equipped with at least two tail lamps mounted on the rear, which, when lighted as required in RCW 46.37.020, shall emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of one thousand feet to the rear, except that passenger cars manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1939, shall have at least one tail lamp. On a combination of vehicles only the tail lamps on the rearmost vehicle need actually be seen from the distance specified. On vehicles equipped with more than one tail lamp, the lamps shall be mounted on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable.

    (2) Every tail lamp upon every vehicle shall be located at a height of not more than seventy-two inches nor less than fifteen inches.

    (3) Either a tail lamp or a separate lamp shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate and render it clearly legible from a distance of fifty feet to the rear. Any tail lamp or tail lamps, together with any separate lamp or lamps for illuminating the rear registration plate, shall be so wired as to be lighted whenever the head lamps or auxiliary driving lamps are lighted.



    RCW 46.37.020
    When lighted lamps and signaling devices are required.


    Every vehicle upon a highway within this state at any time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of one thousand feet ahead shall display lighted headlights, other lights, and illuminating devices as hereinafter respectively required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles, and such stop lights, turn signals, and other signaling devices shall be lighted as prescribed for the use of such devices.



    RCW 46.37.070
    Stop lamps and electric turn signals required.



    (1) After January 1, 1964, every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer shall be equipped with two or more stop lamps meeting the requirements of RCW 46.37.200, except that passenger cars manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1964, shall be equipped with at least one such stop lamp. On a combination of vehicles, only the stop lamps on the rearmost vehicle need actually be seen from the distance specified in RCW 46.37.200(1).

    (2) After January 1, 1960, every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer and pole trailer shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps meeting the requirements of RCW 46.37.200(2), except that passenger cars, trailers, semitrailers, pole trailers, and trucks less than eighty inches in width, manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1953, need not be equipped with electric turn signal lamps.

    (3) Every passenger car manufactured or assembled after September 1, 1985; and every passenger truck, passenger van, or passenger sports utility vehicle manufactured or assembled after September 1, 1993, must be equipped with a rear center high-mounted stop lamp meeting the requirements of RCW 46.37.200(3).

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Ticketed for Malfunctioning Tail Lights when My Brake Light Was Out, Wrong Rcw

    They're required to be on at particular times under RCW 46.37.020; apparently you were cited because the light was not working. Should we assume this isn't a fix-it ticket?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ticketed for Malfunctioning Tail Lights when My Brake Light Was Out, Wrong Rcw

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    They're required to be on at particular times under RCW 46.37.020; apparently you were cited because the light was not working. Should we assume this isn't a fix-it ticket?
    They did not mention that it was a fix it ticket. I was pulled over in mid afternoon and it was a nice day so visibility wasn't an issue (so I should not of been required to use my running/tail lights). My break light is what they were trying to ticket me for but I believe they wrote the ticket up wrong, writing it for malfunctioning tail lights instead. Do I get out of this ticket by default (them writing it up wrong) ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    636

    Default Re: Ticketed for Malfunctioning Tail Lights when My Brake Light Was Out, Wrong Rcw

    If you fix the default, you most likely will get out of the ticket either way. It seems you knew about the defective equipment prior to the stop. It is your responsibility to make sure everything is working properly on the vehicle.

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