Dear LEO's... a question.. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Nov 5th, 2008, 4:00 pm Thread Starter
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Dear LEO's... a question..

Here's a situation.

- Travelling 45 MPH on a major highway with improved shoulders, through a city, Auto 1 in the right lane.
- Numerous places of business along roadway
- Auto 2 pulls from left lane to right lane ahead of Auto1 (closer than 2 seconds), apparently without blinker and proceeds about 50 feet then starts breaking approaching traffic signal controlled intersection. Again, no blinker.
- Auto 1 gives flash of headlights to Auto 2
- Auto 2 proceeds through turn
- Auto 1 continues through intersection.
- Auto 1 is stopped by Motor LEO and chastized for "flashing" headlights.
- Auto 1 asks why that is illegal
- Motor LEO states - it is considered failure to dim your lights to approaching traffic.

This sounds like it is illegal to have the "Wig-Wag" light automatic flasher folks have installed on their Motorcycles.

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #2 of 9 Old Nov 5th, 2008, 4:55 pm
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Re: Dear LEO's... a question..

Here in Georgia the situation you described is against the law. It's just that the flashing part is written in the "Fail to dim lights" code sections so that's how it gets wrote up. I can also tell you the reason it's there. For people who ride behind someone flashing their high beams to get them to move over when they're doing the SPEED LIMIT or faster. When's the last time you saw the sign "Slower traffic use right lane" on the interstate? I see it on 2 lane highways when they open up to 2 lanes on one side and one on the other; the passing lane.

Now about the headlights on motorcycles. They are modulators meaning they don't flash but pulse from low beam to partial highbeam. Again here in Georgia (as in most if not all states) they are legal since they don't flash on and off but pulse or modulate. It's been a LONG time since I was in uniform and on a motor to boot but there was an exemption for motorcycles if I recall.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #3 of 9 Old Nov 5th, 2008, 5:16 pm
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Re: Dear LEO's... a question..

This Federal law supersedes all state laws and makes motorcycle headlight modulators legal in all 50 states.

FMVSS 108 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) (49 CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4) allows motorcycle headlight modulation systems all 50 states provided they comply with the standards set forth in this section.

Title 49 USC 30103 (b1) (US Codes) prohibits any state from forbidding a system that conforms to FMVSS 108 (see copy below). Here is a web page with all of Part 571 and all of the subsections; they've now broken it up by section to make it easier to read. The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University also has a nice website where you can read the various sections of the entire Title 49 USC.

Code of Federal Regulations
Title 49, Volume 5, Parts 400 to 999
Revised as of October 1, 2000
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 49CFR571.108] [Page 236-307]
TITLE 49 TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER V NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
PART 571 FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

Subpart B--Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
Sec. 571.108 Standard No. 108;

Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.

S7.9.4 Motorcycle headlamp modulation system.

S7.9.4.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity, provided that:

(a) The rate of modulation shall be 240

40 cycles per minute.

(b) The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70 percent of each cycle.

(c) The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17 percent of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.

(d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power lead of the beam filament being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.

(e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper beam remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.

(f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its sensing element perpendicular to a horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation shall cease whenever the level of light emitted by a tungsten filament light operating at 3000 deg. Kelvin is either less than 270 lux (25 foot-candles) of direct light for upward pointing sensors or less than 60 lux (5.6 foot-candles) of reflected light for downward pointing sensors. The light is measured by a silicon cell type light meter that is located at the sensor and pointing in the same direction as the sensor. A Kodak Gray Card (Kodak R-27) is placed at ground level to simulate the road surface in testing downward pointing sensors.

(g) When tested in accordance with the test profile shown in Figure 9, the voltage drop across the modulator when the lamp is on at all test conditions for 12 volt systems and 6 volt systems shall not be greater than .45 volt. The modulator shall meet all the provisions of the standard after completion of the test profile shown in Figure 9.

(h) Means shall be provided so that both the lower and upper beam function at design voltage when the headlamp control switch is in either the lower or upper beam position when the modulator is off.

S7.9.4.2(a) Each motorcycle headlamp modulator not intended as original equipment, or its container, shall be labeled with the maximum wattage, and the minimum wattage appropriate for its use. Additionally, each such modulator shall comply with S7.9.4.1 (a) through (g) when connected to a headlamp of the maximum rated power and a headlamp of the minimum rated power, and shall provide means so that the modulated beam functions at design voltage when the modulator is off.

(b) Instructions, with a diagram, shall be provided for mounting the light sensor including location on the motorcycle, distance above the road surface, and orientation with respect to the light.


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post #4 of 9 Old Nov 5th, 2008, 5:16 pm
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Re: Dear LEO's... a question..

Isn't there also a rule that if a vehicle maneuvers (pulls out, changes lanes, crosses traffic) in such a way that another vehicle has to brake to avoid a collision, the first vehicle is at fault? If the first driver cut in too close, causing the second driver to have to brake, then the blame lies on the first driver?

Unfortunately, the exact situation that you described is pretty common place here in California. Doesn't matter if it's in the city at 25 mph, or on the freeway at 65 mph (or greater), the mentality here is simply "me, first".

In fact, that happened to us twice today just on the drive back home. I won't say that you get used to it, but you do learn to watch out for it.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
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post #5 of 9 Old Nov 5th, 2008, 10:25 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dear LEO's... a question..

thanks y'all,... I'll do more research of the Texas laws... because I've never heard this being illegal.

We were even taught (in Louisiana) as well as in previous Texas Drivers Education books, to flash lights or use horn when passing or "signaling" other drivers.

I was not "flashing" to avoid a "speed trap"/donation station.

Creepy..worrisome.

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #6 of 9 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 5:09 am
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Re: Dear LEO's... a question..

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
Here's a situation.

- Travelling 45 MPH on a major highway with improved shoulders, through a city, Auto 1 in the right lane.
- Numerous places of business along roadway
- Auto 2 pulls from left lane to right lane ahead of Auto1 (closer than 2 seconds), apparently without blinker and proceeds about 50 feet then starts breaking approaching traffic signal controlled intersection. Again, no blinker.
- Auto 1 gives flash of headlights to Auto 2
- Auto 2 proceeds through turn
- Auto 1 continues through intersection.
- Auto 1 is stopped by Motor LEO and chastized for "flashing" headlights.
- Auto 1 asks why that is illegal
- Motor LEO states - it is considered failure to dim your lights to approaching traffic.

This sounds like it is illegal to have the "Wig-Wag" light automatic flasher folks have installed on their Motorcycles.
WTF? Two words: CHICKEN SHIT! Yielding the right away with a "courtesy flash" is failure to dim your high beams?! WTF?

We don't have a little too much time on our hands now do we, Mr Ocifer, sir?! Using "Ocifer Friendly's" logic, yes absolutely illegal--a felony!
Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Isn't there also a rule that if a vehicle maneuvers (pulls out, changes lanes, crosses traffic) in such a way that another vehicle has to brake to avoid a collision, the first vehicle is at fault?....
Yes--it's called failure to yield to oncoming traffic. Covered by several different sections of the (CA) vehicle code. But Ocifer Friendly went after the WRONG vehicle!

Have a nice day!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #7 of 9 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 6:14 am
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Re: Dear LEO's... a question..

Bottom line: no ticket. Just an info lesson.
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post #8 of 9 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 7:19 am
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Re: Dear LEO's... a question..

I was pulled over in San Marcus for having my high beams on .....during the day. He gave me a warning ticket that states "failed to dim on approach". Up until that point, I have alsways ridden with my high beam on during daylight hours.


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'99K1200LT - "Bertha" - gone, but not forgotten!
'86 Concours - "Horse with no name" (under reconstructive surgery)
'06 K1200GT - "Road Rocket"
Marshall, Tx


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post #9 of 9 Old Nov 6th, 2008, 8:06 am
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Re: Dear LEO's... a question..

This is a little off topic, but I just wanted to point out something. Whenever there is talk about a ticket regardless of whether it was deserved or not people seem to come out of the woodwork with their bad cop stories, or cop bashing.

I spent 27 years as a LEO and listened to stuff like this in silence for the most part. Iíll be the first to admit that the profession is not perfect and there are some bad apples in it. I cringe every time I see something in the press about a bad cop, because every good cop has now been tainted by the story.

Shortly after the Rodney King story, there were several incidents where a call was received and when the LEOís showed up a male subject confronted them and got very abusive. The back up officer spotted an individual in the window of the residence filming the incident. You could only think that they were hoping for the LEOís to do something that they could catch on film so they could sue.

The profession is not perfect, no profession is, and then no human is. However, it is one of the professions where the people put their life on the line everyday they go to work to protect others.

People will always remember the bad incidents longer then they remember the good oneís.

Rant over.

Bob Brendel
05 LT, Light Metallic Yellow
99 LT, Totaled 3/09
97 HD Former Work Bike
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People sleep peaceably in their beds at night

Only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf

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