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R56 Rear fog light ticket!

  #1  
Old 10-26-2008, 05:05 PM
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Rear fog light ticket!

So I was traveling from Long Island, NY to Rutland, VT. About 80 miles north of Albany I got stopped by a state trooper. He started asking me about my lights on the back of my car. He said they were improper and looked like brake lights. I told him they were fog lights, he said he never heard of them! He also said I was going 80 in 65 (cruise control was on) but the main reason for being pulled over was the lights. He ran my info and came back and told me he would just give me a parking ticket and send me on my way. Told me not to do more than 75. Any on else get this treatment?
 
  #2  
Old 10-26-2008, 05:24 PM
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Was it foggy or raining out?
 
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:25 PM
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lol you pissst off a cop
 
  #4  
Old 10-26-2008, 05:31 PM
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Rear fog lights are illegal in many states . You would think your MA or Mini would tell you such things...
 
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:32 PM
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No, use of rear fog light is illegal. Check you local laws for proper operation.
 
  #6  
Old 10-26-2008, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by r52pimp View Post
No, use of rear fog light is illegal. Check you local laws for proper operation.
So what's the use in having them if you can use them in a state where the "use" is illegal?
 
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:46 PM
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You just as easily ask why there are different speed limits in different areas. But to answer your question, probably because some civil employee could not afford a car with one and felt jealous.
 
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by r52pimp View Post
You just as easily ask why there are different speed limits in different areas. But to answer your question, probably because some civil employee could not afford a car with one and felt jealous.
Don't forget they look cool too...
 
  #9  
Old 10-26-2008, 05:51 PM
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Barney Fife and HIS infinite Wisdom...I guess??!! You weren't even in Redneckville!! WHAT PARKING TICKET?? If he pulled you over?, you only parked after that fact...correct??
 
  #10  
Old 10-26-2008, 05:57 PM
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If it isn't a low visibility condition then rear fogs are absolutely not necessary. I'm not sure if it warrants a ticket, though, so you might be able to fight it.
 
  #11  
Old 10-26-2008, 06:21 PM
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I always thought the Volvo rear foglight was weird. I have not seen MINI rear foglamps in action but I can assume they look like the brakes are on all the time.
 
  #12  
Old 10-26-2008, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DanF View Post
Was it foggy or raining out?
Good question. I save fogs (front and rear) for really bad or otherwise appropriate conditions. It's a little easier to justify using them if visibility is severely compromised.
 
  #13  
Old 10-26-2008, 06:32 PM
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Earlier this evening, my son & I were motoring on US58-West in Suffolk, VA. We were approaching the "Downtown Bypass" when I heard a honk to my left; it was another MINI. They sped up & got in front of me and they were running their rear fog light...man was it BRIGHT!

I have rear fogs on Schultze and I don't run 'em unless it's foggy or I'm motoring in a torrential downpour. It wasn't until tonight that I realized how bright the rear fog is and how easily it can be mistaken for a brake light that is always on.
 
  #14  
Old 10-26-2008, 06:41 PM
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Erika, I agree. Tyler runs his right often on his yellow MCS. They are bright and I worry someone won't see his brake lights. I'm glad our Clubman only has them on one side. And like you, when driving his MINI I only run them when they're needed.

Maybe someone needs to do a quick search and see what states consider hem illegal.
 
  #15  
Old 10-26-2008, 07:03 PM
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Well, if you had it on and it wasn't raining or foggy, maybe he thought it was a busted lens. On the other hand you were speeding and he gave you an out, a non-moving violation. It's unfortunate that you got any ticket at all, but be glad it wasn't worse.
I had the same thing happen many years ago when I was running no front plate- which I no longer do- I made an accidental turn down the wrong lane of an offramp in Teaneck, where the lines were worn out and there was no obvious sign saying "no right turn"... I was going to look at a '65 Mustang, and this was before GPS, so I was looking at directions and didn't see his lights for a few blocks. He didn't use a siren, either.
Thankfully I just got the no front plate fine. Sucked, but it was better than a moving violation, even though I might have fought that in court since the town was negligent in maintaining proper safety markers.
 
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by stan11003 View Post
So I was traveling from Long Island, NY to Rutland, VT. About 80 miles north of Albany I got stopped by a state trooper. He started asking me about my lights on the back of my car. He said they were improper and looked like brake lights. I told him they were fog lights, he said he never heard of them! He also said I was going 80 in 65 (cruise control was on) but the main reason for being pulled over was the lights. He ran my info and came back and told me he would just give me a parking ticket and send me on my way. Told me not to do more than 75. Any on else get this treatment?
You were doing 25 over the limit, and you got a parking ticket? ..and your complaint is????
 
  #17  
Old 10-26-2008, 07:21 PM
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Geez... I run mine all the time but only because I like the way they look on the R56. I think thats coming to an end after reading this.
 
  #18  
Old 10-26-2008, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by miniclubman View Post
You were doing 25 over the limit, and you got a parking ticket? ..and your complaint is????
Uhh no, he was allegedly doing 15 over, but I don't think that was the point of his post.
 
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by miniclubman View Post
You were doing 25 over the limit, and you got a parking ticket? ..and your complaint is????
15 mph over.
 
  #20  
Old 10-26-2008, 08:39 PM
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Okay, I'm not an attorney, I'm not fluent in the US Motor Vehicle code, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night. I also haven't been able to chase down the exact regulations to confirm this, BUT...

I'd be willing to wager that the rear fog is legal; at the very least legal in the state where you bought the car, if not 50-state legal. Here's why:

MINI is responsible for the compliance of their cars with all safety requirements under the law. This includes, for instance the number, type, color, and brightness of all lights, the number and operation of seatbelts and passive restraint systems, emission systems, braking systems, tires, ... and on and on.

States or municipalities cannot *****-nilly create exceptions to the Federal standards. The only notable exception to this that I can think of is California's emissions standards. For instance, West Virginia can't decide that OE headlamps have to be pink in color, Oregon can't say that turn signals have to blink slower than 1hz, and Florida can't say that OE tires have to have 2/10 deeper tread than other states.

Having said that, given the probability of fines for non-compliance with Federal statute, it is virtually certain that MINI delivered your car with perfectly legal rear fog lamps.

Now, just like front fogs, if you were using them in an improper manner, such as on a clear dry night or during the day--yer on yer own.
 
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:42 PM
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I don't know how bright the R56 rear fogs are, but the 1st gen rear fog is bright enough to be annoying when not in the fog. I could easily imagine that it might attract the attention of law enforcement.
 
  #22  
Old 10-26-2008, 10:01 PM
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Here is the Kali reg:

A vehicle may be equipped with not more than two red fog tail lamps mounted on the rear which may be lighted, in addition to the required tail lamps, 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.

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

The lamps shall be mounted not lower than 12 inches nor higher than 60 inches

The edge of the lens of the lamp shall be no closer than four inches from the edge of the
lens of any stop lamp.

A non-flashing amber pilot light that is lighted when the lamps are turned on shall be mounted in a location readily visible to the driver.
 
  #23  
Old 10-27-2008, 04:57 AM
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Darn, facts can be so irritating! They limit discussion on threads where folks can otherwise just rave on and on with their opinions...
 
  #24  
Old 10-27-2008, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rkw View Post
I don't know how bright the R56 rear fogs are, but the 1st gen rear fog is bright enough to be annoying when not in the fog. I could easily imagine that it might attract the attention of law enforcement.
+1
The first rule of avoiding roadside conversations with a policeman is avoid drawing attention to your self.

Re: legality. Not exactly a cite from statute, but from the NYS DMV Internet Office - New Driver Study Guide

DRIVING IN RAIN, FOG, OR SNOW

... Some vehicles have front fog lights, or front and rear fog lights, for use when heavy fog or similar hazardous weather conditions seriously restrict the driver's visibility. In New York State, all fog lights must be properly installed and of a type approved by the Commissioner of DMV. Front fog lights may be amber or white in color. Rear fog lights must be red and may be larger than the vehicle's regular taillights - they are intended to give advanced warning of your vehicle's presence to the drivers behind you. When visibility improves, you should switch off your vehicle's rear fog lights to reduce the glare that might affect other drivers.
(emphasis added)
 
  #25  
Old 10-27-2008, 06:52 AM
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I can speak from first hand experience that the rear fogs can be quite distracting and a little dangerous when not used properly.

I was up at the dragon this weekend for MSSD and went out motoring with friends. It was dark and a little foggy at one point but not so foggy that I couldn't see around me. Well wbarnhill turns his fogs on and I immediately went blind. It's like having the brakes on all the time. Once he he hit his brake, forget about it. I was well and truly blind.

Morel of the story, only use your rear fogs when rear visibility may be an issue (extreme rain, fog, etc).
 

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