Law enforcement cracks down on illegal vehicle lighting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Butler County law enforcement officials will soon begin cracking down on illegal vehicle lights as the problem with such lighting continues to grow.

Butler County District Attorney John Andrews and Greenville Police Captain Danny Campbell said the lights are legal until the vehicle enters a public roadway.

"You can have them on, but only in a parking lot or on private land," Campbell said. "Once the car is on the street, the lights must be turned off."

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Campbell said the law states that the only lights that are legal to have on the front of a vehicle are white and yellow lights. The halogen lights that are now used on cars are legal, however, as they are not blue lights even though they give off a bluish-tinted light.

At the rear of a vehicle, the only lights legal are white and red lights. According to Campbell, any lights that resemble police lights are illegal as well.

"People put lights all over their cars," Campbell said. "No blue lights are allowed on the road and people just cannot have lights that could be mistaken for police lights."

Andrews echoed this statement as he said that the blue lights could cause problems for law enforcement officials who are attempting to pull a vehicle over. "These things are dangerous and could cause legitimate law enforcement officials problems," he said.

He added that people with illegal lighting on their vehicles, and those who sell the lights, will be prosecuted.

"The way I understand the law, these lights are illegal," Andrews said. "And I intend to prosecute these people who have them on their cars. Mamas and daddies better understand that. It's gonna cost them some money."

Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram said he feels many people are unaware of what is legal and what is illegal. "I hope that this information will let people know what is legal and what is illegal."

He said law enforcement officials are especially concerned with people using blue lights in their vehicles. He said people should comply with the laws and save law enforcement officers the time and trouble of writing tickets for the offenses.

"We hope to have voluntary compliance, and hope people will not put illegal lights on their vehicles," Ingram said.

According to the Butler County Circuit Clerk's Office, the ticket cost for an illegal vehicle light offense is $168.