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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A California Highway Patrol officer pulled me over the other day for having "illegal tail lights." He said they were "too dark" and "hard to see."

I couldn't believe it, expecially since it was still daylight, (7 PM), and I was driving with my headlamps! I explained that my SC has the original equipment tail lights which are DOT approved for sale in all 50 states. He was very rude and said something like, "oh so just because Honda sells it that way, it's okay to break the law?" "Those are illegal in California."

He told me he was going to write me a ticket, took my license and registration, and went back to his car. After 5 long minutes he came back and said that he was not going to give me a ticket because I had bought the car that way, but that it was illegal and that I should expect to get pulled over a lot.

Anyone else had any problems with their SC tail lights?
 

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they pull you over for the craziest things in Cali...!!!
I don't know how you guys deal with it... :-(
 

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WTF!!!! i would so break loose! I'll give him my information tho! but i would so report he's [email protected]% for harrasment. that right! HARRASMENT! either he's jealuos over your ride or stupid enough to pull over with out checking things out...mann makes me so mad!!! :mad:!!!:mad:!!!
 

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I would chalk that one up to the cop having a bad day, or he's just being a prick. I had a buddy that was a sheriff and he told me that any car that rolls off the assembly line has something that it could be pulled over for. Not ticketed for, but pulled over for. Sometimes they might think you look suspicious or you "fit a description" and use that as a reason to pull you over and check you out. I have had a lot of experience with good and bad cops, more of the latter though for sure... best thing to do is smile and be overly polite. They will always win in an argument.
 

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My guess is that the officer assumed the tails were aftermarket because they do have that "Euro" tuner look, pulled you over, realized his mistake on finding the DOT certification number... but wasn't about to let you know that. That would be tantamount to losing 100% control of the situation, which according to the current training protocols is something an officer cannot ever, ever, ever let happen. IOW, in many departments they are basically being trained to be complete @$$es in traffic stops and other trivial enforcement interfaces with the public.

Hope you don't have to educate other CHP officers this way. What a PITA.

OTOH, when you do catch 'em in mistakes, make sure it's a biggie. I was managing a large outdoor event and had to deal with the logistics of a city officer... get this... dropping his service weapon into a porta-potty. One of the other event managers was pulled-over in a traffic stop a few weeks later by... guess who? All she had to do was smile knowingly. :D
 

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they pull you over for the craziest things in Cali...!!!
I don't know how you guys deal with it... :-(
We do!!!! The CHP is ruthless out here. They give other cops tickets. Not all
the time, but they do. Most of my friends are in law enforcement, and I can't
believe how the CHP is. In most cases, we make it easy for them. Tinted front
windows, something hanging from the rear view mirror, music too loud. And if
that is the case fine, your fault for breaking the law. But if you are not doing
anything illegal, and your car is bone stock, well that is questionable. The
state is broke though, and we do need the money!!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I think you're right MikeQBF. He definitely realized his mistake once he got back to his patrol car to write the ticket.

I was so mad because my Element is BONE STOCK appearance-wise, I was driving 65 mph, and even had my headlamps on even though it was still quite sunny out. I've made it a point to leave this Element bone stock to avoid this kind of harassment so I was particularly annoyed to have to deal with this.

Wow, AztecRol, I didn't know CHP gave other cops tickets too! I didn't realize they have gotten so out of control.
 

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Wow, AztecRol, I didn't know CHP gave other cops tickets too! I didn't realize they have gotten so out of control.
I love hearing about cops getting tickets......A couple of weeks ago the OPP pulled over an off duty cop in an unmarked car and nailed him under the the "street racing" law....He was caught doing 150 kph in a 100 zone.

Back in the spring a female officer was nailed with street racing and impaired driving after being caught doing 50 over the limit.
 

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What Exactly???

A California Highway Patrol officer pulled me over the other day for having "illegal tail lights."
Out of curiosity, did he say or describe what was "illegal" about them??? As the new owner of an '08 SC, I'd like to know. But, like you, being fully stock... there really isn't much they could do or say (I imagine).
 

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You should all move to the D...they don't do vehicle inspections, safety or emissions...you wouldn't believe what I see driving around here, inside of 8 Mile you don't even have to roll legal...speed limit is 70mph but 80+ is commonplace...

As a ex EuroTuner in NY I know the hassles of rolling dirty and with the budgets getting cut its only going to get worse...you are a target.

When getting pulled over, just keep your cool, be overly polite and hope there's no reason in the system, glitch or other wise, that will get you locked up. Half the time I think they hope to catch a kid with a blunt or a open container...or outstanding warrants.
 

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The chp was incompetent. He failed to baton your tail light when he walked up get your id
Very funny. Actually, CHiPpies don't wear batons since their primary job is traffic enforcement, which means getting in and out of the car dozens of times a day. A baton would literally be a pain in the butt.

I've given Maximo's situation a fair amount of thought... obviously... and you know what I would do? Complain. In writing. To the CHP area supervisor, and to your state representative. Be nice about it, but be firm. It's really time to stop taking this crap and letting it go by "as life", because not too long ago it wasn't this way. Nothing is going to change unless people start to say "Now just wait a minute!" to the unreasonable treatment and collectively call their bluff.
 

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I totally agree with you here, MikeQBF

Very funny. Actually, CHiPpies don't wear batons since their primary job is traffic enforcement, which means getting in and out of the car dozens of times a day. A baton would literally be a pain in the butt.

I've given Maximo's situation a fair amount of thought... obviously... and you know what I would do? Complain. In writing. To the CHP area supervisor, and to your state representative. Be nice about it, but be firm. It's really time to stop taking this crap and letting it go by "as life", because not too long ago it wasn't this way. Nothing is going to change unless people start to say "Now just wait a minute!" to the unreasonable treatment and collectively call their bluff.
 

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Actually, it is part of the new vehicle code. You cannot have altered tails. The CHP who pulled you over was an idiot because yours are stock. I got pulled over for the same thing in Irvine. He informed me of the new vehicle code and that they are required to enforce it because of all the complaints they have been getting from the people who cannot see through tinted tails. I told the officer that I had thought it only applied to smoked tails. That was when he told me that it is any alteration to a tail light. So, basically, if you put LEDs in to make them brighter, you can get a ticket to. LAME.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Out of curiosity, did he say or describe what was "illegal" about them??? As the new owner of an '08 SC, I'd like to know. But, like you, being fully stock... there really isn't much they could do or say (I imagine).
He said they were "too dark" and "hard to see." :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
:lol: shooten the...

The chp was incompetent. He failed to baton your tail light when he walked up get your id
:D Yup. And probably failed to baton ME a few times too lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Actually, it is part of the new vehicle code. You cannot have altered tails. The CHP who pulled you over was an idiot because yours are stock. I got pulled over for the same thing in Irvine. He informed me of the new vehicle code and that they are required to enforce it because of all the complaints they have been getting from the people who cannot see through tinted tails. I told the officer that I had thought it only applied to smoked tails. That was when he told me that it is any alteration to a tail light. So, basically, if you put LEDs in to make them brighter, you can get a ticket to. LAME.
Ah, I didn't know that. Thanks for the information Abulevan. Well, I hope he "spreads the word" around that Element SC tail lights aren't darker due to owner's alteration--they come that way. Hope other SC drivers aren't hassled the way I was.
 

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I'll tell you why you got pulled over. He thought you were doing something illegal and used the only excuse he could to pull you over. If anyone gets pulled over for "light issues" I.e - your brake light is out, etc... act dumb and surprised. That's all there is to it. There's actually no VC for tail lights, only that you have to have 2 and they must be visible at night or when lit. Literally the only thing that lights need to have to be DOT approved, is the fact that they say "dot approved" literally there is no requirements...

So, next time that happens, just go "really officer? I had no idea! I haven't done anything to them, I just bought the car this way, I'd be happy to show you proof?" or something along those lines, because they don't want to know about your lights. Odds are they heard about someone doing an armed robbery and excaping in an Element, or something of the like, and just because of that, they can't pull you over, you have to have probable cause that the driver or passengers are doing something illegal, and the easiest excuse is a light issue, now if you made a complaint, he'd probably be screwed, because he didn't wind up finding anything on a silly pull over excuse, but you'd be surprised how many criminals or drunk driver's get found jsut because of tail light issues.\

Also, you have to know that VC's are different in every state, but aren't always enforced. Some of them are that it is illegal to alter the height of your vehicle, but who do you see get pulled over for a raised truck, or a lowered civic? Same with the muffler noise. You never see motorcycles with no spark arrestors get pulled over even though they make the loudest most irritating noise ever, but cars with a coffee can muffler get pulled over all the time. It's really all discretion. They pull over a loud car because it could be illegally modified, or some kid thats pea****ing for his friends and likely to be pulled over anyway.

Some states or counties really enforce the smoked tail light thing. The only light issues I personally care about are people who raise a truck, but don't re-aim the headlights, so it just shines right through your back window, and nowhere near the road, and people with super dark tail and headlights. Some of them use the stock bulbs too.

And another thing, no cop will know that you added LED's to the tails, there's no way to tell that they weren't produced that way... so that VC is BS in that area.
 
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