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This website is devoted to bringing you information about the traffic laws in the State of New Jersey. Here you can find information about tickets, fines, points, surcharges, and more.

39:3-61 Failure to equip motor vehicle with lamps and reflectors required, improper lamps violations

Full Statute Text:

(a) Every motor vehicle other than a motor cycle and other than a motor-drawn vehicle shall be equipped on the front with at least 2 headlamps, an equal number at each side, and with 2 turn signals, one on each side; and on the rear with 2 tail lamps, 2 stop lamps, 2 turn signals and 2 reflectors, one of each at each side; except that a passenger vehicle manufactured before July 2, 1954, and registered in this State may be equipped with one stop lamp, one reflector and one tail lamp and is not required to be equipped with turn signals. In addition, every such vehicle shall be equipped with adequate license plate illumination, and with one or more lamps capable of providing parking light as required in section 39:3-62. Turn signals are not required on the rear of a truck tractor equipped with double-faced turn signals on or near the front and so constructed and located as to be visible to passing drivers.

(b) Every truck tractor manufactured after January 1, 1965, shall be equipped on the front with 2 clearance lamps, one at each side, and 3 identification lamps, which shall be in addition to the lamps provided for in paragraph (a) of this section. Where the cab is not more than 42 inches wide at the front roof line, a single lamp at the center of the cab shall be deemed to comply with the requirement for front identification lamps. Reflectors required on the rear of a truck tractor may be located on the rear of the cab, one at each side.

(c) Every truck 80 inches or more in over-all width except a dump truck and except a truck 80 inches or more in over-all width which is not in excess of 25 feet in over-all length and manufactured prior to January 1, 1965, shall be equipped with the following lamps and reflectors in addition to those provided for in paragraph (a) of this section;

On the front, 2 clearance lamps, one at each side, and 3 identification lamps except that where the cab is not more than 42 inches wide at the front roof line, a single lamp at the center of the cab shall be deemed to comply with the requirement for front identification lamps;

On the rear, 2 clearance lamps, one at each side, and 3 identification lamps;

On each side, one side-marker lamp and one reflector at or near the front, and one side-marker lamp and one reflector at or near the rear.

(d) Every trailer or semitrailer shall be equipped on the rear with 2 tail lamps, 2 stop lamps, 2 turn signals and 2 reflectors, one of each at each side, and with adequate license plate illumination.

(e) Every trailer or semitrailer 80 inches or more in over-all width, except a dump truck trailer, a dump truck semitrailer or a converter dolly, shall be equipped with the following lamps and reflectors in addition to those provided for in paragraph (d) of this section:

On the front, 2 clearance lamps, one at each side;

On the rear, 2 clearance lamps, one at each side, and except with respect to cable reel trailers, 3 identification lamps;

On each side, one side-marker lamp and one reflector at or near the front, and one side-marker lamp and one reflector at or near the rear; and on any such vehicle 30 feet or more in length, at least one additional side-marker lamp at optional height and at least one additional reflector, the additional lamp (or lamps) and reflector (or reflectors) to be at or near the center or at approximately uniform spacing in the length of the vehicle.

(f) Every pole trailer shall be equipped as follows:

On the rear, 2 tail lamps, one at each side; 2 stop lamps, one at each side; 2 turn signals, one at each side; 2 reflectors, one at each side, placed to indicate extreme width of the pole trailer; 3 identification lamps mounted on the vertical center line of the pole trailer or in lieu thereof mounted on the vertical center line of the rear of the cab of the truck tractor drawing the pole trailer and higher than the load being transported.

On each side, one amber side-marker lamp at or near the front of the load; one amber reflector at or near the front of the load; on the rearmost support for the load, one combination marker lamp showing amber to the front and red to the rear and side, mounted to indicate maximum width of the pole trailer; on the rearmost support for the load, one red reflector.

Nothing in this subsection (f) shall apply to a single axle, skeleton frame trailer, not exceeding 2,500 pounds net weight and not exceeding 80 inches in over-all width which is designed to transport poles and is owned by a public utility as defined in section 48:2-13 of the Revised Statutes except that such vehicles shall be required to have on the rear, 2 tail lamps, one at each side; 2 stop lamps, one at each side; 2 turn signals, one at each side; 2 reflectors, one at each side on each side; and one amber side-marker lamp at or near the front of the load.

(g) Every converter dolly not permanently attached to a semitrailer shall be equipped on the rear with one stop lamp, one tail lamp, 2 reflectors, one at each side, and adequate license plate illumination. These lamps need be lighted only when the converter dolly is being towed singly by another vehicle. A "converter dolly" is a vehicle with a fifth wheel lower half or equivalent mechanism, the attachment of which converts a semitrailer to a trailer.

(h) Every motor cycle shall be equipped with at least one and not more than 2 headlamps, one tail lamp, one stop lamp, at least one reflector on the rear, adequate license plate illumination and, if a side car or any other extension is attached to the side thereof, one lamp located on the outside limit of the attachment capable of displaying white light to the front.

(i) Required lamps and reflectors shall be of a type approved by the director. Turn signals shall be Class A Type 1 lamps except that on passenger cars, and on commercial vehicles less than 80 inches in over-all width they may be Class B lamps. Reflectors shall be Class A reflex reflectors except that on passenger cars they may be Class B reflex reflectors.

(j) Required headlamps, tail lamps, clearance lamps, identification lamps and side-marker lamps shall be lighted and adequate license plate illumination displayed whenever the vehicle other than a converter dolly is upon a highway when lighted lamps are required except when parked and exhibiting lights as provided for in section 39:3-62 or when stopped and displaying emergency warning lights or devices as provided for in section 39:3-64 or section 39:3-54. Lamps on a converter dolly shall be lighted as provided for in paragraph (g) of this section. Turn signals on the side toward which a vehicle turn is made shall be flashed to indicate the turning movement. Stop lamps shall be lighted as provided in section 9 of this act.

(k) License plate illumination will be deemed to be adequate when either a tail lamp or a separate lamp is so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate on a vehicle and render it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. Any lamp or lamps providing such illumination shall be lighted whenever the headlamps or other driving lamps are lighted.

(l) Whenever a law enforcement officer detects a motor vehicle with a lamp not in working order, the driver may be permitted to park the vehicle temporarily at some safe place nearby and make the necessary repairs or replacement to restore the lamp to working order before moving the vehicle, in which event, there is no violation of this Title.

(m) Every motorbus manufactured before January 1, 1960, that has been inspected and approved as to construction and safety devices by the Board of Public Utility Commissioners shall be deemed in compliance with the requirements of this section.

Amended by L.1953, c. 237, p. 1755, s. 1; L.1958, c. 112, p. 584, s. 1; L.1959, c. 187, p. 757, s. 1; L.1962, c. 247, s. 1; L.1964, c. 136, s. 6; L.1964, c. 281, s. 1.

39:3-61.1. Mounting of lamps and reflectors
Lamps and reflectors required by section 39:3-61 shall be mounted on a vehicle as follows:

(a) Every lamp and every reflector shall be permanently and securely mounted in a workmanlike manner on a permanent part of the vehicle.

(b) When two lamps or two reflectors of the same type are required on the front or on the rear of a vehicle, they shall be mounted at the same level and spaced as widely laterally as practicable.

(c) The mounted height of a lamp or reflector shall be measured from the center thereof to the level surface upon which the vehicle stands.

(d) Headlamps shall be so mounted that their beams are readily adjustable, both vertically and horizontally, and their aim is not readily disturbed by ordinary conditions of service. The mounted height of headlamps shall be not more than 54 inches nor less than 24 inches, but these height requirements shall not apply to trucks prepared for snowplowing.

(e) The mounted height of tail lamps shall be not more than 72 inches nor less than 15 inches; eye-level tail lamps may be mounted outside the passenger vehicle; provided their height does not exceed 72 inches. Rear lamps may be mounted higher than 72 inches on any vehicle designed for carrying flammable liquids as a cargo.

(f) Clearance lamps shall be mounted to indicate the extreme width and height of the vehicle so far as is practicable, except that on a truck tractor, they shall be mounted to indicate the extreme width of the cab. On flatbed vehicles and vehicles designed for carrying flammable liquids, rear clearance lamps may be located on the chassis, and front clearance lamps may be located on the cab of trucks or truck tractors or the vehicle's chassis, provided the lamps are clearly visible from a distance of 500 feet in the direction set forth therefor.

(g) Side-marker lamps may be mounted at optional height on the side of a vehicle.

(h) Turn signals required on the rear of a truck tractor not equipped with double-faced turn signals on or near the front shall be mounted on the rear in a manner to be visible to passing drivers.

(i) Identification lamps shall be mounted on the front and rear of the vehicle as close as practicable to the vertical center line of the vehicle, and shall be grouped in a horizontal row, with lamp centers spaced not less than six nor more than 12 inches apart; provided, however, that where the cab is not more than 42 inches wide at the front roof line, a single identification lamp at the center line of the cab shall be deemed to comply with the requirements for front identification lamps. No part of front identification lamps or their mountings may extend below the top of the vehicle windshield. Rear identification lamps on a truck, trailer, or semi-trailer need not be lighted if they are obscured by another vehicle towed by the truck or in the same combination of vehicles.

(j) The mounted height of reflectors shall be not less than 20 inches nor more than 60 inches. Every reflector shall be so installed in a workmanlike manner as to perform its function adequately, and to provide maximum stability and minimum likelihood of damage. Any reflector otherwise properly mounted may be securely installed on flexible strapping or belting; provided that under conditions of normal operation it reflects light in the required direction.

(k) The director in his discretion may prescribe additional requirements for mounting lamps or reflectors on vehicles, provided they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this article.

L.1964, c. 136, s. 7. Amended by L.1983, c. 59, s. 1, eff. Feb. 7, 1983; L.1984, c. 145, s. 1, eff. Sept. 8, 1984.

39:3-61.2. Combination of lighting devices and reflectors; prohibited combinations
(a) Any 2 or more lighting devices and reflectors may be combined into one shell or housing except as stated below, provided that the requirements for each required lighting device or reflector are met and that neither the mounting nor the use of any nonrequired lighting device is inconsistent with this article in any respect:

(1) No turn signal may be combined with a headlamp or other lighting device or combination of lighting devices capable of producing a greater intensity of light than the turn signal when the turn signal is operating.

(2) No turn signal may be combined with a stop lamp unless the arrangement of switches or other parts is such that the stop light is extinguished whenever the turn signal is in use.

(3) No clearance lamp may be combined with a tail lamp or an identification lamp.

(b) Any lamp or lamps combined in the same shell or housing with a turn signal may be turned off by the same switch that turns the signal on for flashing, and turned on again when the turn signal as such is turned off.

L.1964, c. 136, s. 8.

39:3-61.3. Stop lamps; construction, placement and use
Every stop lamp shall be so constructed, placed and used as to indicate by a substantial increase in illumination that the service brakes of the vehicle have been applied, except as otherwise provided in this section. Stop lamps are not required to be lighted when the emergency feature of trailer brakes is activated by means of either manual or automatic control on the towing vehicle. Stop lamps on a towing vehicle need not be lighted when service brakes are applied to the towed vehicle or vehicles only. No stop lamp need be lighted as such when it is in use as a turn signal or when it is turned off by the turn signal switch as provided in paragraph (b) of section 8 of this act.

L.1964, c. 136, s. 9.