BEHIND THE WHEEL: Lack of markings should raise a red flag

There is little doubt in my mind that one of the most popular add-on accessories for vehicles is some type of light.

There is little doubt in my mind that one of the most popular add-on accessories for vehicles is some type of light.

I was asked recently to comment by a visitor to the DriveSmartBC website who said that he had noticed rectangular LED light bars in the bumpers and on the roofs of trucks and SUVs.

While it is possible that some of these lamps are legal for use on the highway, many are not. The question is, how do you tell?

In general, lights that comply with requirements are marked by the manufacturer to show that fact.

North American equipment bears SAE or DOT codes, European lamps with E codes and Japanese lights with JIS/JASIC codes. Each has a particular marking that shows device function such as SAE Y or E HR for an auxiliary driving light.

A lack of these markings should raise a red flag.

Unfortunately, it is common to find counterfeit markings on aftermarket lamps, particularly those purchased from outside of Canada on eBay. LED lights are slowly gaining acceptance for on highway applications and no doubt will be present in all applications in future.

For now, if you cannot find a similar LED lamp that is original equipment on a vehicle manufactured in North America be suspicious that the approval markings are bogus.

If the lamps do not show any approval markings or words similar to “check with local authorities before using on the highway” are present on the packaging it is highly probable that these lights are not legal for use.

All non-approved lamps installed on your vehicle are considered to be “off road lamps” and must be covered with an opaque cover when the vehicle is being driven on the highway.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

Just Posted

Public to have say about pot

Cannabis Act has passed third reading

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Potlatch 67-67:

This is the third part of a three-part June series looking at… Continue reading

Comox Valley Schools to see trustee shakeup next fall

Four of seven trustees have stated they will not run for re-election in October

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Canada Day wishes collected for Broncos player

Brenda Jones, a public relations consultant and educator in the Comox Valley,… Continue reading

Humboldt survivors to attend NHL Awards

Players say it’s a blessing to be back together again

Justice minister: marijuana still illegal for now

Driving under the influence of drugs has always been — and will remain — against the law

Crown recommends 150-years for Quebec mosque shooter

Crown lawyers say Alexandre Bissonnette deserves to receive the longest sentence in Canadian history

192 missing after ferry sinks in Indonesia

Drivers are searching a Indonesian lake after a ferry sank earlier this week

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children

A lawyer has documented more than 300 cases of adults who have been separated from a child

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Most Read