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Old 10-01-2009, 12:53 PM
 
Location: spring tx
5,615 posts, read 4,023,155 times
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i have always heard as long as the lights on the towing vehicle are visible you do not need lights on a flat trailer during the day. does anyone know the law?
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:32 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Info here:http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/interne...rms/CVE-38.pdf
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-p...gulations1.htm

Last edited by elnina; 09-08-2013 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: spring tx
5,615 posts, read 4,023,155 times
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thanks for the link,
so let me see if this sounds right to you

Quote:
Lighting: Vehicles with a GVW below 4500 lbs. must display at night time or when visibility is below 1,000 feet
(this is a "common theme")
so if i understand this correctly, you are only required to have lights at night or when visibility is below 1000 ft or in other words driving in the bright day sun today one of my guys should not have gotten a ticket for the lights not being hooked up on the trailer at noon today?

am i wrong or miss reading this?
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:58 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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make sure you comply with 547.335
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:24 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Using common sense: no. The trailer was clearly visible. But maybe by regulation the lights need to be present (mounted), even if there was no need to turn them on. What about brake/stop/turn lights?
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:30 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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To make sure I emailed your question to my friend who is a cop, one of those who write tickets... let see what is his reply.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:04 PM
 
344 posts, read 649,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigas View Post
so if i understand this correctly, you are only required to have lights at night or when visibility is below 1000 ft or in other words driving in the bright day sun today one of my guys should not have gotten a ticket for the lights not being hooked up on the trailer at noon today?

am i wrong or miss reading this?
You're not misreading it, but what you're reading doesn't tell the complete story. It's excerpts from the Transportation Code, which does say that, but it says a lot of other things as well. Here's the gotcha in your case:
Quote:
547.304. APPLICABILITY. (a) A provision of this chapter that requires a vehicle to be equipped with fixed electric lights does not apply to a farm trailer or fertilizer trailer registered under Section 502.276 or a boat trailer with a gross weight of 3,000 pounds or less if the trailer is not operated at a time or under a condition specified by Section 547.302(a). (b) Except for Sections 547.323 and 547.324, a provision of this chapter that requires a vehicle to be equipped with fixed electric lights does not apply to a boat trailer with a gross weight of less than 4,500 pounds if the trailer is not operated at a time or under a condition specified by Section 547.302(a).
The applicability exemption only applies to certain trailers (farm, fertilizer, boat) and not all vehicles or even all trailers.

Sections 547.323 and 547.324 mandate all vehicles, including trailers, have stop lamps and turn signals:
Quote:
547.323. STOPLAMPS REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with at least two stoplamps.
(b) A passenger car manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least one stoplamp.
And Section 547.324:
Quote:
547.324. TURN SIGNAL LAMPS REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps that indicate the operator's intent to turn by displaying flashing lights to the front and rear of a vehicle or combination of vehicles and on that side of the vehicle or combination toward which the turn is to be made. (b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a passenger car or truck less than 80 inches wide manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960.
The only lighting that some trailers are exempt from are taillamps, and that's only during the day time:
Quote:
547.322. TAILLAMPS REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or vehicle that is towed at the end of a combination of vehicles shall be equipped with at least two taillamps. (b) A passenger car or truck that was manufactured or assembled before the model year 1960 shall be equipped with at least one taillamp.
(Emphasis added.)

So, if there were no lights on the rear of the trailer that come on as brake lights and no turn signal lights, the trailer was being operated without the required equipment. Even if the trailer was equipped with the lights, the laws says they have to be "lighted lamps", and the stop lamp has to come on when the brake is applied to the vehicle.

It's usually written as a "defective lighting" citation, which some judges in some courts will dismiss if you prove that you have fixed the equipment (receipt for parts and labor). But it sounds like a case in which the equipment worked just fine, but the people responsible didn't bother to use it properly, I don't see a judge letting them off on that one.

Last edited by DrLizardo; 10-01-2009 at 04:38 PM..
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