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The Lighting Basics: Lighting Legality – To See and To Be Seen

Updated: Dec 5, 2018

Ask any trucker about getting pulled over by the DOT and I’m sure he will have a story, usually resulting in loss of time, money, and sanity. One way to save yourself a visit from a law enforcement agent at the side of your truck is to check to make sure that you have appropriate, legal lighting installed. This article will be the first of many in a series discussing light legality. While I am no legal expert, my goal of this series is to point you in the right direction when it comes to safety. This week, we will discuss why safety standards exist.

The purpose of safety standards for lights boils down to a simple phrase, “to see and to be seen.” In fact, that is the reason we even bother to put lights on our trucks in the first place. We need to be able to see in every direction at night and to be seen by others to avoid collisions. Safety standards protect the driver of the truck, other travelers on the road, and the manufacturers of the lighting products. Sounds like common sense so far.

So what do safety standards regulate when it comes to lighting? Typically, these specifications are in regards to light output, light pattern, light color, and durability. These standards are outlined by the federal government as well as individual states. These standards may also vary from state to state. This is especially difficult when dealing with emergency lighting as different states have different “color codes.” For example, in the state of Ohio, volunteer fire uses red and white. However, my friends in the volunteer fire department three miles across the border in the state of Pennsylvania use solid blue.

In short, the reason why safety standards exist is to make sure that truckers can see and be seen by others. We can help you see and be seen with a variety of LED and incandescent side marker lights available on our website or you can give us a call at 800-938-0120 to see what we have to offer.

Next month, we will discuss a side that you may not hear very often when it comes to safety standards, from a manufacturer.

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