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Chapter 11 - Motor Vehicle Equipment

Chapter 11 - Motor Vehicle Equipment

22.1101 Head lamps and tail lamps.


Every vehicle upon a highway at any time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise, during heavy rainstorms, or at any other times when there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible any person or vehicle on the highway at a distance of 200 feet, must be equipped with lighted lamps and lighting devices as follows:

(a) Each side of the front of every motor vehicle, except motorcycles, must be equipped with at least 1, but not more than 2, head lamps. All head lamps must be located at a height of not more than 54 inches nor less than 24 inches, measured above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands.

(b) Every motorcycle or bicycle must be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible at least 500 feet to the front.

(c) All vehicles utilizing single beam head lamps must have lights positioned to illuminate persons and vehicles at a distance of not more than 200 feet and not less than 150 feet.

(d) All vehicles utilizing multiple beam head lamps must use the lower beam when an on¬coming vehicle approaches within 500 feet from the front and whenever the driver of the vehicle approaches another vehicle within 300 feet from the rear.

(e) Every motor vehicle, or vehicle being drawn at the end of a motor vehicle, must be equipped with 1 or more lighted rear lamps ex¬hibiting red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear. One of such rear lamps or a separate lamp, must be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear license tag and render it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear.

(f) Every bicycle must be equipped with a red reflector on the rear visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear.

(g) Motor vehicles shall not be modified with any aftermarket colored transparent or translucent substance or material installed, affixed or applied on or in front of the head lamps, the auxiliary driving lamp or the auxiliary passing lamp or combinations of the head lamps, driving lamp or passing lamp that would obstruct, reduce or interfere with the visibility or effectiveness of the head lamps, increase the beam intensity, or that would change the color of light emitted.

(h)(1) Except as provided in (h)(2) following, motor vehicles shall not be modified with any aftermarket lighting accessories that may alter the appearance of the original vehicle from the manufacturer. This is to include any lighting alterations in, on, around or under the vehicle.

(2) The prohibition in (h)(1) above shall not apply to police or authorized emergency vehicles, vehicles equipped for the purpose of warning of hazardous situations, or vehicles equipped with a lighting system intended to mark or signal a solemn procession or occasion.

22.1102 Stop lamps.


Every vehicle must be equipped with at least 1, but not more than 2 stop lamps on the rear of the vehicle, which must display a red or amber light, or any color between red and amber, visible from a distance of not less than 200 feet to the rear in normal sunlight and which must be actuated upon application of the service (foot) brake and which may, but need not, be incorporated with one or more other rear lamps.

22.1103 Lamp or flag on projecting load or part of a vehicle.


(a) Whenever the load upon any vehicle extends, or any integral part of any vehicle projects, to the rear 4 feet or more beyond the bed or body of such vehicle, there must be displayed at the extreme end of the load or projecting part of the vehicle, at the times specified in 22.1101, in addition to the required rear light, a light plainly visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of at least 500 feet to the sides and rear. At any other time, there must be displayed at the extreme end of such load or projecting part of the vehicle a red flag or red cloth not less than 16 inches square.

(b) Whenever the load upon any vehicle extends from the left side of such vehicle 1 foot or more to the left of the front hubcap on the left side, there must be displayed at the extreme left side of such load at the times specified in 22.1101, a lighted lantern or other light plainly visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of at least 300 feet to the left and to the front and rear of such vehicle.

22.1104 Dimming of head lamps on parked vehicles.


Any lighted head lamps on a parked vehicle must be depressed or dimmed.

22.1105 Lamps on vehicles not specifically covered by chapter.


Every motor vehicle, including bicycles and all other conveyances used on a highway, not specifically required by this chapter to be equipped with lamps or other lighting devices, must at all times, as specified in 22.1101, be equipped with a lamp emitting a white or yellow light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 300 feet in front of such vehicle and with a red reflector on the rear so designed as to be visible as least 300 feet directly in front of a motor vehicle displaying lawful dimmed head lamps or with a rear lamp exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear.

22.1106 Backup lamps.


Any motor vehicle may be equipped with 1 or more backup lamps either separately or in combination with other lamps, but any such backup lamp or lamps shall not be lighted when the motor vehicle is in forward motion.

22.1107 School bus lamps, signals and signs.


Every school bus purchased after 1 September 1971, in addition to any other equipment and distinctive markings required by this chapter, must:

(1) be equipped with signal lamps mounted as high and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, which shall be capable of displaying to the front 2 alternately flashing red lights located at the same level and to the rear two alternately flashing red lights located at the same level, which shall have sufficient intensity to be visible at 500 feet in normal sunlight;

(2) bear upon the front and rear thereof plainly visible signs containing the words “SCHOOL BUS” in letters not less than 8 inches in height, and, in addition, must be equipped with visual signals meeting the requirements of 22.1101 and 22.1102, which must be actuated by the driver of the school bus whenever, but only whenever, such vehicle is stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging schoolchildren.

22.1108 Brakes.


(a) Every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, when operated upon a highway, must be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold such vehicle, including 2 separate means of applying the brakes, each of which means shall be effective to apply the brakes to at least 2 wheels. If these 2 separate means of applying the brakes are connected in any way, they must be so constructed that failure of any one part of the operating mechanism will not leave the motor vehicle without brakes on at least 2 wheels.

(b) Any combination of motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer or other vehicle must be equipped with brakes upon one or more of such vehicles.

(c) Every motorcycle, and bicycle with motor attached, when operated upon a highway, must be equipped with at least one brake, which may be operated by hand or foot.

(d) All brakes must be maintained in good working order and shall conform to the regulations set forth in 22.1109.

22.1109 Standards for brakes.


(a) The brakes of a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be deemed adequate if, on a dry, hard, approximately level stretch of highway free from loose materials, such brakes are capable of stopping the motor vehicle combination of vehicles, when operating at speeds set forth in the following table, within the distance set opposite such speeds:

Miles per Hour Stopping Distance (in feet)

10 9.3

15 20.8

20 37.0

25 58.0

30 83.3

(b) The test to be used in determining whether vehicles meet the performance requirements set forth in subsection (a) must be conducted as prescribed by the Commissioner. The test may be conducted by the use of instruments suitable for the purpose approved by the United States Bureau of Standards. No vehicle may be tested for brake efficiency at a speed higher than that permitted by law for such vehicle.

22.1110 Horns.


(a) Every motor vehicle, when operated upon a highway, must be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions for a distance of not less than 200 feet, but no horn shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound.

(b) The driver of a motor vehicle, when reasonably necessary to insure its safe operation, shall give audible warning with his horn. Such horn shall not otherwise be used.

22.1111 Muffler and exhaust systems.


(a) Any motor vehicle on a highway must at all times be equipped with a muffler to prevent any excessive or unusual noise.

(b) No muffler or exhaust system may be equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device, and no person may modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of such vehicle above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle.

(c) All exhaust pipes must be parallel to the ground and the vehicle, or vertical, and the exhaust from such pipes may not be directed to the side of the vehicle.

22.1112 Mirrors.


Every motor vehicle must be equipped with a mirror located so as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear.

22.1113 Windshields, windows, and wipers.


(a) No person may drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, side wings or side or rear windows which materially ob-structs, obscures or impairs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.

(b) The windshield on every motor vehicle must be equipped with a device for clearing rain or other moisture from the windshield, which device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver of the vehicle.

(c) Every windshield wiper upon a motor vehicle must be maintained in good working order.

22.1130 Motorcycles engine size limits-Exception.


The maximum engine size limits for motorcycles is 1200 cubic centimeters.

22.1131 Motorcycle protective devices-Penalty.


(a) It is unlawful for a person to operate a motorcycle or motor scooter on any public roadway in the Territory unless he and any passenger he carries on the vehicle wears:

(1) a safety helmet on the head. securely fastened with a chin strap;

(2) safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield in the case of a motorcycle or motor scooter that is not equipped with windscreens or windshields; and

(3) other protective devices required by rules adopted by the commissioner of public safety under 4.1001 et seq.

(b) The penalty, upon conviction, for a violation of this section is a fine of not more than $25, or imprisonment for not more than 1 month, or both.

22.1141 Exceptions to operation of chapter.


The provisions of this chapter relating to equipment required on vehicles shall not apply to implements of husbandry, road machinery, road rollers, farm tractors, motorcycles or motor-driven cycles, except as made applicable by this chapter.

22.1142 Exclusion of emergency warning equipment from unauthorized vehicles.


Only authorized emergency vehicles may be equipped with the following:

(1) sirens or siren-like devices other than horns;

(2) any red or blue light visible from the front center portion of any vehicle;

(3) flashing lights other than turn signals or headlights and taillights used to warn others of a particular hazard;

(4) any other special warning device which the Commissioner has designated for use on emergency vehicles.

22.1143 Sound amplification systems.


(a) No driver of a motor vehicle shall operate, or permit the operation of, any sound amplification system which can be heard outside the vehicle from 50 or more feet when the vehicle is being operated upon a highway, unless that system is being operated to request assistance or warn of a hazardous situation.

(b) This section does not apply to Department of Public Safety vehicles, authorized emergency vehicles or to sound systems of vehicles used in properly permitted parades.

(c) Section 22.1150 notwithstanding, violation of this section shall be an infraction.

22.1150 General misdemeanor provision.


It is a class B misdemeanor for any person to drive or move, or for the owner to cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved, on any highway, any vehicle or combination of vehicles in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person, or which does not contain those parts, or is not at all times equipped with such lamps and other equipment, in proper condition and adjustment, as is required by this chapter, or which is equipped in any manner in violation of this chapter, or for any person to do any act forbidden, or fail to perform any act required, under this chapter.