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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Cosmetic and Lighting Modifications (exterior/interior) > putting on painted reflectors? illegal!!!



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      09-09-2008, 10:27 AM   #1
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putting on painted reflectors? illegal!!!

so not sure how true this is, some guys comes up to me in a 335xi and goes oo i see u got painted reflectors, i go yea. he goes, o well if u get in a car accident the insurance can give u a really hard time because of that or u can get a ticket or something.

is any of that true i was just wondering?-iphone
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      09-09-2008, 10:38 AM   #2
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of course they are illegal
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      09-09-2008, 10:39 AM   #3
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I'm not sure about the insurance part, but technically, yes, side reflectors on U.S. cars are a DOT requirement.

Although I do have the painted reflectors myself. I suppose if someone hit the side of your car at night...
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      09-09-2008, 10:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5soko335i View Post
so not sure how true this is, some guys comes up to me in a 335xi and goes oo i see u got painted reflectors, i go yea. he goes, o well if u get in a car accident the insurance can give u a really hard time because of that or u can get a ticket or something.

is any of that true i was just wondering?-iphone
That is correct. All cars in US roads must have a reflector or side lights at the front of the car (both sides). You can notice that on any car - either as stand alone reflectors or part of the front lights.
Putting painted ones do not cut it but replacing with clear or smoked reflectors is an option.
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      09-09-2008, 11:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tondtar View Post
That is correct. All cars in US roads must have a reflector or side lights at the front of the car (both sides). You can notice that on any car - either as stand alone reflectors or part of the front lights.
Putting painted ones do not cut it but replacing with clear or smoked reflectors is an option.
I don't think clear or smoked reflectors are legal either; at least not here in CA.
"...color of side marker lights. If present, must be yellow in the front and red in the rear" (25106, 24003 VC).

Here's list of: Illegal equipment most often cited by the CHP.
http://www.btpautoparts.com/californialaws.html

or if you want it straight from the horse's mouth:
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vctoc.htm
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      09-09-2008, 11:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ptx1 View Post
I don't think clear or smoked reflectors are legal either; at least not here in CA.
"...color of side marker lights. If present, must be yellow in the front and red in the rear" (25106, 24003 VC).

Here's list of: Illegal equipment most often cited by the CHP.
http://www.btpautoparts.com/californialaws.html
OK ...Then I am screwed also
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      09-09-2008, 01:21 PM   #7
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haha alright thanks alot guys...
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      09-09-2008, 01:57 PM   #8
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If you are in an accident I wouldn't worry about a ticket or your own insurance company, etc.. I'd worry about a lawsuit from the other party or parties involved if they happen to have a super savvy lawyer.

Don't mess with legal and safety stuff. Could come back and bite you one day.
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      09-09-2008, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptx1 View Post
I don't think clear or smoked reflectors are legal either; at least not here in CA.
"...color of side marker lights. If present, must be yellow in the front and red in the rear" (25106, 24003 VC).

Here's list of: Illegal equipment most often cited by the CHP.
http://www.btpautoparts.com/californialaws.html

or if you want it straight from the horse's mouth:
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vctoc.htm
25100
"(2) At least one amber side-marker lamp on each side near the front and at least one red side-marker lamp on each side near the rear."

That pertains to the color of the lamp (i.e turn signal), not a reflector. The vehicle code clearly distinguishes between lamps (sources of light) and reflectors. I still havent seen any code that specifically states the color of a reflector for CA.

Neither 25106 or 24003 mention a reflector.
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      09-09-2008, 02:19 PM   #10
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you guys are over thinking this. if someone hit you its not becasue they didnt see the lil reflector on your car. they hit you because 1. they were going too fast and cant stop in time. 2. wasnt paying attention to begin with. 3. swerve to miss something. how are you going to miss a 2 ton car on the street. theres no way you can be liable because some jackass was going 1 of the 3 option above. you might get ticketed for painted reflectors but that is because that cop have nothing better to do. its just like tinted windows. you cannot tint your windows, but people do it all the time.
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      09-09-2008, 02:25 PM   #11
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If you are in an accident, the only way it will come back to bite you is if it is somehow a cause of the accident. . . You were pulling out of a street and somebody didn't see your front end and crashed into you. This is likely ONLY going to happen at dusk when the lighting is dim and you aren't using your headlights (which have daytime running lights that are still visible from a perpendicular view of the car).

The other side will have to prove that had you not removed it, the accident wouldn't have happened - they would have been able to see you and get out of the way. Obviously if you hit them, it doesn't matter whether you had the reflector or not. . . cause its your fault.

You can get a ticket for it. Now if you get a ticket for it and/or the other attorney finds out you did that and can get a picture of your car with the mod, then that can be used as evidence against you . . . to sort of slide the scales that you may have been negligent and/or at fault.

I thought about this before doing it - and did it.

Most cops aren't looking to make sure you have your side reflectors - I'd be slightly astonished if somebody got a ticket. It would have to be somebody who knows about this mod (ie a BMW driver) or sees two of them next to each other (probably a cop busting up a meet). Otherwise, even if a cop looked at the front, the yellow turn signal lights / daytime running lights would probably throw him off.
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      09-09-2008, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longtran View Post
you guys are over thinking this. if someone hit you its not becasue they didnt see the lil reflector on your car. they hit you because 1. they were going too fast and cant stop in time. 2. wasnt paying attention to begin with. 3. swerve to miss something. how are you going to miss a 2 ton car on the street. theres no way you can be liable because some jackass was going 1 of the 3 option above. you might get ticketed for painted reflectors but that is because that cop have nothing better to do. its just like tinted windows. you cannot tint your windows, but people do it all the time.
yep
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      09-09-2008, 02:27 PM   #13
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you guys are all gay for worrying about a reflector
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      09-09-2008, 02:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighVoltage View Post
25100
"(2) At least one amber side-marker lamp on each side near the front and at least one red side-marker lamp on each side near the rear."

That pertains to the color of the lamp (i.e turn signal), not a reflector. The vehicle code clearly distinguishes between lamps (sources of light) and reflectors. I still havent seen any code that specifically states the color of a reflector for CA.

Neither 25106 or 24003 mention a reflector.
Hey, you're right. Even if you get painted side reflectors you would only have to worry about them at night or any other time you have to turn on your headlights...

"25100. (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (d), every vehicle 80 inches or more in overall width shall be equipped during darkness as follows: " http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d12/vc25100.htm

Sure would be nice to have a an officer tell us how they interpret this law.
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      09-09-2008, 02:30 PM   #15
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Yeah, not only will your insurance not cover it. State Farm and Nationwide are aware of this and will contact BMWNA to have part of your warranty voided.
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      09-09-2008, 02:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdjafari View Post
you guys are all gay for worrying about a reflector
Are you even old enough to drive?
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      09-09-2008, 02:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pdjafari View Post
you guys are all gay for worrying about a reflector
LOL...but you live in VA. We live in CA. There's a lot more money-hungry savvy lawyers out here.
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      09-09-2008, 03:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdjafari View Post
you guys are all gay for worrying about a reflector
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      09-09-2008, 03:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptx1 View Post
Are you even old enough to drive?
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      09-10-2008, 07:23 PM   #20
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Well said. I am always for it against the man and stupid things they make illegal here in US that is not elsewhere in the world.
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      09-10-2008, 07:33 PM   #21
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if you have an e92 dont paint the reflectors and get color matching vinyl overlay, and when you get hit pull it off! Same for e90s that have the amber overlay!!!
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      09-10-2008, 10:24 PM   #22
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does this only apply to cars that come with amber reflectors stock? My highlander does not have reflectors, at least not that I know of..
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