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Teen Girl Faces Jail Time For Blue Lights On Car

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#41 of 92 Mark Shannon

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Posted June 01 2003 - 02:12 AM

I don't care how old you are, break the law and I'd call an 85 year old a "punk"

But you see the thing is, she had no idea she was breaking the law. If it was deliberate, sure, I'd call her a punk as well, but to the best of her knowledge, she wasn't doing anything wrong.

#42 of 92 MarkHastings


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Posted June 01 2003 - 02:34 AM

But you see the thing is, she had no idea she was breaking the law.
To a certain degree I understand what you are saying. But in the end, ignorance shouldn't be an excuse to not accept the consequences of your actions.

Maybe this case might be slightly different (because the girl may have been lead to believe they are legal), but there are plenty out there that understand that what they are doing is 'illegal' and these are the ones I consider "punks" because they feel they are above the law.

and p.s. The definition of a punk can mean "A young person", but it's used more as the definition of a young person who goes against the culture of society.

#43 of 92 Philip_G



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Posted June 01 2003 - 03:50 AM

she's either lying or her source is an idiot.

well.. she does say her source was a cop.. if the shoe fits.. Posted Image

#44 of 92 Greg*go


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Posted June 01 2003 - 04:51 AM

She should've never fought this battle in court, it would be like going to court and saying "But judge, I thought the speed limit was still 55 mph after I got off the highway since I didn't see any signs stating otherwise." As Mark stated, ignorance is not an excuse. In the PA state drivers manual it tells you what color lights you can use on your automobile. One should realize that if a color isn't mentioned there, then it's probably not legal.

And what the hell is a resource officer? Does this mean that GA schools keep a cop on duty inside every school just to answer the kids questions? Don't these kids know how to read? This country is going to hell in a handbasket!
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#45 of 92 Scott Bourden

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Posted June 01 2003 - 04:57 AM

Bad taste called, they want their tacky lights back.

stupid typo

#46 of 92 MarcVH


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Posted June 01 2003 - 05:18 AM

The article quite explicitly notes that the reporter asked various law enforcement agencies whether the lights are illegal, and got a variety of answers. So (unless you think the reporter was lying) it is established that some LEOs think they're OK.

Clearly her mistake was going into court without an attorney, assuming that the magistrate would behave reasonably. Pity.

#47 of 92 Tim Abbott

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Posted June 01 2003 - 06:05 AM

Now I understand why the officer gave her a ticket.

LOL!! This is one of the funniest (unintentionally, too) threads I have read in a LONG time....

Thanks for the good laugh!Posted Image

#48 of 92 Vickie_M



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Posted June 01 2003 - 12:09 PM

It's a bizarre story but frankly, I'm still trying to work my head around BLUE lights on police cars!?! THAT'S bizarre!
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#49 of 92 MarkHastings


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Posted June 01 2003 - 12:37 PM

Here's a quote I found
Any type of accent lighting is illegal for a vehicle used on the road. The best guide is just to maintain the stock lighting that came with the car when new. (Certain auxiliary brake lamps are permitted, sometimes referred to as deck lamps, but they must be approved by SAE - just look for the SAE imprint on the lens cover)
As MarcVH points out, she got a variety of different answers on wether they're illegal.

So, if there's the slightest doubt...assume it's illegal.

#50 of 92 Joel Mack

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Posted June 01 2003 - 01:48 PM

But honestly, does a teenage girl really need to spend a day in jail over it?

#51 of 92 Matt Stryker

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Posted June 01 2003 - 02:01 PM

And what the hell is a resource officer?

Usually the resource officer is tasked with ensuring the students safety, trying to keep drugs out, etc. Although we used to ask ours quite regularly about legal issues, what people usually get arrested for, rights questions, stuff like that. From the way he portrayed it, it was a pretty nice gig to have. That was long before Columbine though.

#52 of 92 MarkHastings


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Posted June 01 2003 - 02:32 PM

does a teenage girl really need to spend a day in jail over it?
Oh, yes I believe the jail time thing is way overboard. Maybe if they suspended her license for a bit, that would have been better.

#53 of 92 Allen_Appel


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Posted June 01 2003 - 03:48 PM

I can't say I've ever noticed those "Cobra eyes" on a car before. However, I have been distracted almost to the point of pulling over by people who hang a CD from their rear-view mirrors. They revolve and flash a prism of colors, closely mimicking an emergency light.

#54 of 92 Henry Carmona

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Posted June 01 2003 - 06:46 PM


You gotta be kidding Allen right?

Maybe i should try that to get people outta my way Posted Image
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#55 of 92 Chris Beveridge

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Posted June 02 2003 - 12:03 AM

I'd never even heard of these things before, can't even say that I've seen anything remotely like it on the roads here in MA and NH that I drive on.

#56 of 92 Lee L

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Posted June 02 2003 - 01:23 AM

The reason states have laws agains having blue lights on cars is because most states and municipalites do use blue lights for police cars and they don't want people confused but it is also for public safety. There have been at least two cases in the Raleigh area in the last few years where drivers have used blue flashing police style lights in their cars to pull women over and sexually asssault and rape them. Cops want there to be no mistake that when blue lights flash in a car behind you that it is a real cop so they enforce these laws pretty aggressively, also it gives them one more charge to pile on someone or at least hold someone in jail until they can be determined to be a sexual predator or not.

Now, it does seem silly that they put an 18 year old girl in jail over this even for a short time but the laws were certainly written before LED's had been used on a single car and the only blue light anyone could think about installing was a large rotating reflector with a blue cover on it. It is totally possible if not probable that the law makes no distinction between any type of blue lighting. Maybe it might be a good idea to allow certain types of led lights as long as they don't flash but then how would you deal with an array of blue led's which can be just as bright as a regular police light?
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#57 of 92 Shayne Lebrun

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Posted June 02 2003 - 04:25 AM

Just to play devil's advocate, I'd say that at night, on a bumpy road, these could easily produce a rythmic flashing effect; many is the time I've been heading home around here, on a bumpy road, and I've thought the guy behind me was repeatedly flashing his headlights at me only to realize that he's just going over bumps, which means his beams are pointing at the sky, me, ground, me, and so on.

Also, a few times, on a really clear night with a full moon, going down my road, which is heavily forrested, I've thought there were blue sirens up ahead, when it's only the moon peeking through the branches as I travel along.

It's not that farfetched.

#58 of 92 MarkHastings


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Posted June 02 2003 - 04:41 AM

I agree with Shayne, there are FAR too many things that distract your attention on the road. Adding to it is not good. People have come to understand lights on the roads and their meanings. Even the best of drivers can be distracted or confused by a light that is misplaced or not in a place we come to expect it.

The blue light is supposed to IMMEDIATELY trigger a warning in your brain that an emergency vehicle is approaching. If people start putting blue lights on their cars, we will all start becoming accustomed to them and the immediate response of "Danger" when we see a blue light will slowly diminish, leaving the roads VERY unsafe for emergency vehicles to travel.

The last thing you want (when you are waiting for an ambulance to arrive) is to have it arrive late because people wouldn't allow the ambulance to pass due to the fact that they didn't realize that it was an emergency vehicle.

To reiterate what Shayne said:
It's not that farfetched.

#59 of 92 Rob Gardiner

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Posted June 02 2003 - 04:47 AM

Maybe a fair punishment would have been to confiscate the LED and give the driver a stern warning and some probation.

#60 of 92 Ryan Wright

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Posted June 02 2003 - 04:54 AM

So the cops have no idea whether it is actually illegal or not!
This happened in my community with those under-car neon kits some 10 years ago. The kids were putting them on their cars, and the law considered them legal so long as the bulb was not visible. In other words, you had to see the light from the reflection off the ground - not directly from the bulb. So as long as the kits were properly installed, they were legal.

The cops handed out threats and tickets left and right, to the point that local audio shops (who sold and installed the lighting) got into the battle. Enough people were illegally harassed and fined over it that sales took a major dive. It was a very short lived thing - maybe a couple of months - and now you never see those neon kits anymore.

I personally thought they were neat. Posted Image

Besides emergency vehicles, cars are not allowed to have blue lights.
No, you're wrong (at least in most areas). You aren't allowed to have rotating, flashing blue lights. These little blue LEDs that snap onto your car's windshield washer ports are in most places perfectly legal.

The potential for these lights to cause serious accidents
You've obviously never seen these lights. There is no potential for them to cause accidents of any sort. They're little blue LEDs that point towards the front of the car. The headlights mostly drown them out. At worst, you see a car coming towards you with two tiny blue specks on the hood. Cause a serious accident? Posted Image

One should realize that if a color isn't mentioned there, then it's probably not legal.
That's incorrect and scary thinking. What have we come as a society, when we can't do anything unless there is a law that says it's OK?

I'm sorry, but it doesn't work that way. If the law doesn't mention it, then one should assume he is free to do it.

Maybe if they suspended her license for a bit, that would have been better.
What?!?! If they're illegal, you order her to remove them. Simple, and solves the problem. Suspending her license? What good is that going to do?! For crying out loud, a police officer told her they were perfectly legal. Then her parents called the county sheriff's department and they confirmed that the lights were legal. The girl did her homework here! If it turns out the lights aren't legal, the worst she deserves is an order to remove them from her vehicle. Period!

I suspect some members here are coming down hard on this girl simply because they don't like the latest craze these kids have with decorating their cars. Get over it! Sure, a lot of it is silly, but if the kids aren't doing anything illegal, leave them the hell alone. Or did you forget what it was like to be a kid?

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