2007 California Vehicle Code Article 2. Headlamps And Auxiliary Lamps
CA Codes (veh:24400-24411)
24400. (a) A motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be:
(1) Equipped with at least two headlamps, with at least one on
each side of the front of the vehicle, and, except as to vehicles
registered prior to January 1, 1930, they shall be located directly
above or in advance of the front axle of the vehicle. The headlamps
and every light source in any headlamp unit shall be located at a
height of not more than 54 inches nor less than 22 inches.
(2) Operated during darkness, or inclement weather, or both, with
at least two lighted headlamps that comply with paragraph (1).
(b) As used in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), "inclement
weather" is a weather condition that is either of the following:
(1) A condition that prevents a driver of a motor vehicle from
clearly discerning a person or another motor vehicle on the highway
from a distance of 1,000 feet.
(2) A condition requiring the windshield wipers to be in
continuous use due to rain, mist, snow, fog, or other precipitation
or atmospheric moisture.
24401. Whenever any motor vehicle is parked or standing upon a
highway any headlamp that is lighted shall be dimmed or on the lower
24402. (a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two
auxiliary driving lamps mounted on the front at a height of not less
than 16 inches nor more than 42 inches. Driving lamps are lamps
designed for supplementing the upper beam from headlamps and may not
be lighted with the lower beam.
(b) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two
auxiliary passing lamps mounted on the front at a height of not less
than 24 inches nor more than 42 inches. Passing lamps are lamps
designed for supplementing the lower beam from headlamps and may also
be lighted with the upper beam.
24403. (a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two
foglamps that may be used with, but may not be used in substitution
(b) On a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, the foglamps
authorized under this section shall be mounted on the front at a
height of not less than 12 inches nor more than 30 inches and aimed
so that when the vehicle is not loaded none of the high-intensity
portion of the light to the left of the center of the vehicle
projects higher than a level of four inches below the level of the
center of the lamp from which it comes, for a distance of 25 feet in
front of the vehicle.
(c) On a motorcycle, the foglamps authorized under this section
shall be mounted on the front at a height of not less than 12 inches
nor more than 40 inches and aimed so that when the vehicle is not
loaded none of the high-intensity portion of the light to the left of
the center of the vehicle projects higher than a level of four
inches below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes,
for a distance of 25 feet in front of the vehicle.
24404. (a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two
white spotlamps, which shall not be used in substitution of
(b) No spotlamp shall be equipped with any lamp source exceeding
32 standard candlepower or 30 watts nor project any glaring light
into the eyes of an approaching driver.
(c) Every spotlamp shall be so directed when in use: That no
portion of the main substantially parallel beam of light will strike
the roadway to the left of the prolongation of the left side line of
That the top of the beam will not strike the roadway at a distance
in excess of 300 feet from the vehicle.
(d) This section does not apply to spotlamps on authorized
(e) No spotlamp when in use shall be directed so as to illuminate
any other moving vehicle.
24405. (a) Not more than four lamps of the following types showing
to the front of a vehicle may be lighted at any one time:
(2) Auxiliary driving or passing lamps.
(3) Fog lamps.
(4) Warning lamps.
(5) Spot lamps.
(6) Gaseous discharge lamps specified in Section 25258.
(b) For the purpose of this section each pair of a dual headlamp
system shall be considered as one lamp.
(c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any authorized emergency
24406. Except as otherwise provided, the headlamps, or other
auxiliary driving lamps, or a combination thereof, on a motor vehicle
during darkness shall be so arranged that the driver may select at
will between distributions of light projected to different
elevations, and the lamps may, in addition, be so arranged that the
selection can be made automatically.
24407. Multiple-beam road lighting equipment shall be designed and
aimed as follows:
(a) There shall be an uppermost distribution of light, or
composite beam, so aimed and of such intensity as to reveal persons
and vehicles at a distance of at least 350 feet ahead for all
conditions of loading.
(b) There shall be a lowermost distribution of light, or composite
beam so aimed and of sufficient intensity to reveal a person or
vehicle at a distance of at least 100 feet ahead. On a straight
level road under any condition of loading none of the high intensity
portion of the beam shall be directed to strike the eyes of an
24408. (a) Every new motor vehicle registered in this state after
January 1, 1940, which has multiple-beam road lighting equipment
shall be equipped with a beam indicator, which shall be lighted
whenever the uppermost distribution of light from the headlamps is in
use, and shall not otherwise be lighted.
(b) The indicator shall be so designed and located that when
lighted it will be readily visible without glare to the driver of the
vehicle so equipped. Any such lamp on the exterior of the vehicle
shall have a light source not exceeding two candlepower, and the
light shall not show to the front or sides of the vehicle.
24409. Whenever a motor vehicle is being operated during darkness,
the driver shall use a distribution of light, or composite beam,
directed high enough and of sufficient intensity to reveal persons
and vehicles at a safe distance in advance of the vehicle, subject to
the following requirements and limitations:
(a) Whenever the driver of a vehicle approaches an oncoming
vehicle within 500 feet, he shall use a distribution of light or
composite beam so aimed that the glaring rays are not projected into
the eyes of the oncoming driver.
The lowermost distribution of light specified in this article
shall be deemed to avoid glare at all times regardless of road
(b) Whenever the driver of a vehicle follows another vehicle
within 300 feet to the rear, he shall use the lowermost distribution
of light specified in this article.
24410. Headlamps arranged to provide a single distribution of light
not supplemented by auxiliary driving lamps are permitted on motor
vehicles manufactured and sold prior to September 19, 1940, in lieu
of multiple-beam road lighting equipment if the single distribution
of light complies with the following requirements and limitations:
(a) The headlamps shall be so aimed that when the vehicle is not
loaded none of the high-intensity portion of the light shall at a
distance of 25 feet ahead project higher than a level of five inches
below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes, and in
no case higher than 42 inches above the level on which the vehicle
stands at a distance of 75 feet ahead.
(b) The intensity shall be sufficient to reveal persons and
vehicles at a distance of at least 200 feet.
24411. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a vehicle may be
equipped with not more than eight lamps for use as headlamps while
the vehicle is operated or driven off the highway. The lamps shall
be mounted at a height of not less than 16 inches from the ground, or
more than 12 inches above the top of the passenger compartment, at
any place between the front of the vehicle and a line lying on a
point 40 inches to the rear of the seat occupied by the driver, shall
be wired independently of all other lighting circuits, and, whenever
the vehicle is operated or driven upon a highway, shall be covered
or hooded with an opaque hood or cover, and turned off.
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