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Unread 12-05-2013, 09:15 AM   #1
tfgnt16
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Mopar Ambient Lighting Kit Legality

I have the stock Mopar ambient lighting kit which illuminates the footwells a subtle blue on my 09 WK. The other night I stopped at a local CVS and left the car running with my passenger in it. A police office put on his lights and told me to wait by the car. I ended up getting a citation for the footwell lighting stating "blue lighting on non fire emergency vehicle," despite me trying to explain that the lighting was stock.

I know that many newer vehicles come with ambient lighting from the factory. A friend of mine has a Subaru with the same blue footwell lights. My question is, are these lights actually illegal? They can't be seen from outside the car without the doors open, and they were installed factory as a dealer option when the vehicle was new. I live in NY and know that exterior lights other than stock are illegal, but am clueless as to the laws behind stock interior lighting.

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Unread 12-05-2013, 09:42 AM   #2
gcjeeping
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Fight it, then swap the lights to white so you wont get hassled anymore. Not everything that comes factory is legal in all states. I remember reading somewhere that the liberty factory light bar was illegal in some states (possibly NY).
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Unread 12-05-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
WJChris
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FIGHT it, If you closed your doors, no light would be visible..

He is a sorry kid who was bullied in high school and is trying to harass anyone he can with his flashing lights and badge. This will get thrown out for sure.
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Unread 12-05-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
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Oh I have every intention of fighting it. I didn't mention in the OP that when I asked him what law I specifically violating, all he said was that blue lights are reserved only for emergency vehicles, and that it was under his discretion as to how any light on or in a vehicle was in violation of that "law."

gcjeeping, I understand that not all factory items are legal in all states, but I want to take this approach as a "normal" driver who doesn't have the skill to modify their vehicle in any way. For instance, someone who has the same factory lighting kit as me put in this same situation, and doesn't fight the ticket for whatever reason, how is that fair to them? I want to know what specific state (county, township, etc.) law this is in violation of. Unfortunately I don't know any lawyers who deal with traffic instances, and my close friend who is a NYC police officer described it to me as "a grey area." He also stated that in Nassau and Suffolk counties, or any of the upstate counties in NY, may view such lighting as a violation, but without the merit of a directly stated law.

If it comes down to me having to take out the stock lighting kit at request of the court, I will. I'd just like to see the opinions of other people on this particular situation.
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Unread 12-05-2013, 12:04 PM   #5
gcjeeping
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Yeah he was a prick. The law he could use is below. Even though anyone with any common sense would know not to include the lights your talking about being factory. They could apply to ricers running blue under body lights and he might have thought you were being a ricer.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law,

MV and MC Equipment
- Article 9,

Item 41, #4

4. Blue light. a. One blue light may be affixed to any motor vehicle owned by a volunteer member of a fire department or on a motor vehicle owned by a member of such person's family residing in the same household or by a business enterprise in which such person has a proprietary interest or by which he or she is employed, provided such volunteer firefighter has been authorized in writing to so affix a blue light by the chief of the fire department or company of which he or she is a member, which authorization shall be subject to revocation at any time by the chief who issued the same or his or her successor in office. Such blue light may be displayed exclusively by such volunteer firefighter on such a vehicle only when engaged in an emergency operation. The use of blue lights on vehicles shall be restricted for use only by a volunteer firefighter except as otherwise provided for in subparagraph b of this paragraph.
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Unread 12-05-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcjeeping View Post
The use of blue lights on vehicles shall be restricted for use only by a volunteer firefighter except as otherwise provided for in subparagraph b of this paragraph.

I'm sure somewhere in the mess of legaleze it would specify 'exterior' lights.
If not, there may be an argument to differentiate, 'On' vs. 'In"
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Unread 12-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
gcjeeping
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I wanna know how he can see the foot well lights with the door closed and being ambient (low) light. Does the ambient light stay on all the time? I would think when you opened the door and the white light comes on you would not see the blue. Why do you need ambient foot lighting when the jeep is running and the door is closed? My wife's Nissan Maximum has red ambient lighting that is really low output in the headliner that is on when the lights are on, but not in the foot wells.
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Unread 12-05-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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I'm sure somewhere in the mess of legaleze it would specify 'exterior' lights.
If not, there may be an argument to differentiate, 'On' vs. 'In"

Don't think you could justify in/on. A lot of volunteer FM put the lights on the dash or in the back window so I would think they would consider that on the vehicle. Other wise I could run blue lights on the dash even though I'm not a FM.
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Unread 12-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #9
tfgnt16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcjeeping View Post
I wanna know how he can see the foot well lights with the door closed and being ambient (low) light. Does the ambient light stay on all the time? Why do you need ambient foot lighting when the jeep is running and the door is closed? My wife's Nissan Maximum has red ambient lighting that is really low output in the headliner that is on when the lights are on, but not in the foot wells.
I explained it in the OP but I stopped at a CVS to find a movie from RedBox so I left the Jeep running. He spotted it when my door was open and I was getting out. I can control the lights with a switch on the center console, but because I had a friend in the car she liked the way the blue looked under the footwells. I don't always use the lighting, and never when I'm driving alone (there isn't much point to it other than for show.) I just figured it would never be a problem considering it's factory.
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Unread 12-08-2013, 12:55 PM   #10
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I can say from experience that in my state (wi), you can have any color as long as it is below the front and rear dash/deck line. Take it to court and fight it... I had leds in my blinkers and got a ticket for the same thing you did. Explained to the judge that they were the same type as newer German cars and the judge said "oh like my Mercedes" and dropped the ticket. This was just an officer with nothing better to do, and the fact that it came that way from the dealer they can't punish you for that.
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Unread 12-08-2013, 02:28 PM   #11
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My mind is blown that factory options are not allowed in some states.

I'm pretty sure that absolutely no one would confuse you as a "ricer" in a otherwise stock Jeep and certainly not a FF with ambient light that probably couldn't be seen in normal driving conditions. This is absurd. What about the blue halos that are on the speedometer on a the SRTs? Those are stock. I've had a Rogue as a rental that had blue lights on the roof that shown down into the cup holders, how come those are legal?

This cop is just abusing his power and wasting time and municipalities' money by issuing such a ticket.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 09:55 AM   #12
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Get a copy of your build sheet and take it into court with you when you fight it. Since its from factory it should be on the build sheet and explain to them that a "normal" driver wouldnt know it isnt allowed since it is a factory install. I agree with the others about the cop though. He is just an a-hole or someone trying to meet their quota so he writes up whatever he can find.
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Unread 12-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #13
tfgnt16
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I looked at my build sheet and could't find a listing for the for the lighting kit. But I gave the dealer a visit (only two miles away) and they were able to confirm the original owner had opted for the kit as a dealer installed option, which they are willing to provide proof for. Thanks for the advice and I'll let you know the outcome! Village court date is set for January 7th.
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