2007 California Vehicle Code Article 3. Rear Lighting Equipment

CA Codes (veh:24600-24617)

VEHICLE CODE
SECTION 24600-24617



24600.  During darkness every motor vehicle which is not in
combination with any other vehicle and every vehicle at the end of a
combination of vehicles shall be equipped with lighted taillamps
mounted on the rear as follows:
   (a) Every vehicle shall be equipped with one or more taillamps.
   (b) Every vehicle, other than a motorcycle, manufactured and first
registered on or after January 1, 1958, shall be equipped with not
less than two taillamps, except that trailers and semitrailers
manufactured after July 23, 1973, which are less than 30 inches wide,
may be equipped with one taillamp which shall be mounted at or near
the vertical centerline of the vehicles.  If a vehicle is equipped
with two taillamps, they shall be mounted as specified in subdivision
(d).
   (c) Every vehicle or vehicle at the end of a combination of
vehicles, subject to subdivision (a) of Section 22406 shall be
equipped with not less than two taillamps.
   (d) When two taillamps are required, at least one shall be mounted
at the left and one at the right side respectively at the same
level.
   (e) Taillamps shall be red in color and shall be plainly visible
from all distances within 500 feet to the rear except that taillamps
on vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1969, shall be plainly
visible from all distances within 1,000 feet to the rear.
   (f) Taillamps on vehicles manufactured on or after January 1,
1969, shall be mounted not lower than 15 inches nor higher than 72
inches, except that a tow truck, in addition to being equipped with
the required taillamps, may also be equipped with two taillamps which
may be mounted not lower than 15 inches nor higher than the maximum
allowable vehicle height and as far forward as the rearmost portion
of the driver's seat in the rearmost position.  The additional
taillamps on a tow truck shall be lighted whenever the headlamps are
lighted.


24601.  Either the taillamp or a separate lamp shall be so
constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear
license plate during darkness and render it clearly legible from a
distance of 50 feet to the rear. When the rear license plate is
illuminated by a lamp other than a required taillamp, the two lamps
shall be turned on or off only by the same control switch at all
times.


24602.  (a) A vehicle may be equipped with not more than two red fog
taillamps mounted on the rear which may be lighted, in addition to
the required taillamps, only when atmospheric conditions, such as
fog, rain, snow, smoke, or dust, reduce the daytime or nighttime
visibility of other vehicles to less than 500 feet.
   (b) The lamps authorized under subdivision (a) shall be installed
as follows:
   (1) When two lamps are installed, one shall be mounted at the left
side and one at the right side at the same level and as close as
practical to the sides. When one lamp is installed, it shall be
mounted as close as practical to the left side or on the center of
the vehicle.
   (2) The lamps shall be mounted not lower than 12 inches nor higher
than 60 inches.
   (3) The edge of the lens of the lamp shall be no closer than four
inches from the edge of the lens of any stoplamp.
   (4) The lamps shall be wired so they can be turned on only when
the headlamps are on and shall have a switch that allows them to be
turned off when the headlamps are on.
   (5) A nonflashing amber pilot light that is lighted when the lamps
are turned on shall be mounted in a location readily visible to the
driver.



24603.  Every motor vehicle which is not in combination with any
other vehicle and every vehicle at the end of a combination of
vehicles shall at all times be equipped with stoplamps mounted on the
rear as follows:
   (a) Every such vehicle shall be equipped with one or more
stoplamps.
   (b) Every such vehicle, other than a motorcycle, manufactured and
first registered on or after January 1, 1958, shall be equipped with
two stoplamps, except that trailers and semitrailers manufactured
after July 23, 1973, which are less than 30 inches wide, may be
equipped with one stoplamp which shall be mounted at or near the
vertical centerline of the trailer.  If such vehicle is equipped with
two stoplamps, they shall be mounted as specified in subdivision
(d).
   (c)  Except as provided in subdivision (h), stoplamps on vehicles
manufactured on or after January 1, 1969, shall be mounted not lower
than 15 inches nor higher than 72 inches, except that a tow truck, in
addition to being equipped with the required stoplamps, may also be
equipped with two stoplamps which may be mounted not lower than 15
inches nor higher than the maximum allowable vehicle height and as
far forward as the rearmost portion of the driver's seat in the
rearmost position.
   (d) Where two stoplamps are required, at least one shall be
mounted at the left and one at the right side, respectively, at the
same level.
   (e) Stoplamps on vehicles manufactured on or after January 1,
1979, shall emit a red light.  Stoplamps on vehicles manufactured
before January 1, 1979, shall emit a red or yellow light.  All
stoplamps shall be plainly visible and understandable from a distance
of 300 feet to the rear both during normal sunlight and at
nighttime, except that stoplamps on a vehicle of a size required to
be equipped with clearance lamps shall be visible from a distance of
500 feet during such times.
   (f) Stoplamps shall be activated upon application of the service
(foot) brake and the hand control head for air, vacuum, or electric
brakes.  In addition, all stoplamps may be activated by a mechanical
device designed to function only upon sudden release of the
accelerator while the vehicle is in motion.  Stoplamps on vehicles
equipped with a manual transmission may be manually activated by a
mechanical device when the vehicle is downshifted if the device is
automatically rendered inoperative while the vehicle is accelerating.

   (g) Any vehicle may be equipped with supplemental stoplamps
mounted to the rear of the rearmost portion of the driver's seat in
its rearmost position in addition to the lamps required to be mounted
on the rear of the vehicle.  Supplemental stoplamps installed after
January 1, 1979, shall be red in color and mounted not lower than 15
inches above the roadway.  The supplemental stoplamp on that side of
a vehicle toward which a turn will be made may flash as part of the
supplemental turn signal lamp.
   A supplemental stoplamp may be mounted inside the rear window of a
vehicle, if it is mounted at the centerline of the vehicle and is
constructed and mounted so as to prevent any light, other than a
monitorial indicator emitted from the device, either direct or
reflected, from being visible to the driver.
   (h) Any supplemental stoplamp installed after January 1, 1987,
shall comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 (49
C.F.R. 571.108). Any vehicle equipped with a stoplamp which complies
with  the federal motor vehicle safety standards applicable to that
make and model vehicle shall conform to that applicable safety
standard unless modified to comply with the federal motor vehicle
safety standard designated in this subdivision.



24604.  Whenever the load upon any vehicle extends, or whenever any
integral part of any vehicle projects, to the rear four feet or more
beyond the rear of the vehicle, as measured from the taillamps, there
shall be displayed at the extreme end of the load or projecting part
of the vehicle during darkness, in addition to the required
taillamp, two red lights with a bulb rated not in excess of six
candlepower plainly visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to
the sides and rear.  At any other time there shall be displayed at
the extreme end of the load or projecting part of the vehicle a solid
red or fluorescent orange flag or cloth not less than 12 inches
square.



24605.  (a) A tow truck or an automobile dismantler's tow vehicle
used to tow a vehicle shall be equipped with and carry a taillamp, a
stoplamp, turn signal lamps, and a portable electrical extension cord
for use in displaying the lamps on the rear of a towed vehicle.
   (b) Whenever a tow truck or an automobile dismantler's tow vehicle
is towing a vehicle and a stoplamp and turn signal lamps cannot be
lighted and displayed on the rear of the towed vehicle, the operator
of the tow truck or the automobile dismantler's tow vehicle shall, by
means of an extension cord, display to the rear a stoplamp and turn
signal lamps mounted on the towed vehicle, except as provided in
subdivision (c).  During darkness, if a taillamp on the towed vehicle
cannot be lighted, the operator of the tow truck or the automobile
dismantler's tow vehicle shall, by means of an extension cord,
display to the rear a taillamp mounted on the towed vehicle.  No
other lighting equipment need be displayed on the towed vehicle.
   (c) Whenever any motor vehicle is towing another motor vehicle,
stoplamps and turn signal lamps are not required on the towed motor
vehicle, but only if a stoplamp and a turn signal lamp on each side
of the rear of the towing vehicle is plainly visible to the rear of
the towed vehicle.  This subdivision does not apply to
driveaway-towaway operations.



24606.  (a) Every motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, of a type
subject to registration and manufactured on and after January 1,
1969, shall be equipped with one or more backup lamps either
separately or in combination with another lamp.  Any vehicle may be
equipped with backup lamps.
   (b) Backup lamps shall be so directed as to project a white light
illuminating the highway to the rear of the vehicle for a distance
not to exceed 75 feet.  A backup lamp may project incidental red,
amber, or white light through reflectors or lenses that are adjacent
or close to, or a part of, the lamp assembly.
   (c) Backup lamps shall not be lighted except when the vehicle is
about to be or is backing or except in conjunction with a lighting
system which activates the lights for a temporary period after the
ignition system is turned off.
   (d) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with a lamp emitting white
light on each side near or on the rear of the vehicle which is
designed to provide supplemental illumination in an area to the side
and rear not lighted by the backup lamps.  These lamps shall be
lighted only with the backup lamps.



24607.  Every vehicle subject to registration under this code shall
at all times be equipped with red reflectors mounted on the rear as
follows:
   (a) Every vehicle shall be equipped with at least one reflector so
maintained as to be plainly visible at night from all distances
within 350 to 100 feet from the vehicle when directly in front of the
lawful upper headlamp beams.
   (b) Every vehicle, other than a motorcycle or a low-speed vehicle,
manufactured and first registered on or after January 1, 1965, shall
be equipped with at least two reflectors meeting the visibility
requirements of subdivision (a), except that trailers and
semitrailers manufactured after July 23, 1973,  that are less than 30
inches wide, may be equipped with one reflector which shall be
mounted at or near the vertical centerline of the trailer.  If the
vehicle is equipped with two reflectors, they shall be mounted as
specified in subdivision (d).
   (c) Every motortruck having an unladen weight of more than 5,000
pounds, every trailer coach, every camp trailer, every vehicle, or
vehicle at the end of a combination of vehicles, subject to
subdivision (a) of Section 22406, and every vehicle 80 or more inches
in width manufactured on or after January 1, 1969, shall be equipped
with at least two reflectors maintained so as to be plainly visible
at night from all distances within 600 feet to 100 feet from the
vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper headlamp beams.
   (d) When more than one reflector is required, at least one shall
be mounted at the left side and one at the right side, respectively,
at the same level.  Required reflectors shall be mounted not lower
than 15 inches nor higher than 60 inches, except that a tow truck, in
addition to being equipped with the required reflectors, may also be
equipped with two reflectors which may be mounted not lower than 15
inches nor higher than the maximum allowable vehicle height and as
far forward as the rearmost portion of the driver's seat in the
rearmost position.  Additional reflectors of a type meeting
requirements established by the department may be mounted at any
height.
   (e) Reflectors on truck tractors may be mounted on the rear of the
cab.  Any reflector installed on a vehicle as part of its original
equipment prior to January 1, 1941, need not meet the requirements of
the department provided it meets the visibility requirements of
subdivision (a).
   (f) Area reflectorizing material may be used in lieu of the
reflectors required or permitted in subdivisions (a), (b), (c), (d),
and (e), provided each installation is of sufficient size to meet the
photometric requirement for those reflectors.



24608.  (a) Motortrucks, trailers, semitrailers, and buses 80 or
more inches in width manufactured on or after January 1, 1968, shall
be equipped with an amber reflector on each side at the front and a
red reflector on each side at the rear.  Any vehicle may be so
equipped.
   (b) Motortrucks, trailers, semitrailers, housecars, and buses 80
or more inches in width and 30 or more feet in length manufactured on
or after January 1, 1968, shall be equipped with an amber reflector
mounted on each side at the approximate midpoint of the vehicle.  Any
such vehicle manufactured prior to January 1, 1968, may be so
equipped.
   (c) Required reflectors on the sides of vehicles shall be mounted
not lower than 15 inches nor higher than 60 inches.  Additional
reflectors of a type meeting requirements established by the
department may be mounted at any height.
   (d) Reflectors required or permitted in subdivisions (a) and (b)
shall be so maintained as to be plainly visible at night from all
distances within 600 feet to 100 feet from the vehicle when directly
in front of lawful upper headlamp beams.
   (e) Area reflectorizing material may be used in lieu of the
reflectors required or permitted in subdivisions (a) and (b),
provided each installation is of sufficient size to meet the
photometric requirement for such reflectors.



24609.  (a) A vehicle may be equipped with white or amber reflectors
that are mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height of 15
inches or more, but not more than 60 inches from the ground.
   (b) A schoolbus may be equipped with a set of two devices, with
each device in the set consisting of an amber reflector integrated
into the lens of an amber light that is otherwise permitted under
this code, if the set is mounted with one device on the left side and
one on the right side of the vehicle, and with each device at the
same level.


24610.  A reflector placed on vehicles under Section 24609 which is
of the button or other multiple-unit type shall contain not less than
seven units with a total of not less than three square inches of
reflecting surface.  The red reflectors required may be separate
units or a part of the red taillamps, but in either event the
reflector and taillamps shall comply with all of the requirements of
Sections 24600, 24602, and 24609, and any reflector constituting an
integral part of a taillamp shall comply with all photometric
requirements applicable to a separate reflector.



24611.  Trailers that are equipped with red and white reflective
sheeting or reflectors on both the sides and rear and displayed in
accordance with federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard regulations (49
C.F.R. 571.108) for trailers with a width of 80 inches or more and
having a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds need not
be equipped with the reflectors required by Section 24607 or 24608.




24612.  (a) All trailers and semitrailers having an overall width of
80 inches or more and a gross vehicle weight rating of more than
10,000 pounds, and manufactured on or after December 1, 1993, except
those designed exclusively for living or office use, and all truck
tractors manufactured on or after July 1, 1997, shall be equipped
with the conspicuity system specified in federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standard No. 108 (49 C.F.R. 571.108).  The conspicuity system shall
consist of either retroreflective sheeting or reflex reflectors, or a
combination of retroreflective sheeting and reflex reflectors, as
specified in the federal standard applicable on the date of
manufacture of the vehicle.
   (b) Any trailer, semitrailer, or motor truck having an overall
width of 80 inches or more and manufactured prior to December 1,
1993, and any truck tractor manufactured prior to July 1, 1997, may
be equipped with the conspicuity system described in subdivision (a).




24615.  It is unlawful to operate upon a public highway any vehicle
or combination of vehicles, which is designed to be and is operated
at a speed of 25 miles per hour or less, unless the rearmost vehicle
displays a "slow-moving vehicle emblem," except upon vehicles used by
a utility, whether publicly or privately owned, for the
construction, maintenance, or repair of its own facilities or upon
vehicles used by highway authorities or bridge or highway districts
in highway maintenance, inspection, survey, or construction work,
while such vehicle is engaged in work at the jobsite upon a highway.
Any other vehicle or combination of vehicles, when operated at a
speed of 25 miles per hour or less, may display such emblem.  The
emblem shall be mounted on the rear of the vehicle, base down, and at
a height of not less than three nor more than five feet from ground
to base.  Such emblem shall consist of a truncated equilateral
triangle having a minimum height of 14 inches with a red reflective
border not less than 13/4 inches in width and a fluorescent orange
center.
   This emblem shall not be displayed except as permitted or required
by this section.



24616.  (a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with one or two
rear-facing auxiliary lamps.  For the purposes of this section, a
rear-facing auxiliary lamp is a lamp that is mounted on the vehicle
facing rearward.  That lamp shall meet the photometric and
performance requirements of the Society of Automotive Engineers
Standard J1424 for cargo lamps.
   (b) A rear-facing auxiliary lamp may project only a white light,
with the main cone of light projecting both rearward and downward.
The main cone of light shall illuminate the road surface or ground
immediately rearward of a line parallel to the rear of the vehicle
for a distance not greater than 50 feet.  The main cone of light may
not project to the front or sides of the vehicle.
   (c) A rear-facing auxiliary lamp may be activated only when the
vehicle is stopped.  A vehicle equipped with a rear-facing auxiliary
lamp shall also be equipped with a system that allows activation of
the lamp only when the vehicle is in the "park" setting, if the
vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission, or in the
"neutral" setting with the parking brake engaged, if the vehicle is
equipped with a manual transmission.
   (d) A vehicle equipped with a rear-facing auxiliary lamp may have
an activation switch accessible to the operator from the rear of the
vehicle.


24617.  (a) A transit bus may be authorized to be equipped with a
yield right-of-way sign on the left rear of the bus. The yield
right-of-way sign may flash simultaneously with the rear turn signal
lamps, but is not required to do so. The sign shall be both of the
following:
   (1) Designed to warn a person operating a motor vehicle
approaching the rear of the bus that the bus is entering traffic.
   (2) Illuminated by a red flashing light when the bus is signaling
in preparation for entering a traffic lane after having stopped to
receive or discharge passengers.
   (b) Nothing in this section requires a transit agency to install
the yield right-of-way sign described in subdivision (a).
   (c) This section does not relieve the driver of a transit bus from
the duty to drive the bus with due regard for the safety of all
persons and property. This section does not exempt the driver of a
transit bus from the requirements of Section 21804.
   (d) This section applies only to the Santa Cruz Metropolitan
Transit District and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority,
if the governing board of the applicable district approves a
resolution, after a public hearing on the issue, requesting that this
section be made applicable to it.
   (e) Each participating transit agency shall undertake a public
education program to encourage motorists to yield to a transit bus
when the sign specified in subdivision (a) is activiated.

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