Q: Are "Altezza" or European tail/brake lights and front marker lenses legal for street use in Oregon?
A: Oregon has adopted the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 for lighting equipment. The standard is very specific for tail/brake light lenses and front marker light lenses. The standard requires red lenses (not red bulbs) for the tail/brake lights and red rear and side reflex reflectors and red side marker lights. A separate rear side marker light and reflex reflector may also be allowed for the rear lighting system to meet the standard. The front side marker lens lights can be either white or amber (yellow) and must also have an amber (yellow) reflex reflector incorporated into the lens or have a separate side marker light and reflex reflector to meet the standard. So, the answer to the question is in most cases after-market (non-original equipment) "Altezza" or European tail/brake and front marker light lenses are NOT legal for street use in Oregon. They usually lack the required reflex reflectors and side marker lights.
For more information, visit the Motor Vehicle Lighting Standards web page
. (Note: the "Recalls" section.) Most of the after-market "Altezza" and European lenses have been recalled for not meeting FMVSS 108. (ORS 816.010)
Q: Some of the new bright headlights hurt my eyes, what can be done about that?
New vehicles are in compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Manufacturers are attempting to give the driver better ability to see.
Q: What about other after-market vehicle equipment being legal for street use?
A: When looking to purchase any after-market products for your vehicle, always look for the following labeling on the product:
If the product has one or more of the above, it will NOT be legal for street use in Oregon. Oregon has adopted all of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and equipment standards and manufacturers that do not meet these standards, label their products with the above statements for liability purposes and to notify the public that the product is not to be used on the street.
Also, be very wary of products that have the following labeling:
- "SAE or DOT Certified or Approved"
SAE and DOT do NOT certify or approve products. Manufacturers must meet or exceed SAE and/or DOT manufacturing standards to market their products for street use.
Some after-market lighting products marked "100% street legal" do NOT meet the federal lighting standard. You can check the website address listed in question 11 above, or contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
for lighting as well as any vehicle equipment to see if the product meets safety standards and is legal for street use. (ORS 815.010)for lighting as well as any vehicle equipment to see if the product meets safety standards and is legal for street use. (ORS 815.010)for lighting as well as any vehicle equipment to see if the product meets safety standards and is legal for street use. (ORS 815.010)for lighting as well as any vehicle equipment to see if the product meets safety standards and is legal for street use. (ORS 815.010)
Q: Are headlight, tail/brake light and license plate covers legal for street use in Oregon?
A: No. Headlight and tail/brake light covers do not meet the federal lighting standard (FMVSS 108) and Oregon has adopted the federal standard. Covers alter the light output and also reflectivity of reflex reflectors and may cover up the required square inches of lens and/or reflex reflectors required by FMSS 108. (ORS 816.010)
Q: What are the laws for using auxiliary lights or fog lights in Oregon?
A: Auxiliary driving lights and/or fog lights must be used like the high beam headlight system of your car. You must use a distribution of light or composite beam so aimed that the glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of the oncoming driver. Fog lights may be either white or amber (yellow). They may not be blue, bluish or any other color than white or amber.
Oregon Revised Statute (ORS 811.515 Section (8) states: A light other than a headlight, that projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than 300 candle power shall not be operated on a vehicle: (b) when use of low beams of the vehicle headlight system is required under limited visibility conditions.
ORS 801.325 "Limited visibility conditions means: (1) Any time from sunset to sunrise; and (2) Any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles are not clearly discernible on a straight, level, unlighted highway at a distance of 1,000 feet ahead."