Thinking of adding lighting? Read this first. | GTAMotorcycle.com

Thinking of adding lighting? Read this first.

Rob MacLennan

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Lamps required on motorcycles

62 (2) Subject to subsection (3), when on a highway at any time every motorcycle shall carry two lighted lamps in a conspicuous position, one on the front of the vehicle which shall display a white light only, and one on the rear of the vehicle which shall display a red light only. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (2).

Idem

(3) When on a highway at any time every motorcycle with a side car shall carry a lighted lamp in a conspicuous position on each side of the front of the vehicle which lamps shall display a white or amber light only and a lighted lamp on the rear of the vehicle which shall display a red light only. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (3).

Light requirement

(4) Any lamp required under subsection (1), (2) or (3) shall, when lighted, be clearly visible at a distance of at least 150 metres from the front or rear, as the case may be. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (4).

Exception

(5) Despite subsections (2) and (3), where a motorcycle that was manufactured prior to the 1st day of January, 1970 is operated on a highway, the lighted lamps required under subsections (2) and (3) shall be required only during the period from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise, or at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (5).

Strength of lamps

(6) Lamps on the front of a motor vehicle shall be so constructed, located, arranged and adjusted that when lighted as required by subsections (1), (2) and (3) they produce under normal atmospheric conditions and on a level road a driving light sufficient to render clearly discernible to the operator of the motor vehicle any person or vehicle on the highway within a distance of 110 metres ahead of the motor vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (6).

Attachment that affects lamps prohibited

(7) No person shall drive upon a highway a motor vehicle if either or both of the lamps that are required on the front of the vehicle by subsections (1), (2) and (3),

(a) are coated or covered with a coloured material; or


(b) have been modified by the attachment to the lamps or the motor vehicle of any device that reduces the effective area of the lenses or the intensity of the beam of the lamps. 2002, c. 18, Sched. P, s. 19 (1).

Exception

(7.1) Clause (7) (a) does not apply if the lamps are of the prescribed type or meet the prescribed standards. 2002, c. 18, Sched. P, s. 19 (1).


Intermittent red light restricted

(14) Subject to subsections (14.1) and (15), no person shall use a lamp, other than the vehicular hazard warning signal lamps commonly known as four way flashers, that produces intermittent flashes of red light. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (14); 2007, c. 13, s. 17 (1).

Red and blue lights to the front restricted

(14.1) In addition to the lighting requirements in this Part, a police department vehicle may carry lamps that cast red and blue lights, but no other motor vehicle shall carry any lamp that casts red and blue lights to the front. 2007, c. 13, s. 17 (2).

Red light in front


(15) In addition to the lighting requirements in this Part, a vehicle described in subsection (15.1) may carry lamps that cast a red light only or such other colour of light that may, with the approval of the ministry, be designated by a by-law of the municipality in which the vehicle is operated, but no other motor vehicle shall carry any lamp that casts a red light to the front. 1998, c. 35, s. 103.

Same


(15.1) The following are vehicles to which subsection (15) applies:
1. An ambulance, fire department vehicle, police department vehicle, public utility emergency vehicle or school bus.

2. A ministry vehicle operated by an officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of this Act or the Public Vehicles Act, while the officer is in the course of his or her employment.

3. A vehicle while operated by a conservation officer, fishery officer, provincial park officer or mine rescue training officer, while the officer is in the course of his or her employment.

4. A vehicle while operated by a provincial officer designated under the Environmental Protection Act, the Nutrient Management Act, 2002, the Ontario Water Resources Act, the Pesticides Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 or the Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, while the officer is in the course of his or her employment.

5. A prescribed class or type of vehicle, driven by a prescribed class of persons or engaged in a prescribed activity or in prescribed conditions or circumstances. 1998, c. 35, s. 103; 2002, c. 4, s. 64; 2002, c. 18, Sched. P, s. 19 (2); 2007, c. 13, s. 17 (3, 4); 2009, c. 19, s. 68 (1).

Green flashing light restricted


(16) The following persons may carry on or in his or her vehicle and operate a lamp that produces intermittent flashes of green light:
1. A firefighter, within the meaning of subsection 1 (1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, while proceeding to a fire or other emergency.
2. A prescribed class of volunteer medical responder, while driving a prescribed class or type of vehicle or engaging in a prescribed activity or in prescribed conditions or circumstances. 2007, c. 13, s. 17 (5).



Emergency vehicles


169.
(1) Despite section 168, highbeam headlamps that produce alternating flashes of white light may be used by a public utility emergency vehicle while responding to an emergency and by an emergency vehicle as defined in subsection 144 (1). R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 169 (1).

Alternating highbeams on other vehicles prohibited


(2) No person shall use highbeam headlamps that produce alternating flashes of white light on any vehicle other than a vehicle referred to in subsection (1). R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 169 (2).
 
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jeffjones

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And for people adding extra headlights and foglights.

No motor vehicle shall carry on the front thereof more than four lighted lamps that project a beam having an intensity of over 300 candela. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (9).
 

AngelEyez

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Great sticky, especially given all the recent threads asking questions about lighting modifications. Thank you!
 

just_luc

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And for people adding extra headlights and foglights.

No motor vehicle shall carry on the front thereof more than four lighted lamps that project a beam having an intensity of over 300 candela. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (9).
Huh.. I didn't know that one.. I guess that's why my high beams turn off when I turn on my factory fog lights and vice versa. Nifty.
 

fastar1

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Huh.. I didn't know that one.. I guess that's why my high beams turn off when I turn on my factory fog lights and vice versa. Nifty.
Probably because high beams work against fog lights, if there's actual fog.

Good sticky, but should add the section(s) relevant to headlight modulation.
 

A.K.

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Sooooo... My P3 auxiliary strobing brake lights and the wig-wag brake light flasher is illegal then. :-(

I hope they don't enforce this very strictly. I like the 4-second light show on my tail. After 4 seconds, all lights are solid. I had a few cops behind me, none of them said anything. So far. But technically they could have.
 

Rob MacLennan

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Sooooo... My P3 auxiliary strobing brake lights and the wig-wag brake light flasher is illegal then. :-(

I hope they don't enforce this very strictly. I like the 4-second light show on my tail. After 4 seconds, all lights are solid. I had a few cops behind me, none of them said anything. So far. But technically they could have.
The colour issues tend to be enforced. The others fall into the "Do you want fries with that?" ticket category, but you can be ticketed for them none the less.
 

Brian P

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Sooooo... My P3 auxiliary strobing brake lights and the wig-wag brake light flasher is illegal then. :-(

I hope they don't enforce this very strictly. I like the 4-second light show on my tail. After 4 seconds, all lights are solid. I had a few cops behind me, none of them said anything. So far. But technically they could have.
Headlight modulators on motorcycles are legal as long as they meet certain requirements - there is a section somewhere in CMVSS 108 or in the technical document that it includes by reference which covers these requirements.

Brake light modulators are technically illegal. My observation has been that most police officers that have a shred of common sense (and I fully recognize that not all of them do) won't go after a motorcyclist who is taking reasonable measures to increase their own visibility. If you light up the vehicle like a fire truck in response to applying the brake, that's not reasonable and is likely to attract the wrong type of attention. A brake light modulator on one or two brake lamps is unlikely to give trouble. It COULD, in theory ... but it's unlikely.

A brake lamp modulator on a single brake lamp is hard to distinguish from a situation where the rider himself is applying and releasing the brake.
 

A.K.

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I tend to agree with you Brian. My only concern is the wig-wag modulator. I have dual bulbs in my tail light and they flash 4 times alternatively, then 4 times together, and then they stay on until the brake is applied. The wig-wag portion of this sequence definitely grabs everybody's attention. Since I have that on my bike people tend to stop 5 meters behind me that I don't really mind.
 

Rob MacLennan

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Headlight modulators on motorcycles are legal as long as they meet certain requirements - there is a section somewhere in CMVSS 108 or in the technical document that it includes by reference which covers these requirements.

Brake light modulators are technically illegal. My observation has been that most police officers that have a shred of common sense (and I fully recognize that not all of them do) won't go after a motorcyclist who is taking reasonable measures to increase their own visibility. If you light up the vehicle like a fire truck in response to applying the brake, that's not reasonable and is likely to attract the wrong type of attention. A brake light modulator on one or two brake lamps is unlikely to give trouble. It COULD, in theory ... but it's unlikely.

A brake lamp modulator on a single brake lamp is hard to distinguish from a situation where the rider himself is applying and releasing the brake.
Unfortunately HTA 169 (2) would make for a valid charge, for a headlight modulator, unless said modulator was original equipment on a homologated bike.
 

A.K.

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Unfortunately HTA 169 (2) would make for a valid charge, for a headlight modulator, unless said modulator was original equipment on a homologated bike.
I'm a little confused. HTA 169 (2) talks about _alternating_ _flashes_. This does not apply to headlight modulators in two counts. One, it is not alternating, even if you have dual bulb headlights, they need to be modulated together, two, it is not flashing. Headlight modulator changes the intensity of the headlight between 70% and 17%

HTA 169: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90h08_e.htm#BK250
Headlight modulators: http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-Safety/Modulator-regs-canada.htm

Am I getting it wrong?
 
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Rob MacLennan

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I'm a little confused. HTA 169 (2) talks about _alternating_ _flashes_. This does not apply to headlight modulators in two counts. One, it is not alternating, even if you have dual bulb headlights, they need to be modulated together, two, it is not flashing. Headlight modulator changes the intensity of the headlight between 70% and 17%

HTA 169: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90h08_e.htm#BK250
Headlight modulators: http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-Safety/Modulator-regs-canada.htm

Am I getting it wrong?
I had already quoted the relevant section, in red, in my first post. The article on WebBikeWorld refers to the same information that BrianP mentioned, which comes from Transport Canada. The information that I'm referring to is from the Highway Traffic act and, because of the point that BrianP made, would likely only be applied to aftermarket modulator units. Would you want to be the one splitting the legal hairs as to what "alternating" means? My gut tells me that a JP would say on/off is an alternating condition.
 

Brian P

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Going between on and off is not "alternating". Left headlight on while the right one is off, followed by left headlight off when the right one is on, repeatedly, as police car headlights are wired, is what they mean by "alternating".

You're not going to get in trouble for using a headlight modulator in the daytime (and part of the CMVSS requirement is that it have an ambient light sensor to shut it off at night). If you get a ticket for it, you present the relevant section of CMVSS 108 and the declaration of conformity for the device that you have installed, and the ticket should go away ... in theory. The federal laws are supposed to trump anything that the provinces say.

Keep in mind that if you apply the same logic for a headlight modulator being illegal, then the rear turn signal on my car (which is red) is equally illegal because it produces "intermittent flashes of red light". The HTA excludes 4 way flashers, but strangely, it does not exclude turn signals. But nobody gets ticketed for having red turn signals because the car was built that way and it meets CMVSS 108 - the federal standards trump the province's dumb, poorly worded law.

It doesn't matter if the source of the flashing light came OEM or aftermarket. The declaration of conformity to CMVSS matters. My car has one. So should your headlight modulator.
 

Brian P

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There's a specific exclusion for signals/hazard lights.
"other than the vehicular hazard warning signal lamps commonly known as four way flashers"

Excludes four way flashers, I don't see how that excludes a turn signal that is not a four way flasher ...
 

Rob MacLennan

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"other than the vehicular hazard warning signal lamps commonly known as four way flashers"

Excludes four way flashers, I don't see how that excludes a turn signal that is not a four way flasher ...
You've got me there but as the hazard lights are actually the turn signals, on the vast majority of vehicles, it would seem rather stupid for a cop to charge you for it.
 

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