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Old 10-15-2003, 01:54 PM   #1
Darkelf_99
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Default Pulled over for having HID?

To all WRX owners with HID mods, i wanted to ask:

- Have you every been pulled over for having HIDs?
- What do u do in that situation?
- What is the worst that can happen?


I ask because i am considering getting lhd STI projectors with an HID kit, but i dont want to attract attention from cops.


Thanks
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Old 10-15-2003, 02:51 PM   #2
Uncle Scotty
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Default Re: Pulled over for having HID?

Quote:
Originally posted by Darkelf_99
but i dont want to attract attention from cops.


Thanks
Then don't.
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Old 10-15-2003, 02:52 PM   #3
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I've had my HID's for about nine months now and never been pulled over. I have been behind cop cars drove past them head-on and nothing. Could be the area I live in as we don't really have that much trouble with modified cars compared to some of the bigger cities (i.e. LA, NY, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, etc...). If you do get pulled over, they'll give you a warning and tell you to get them off your car. If you don't and they catch you again, then you'll get a fine as to my understanding.

I've also got projectors and the spread of the light is less-glaring than aftermarket HIDs in reflectors.
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Old 10-15-2003, 02:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hank3
If you do get pulled over, they'll give you a warning and tell you to get them off your car. If you don't and they catch you again, then you'll get a fine as to my understanding.
It's up to the discretion of the officer. If you're violating the law, prepare to be held responsible (i.e. ticket, fine, etc).
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Old 10-15-2003, 03:44 PM   #5
Darkelf_99
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So would you just tell the police officer that you were not aware that HIDs were illegal? Is it standard procedure to first warn, then fine?

Just as a side note, i was planning to get the HID kit in the STI projectors, so maybe that's better.
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Old 10-15-2003, 04:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darkelf_99
So would you just tell the police officer that you were not aware that HIDs were illegal? Is it standard procedure to first warn, then fine?
Heh, good luck with that strategy. Feigning ignorance may not help you, and even if you truly didn't know, that doesn't give you a free pass to violate the law.

Regarding the warning vs. fine...I would think that largely depends on the particular officer's mood that day. I have to imagine that being pulled over solely for having HIDs is not terribly likely...they might write you up after having pulled you over for a moving violation, or suspecting you of having illegal tint, however. The officer would also have to be quite knowledgeable about which cars do and do not come with HIDs from the factory these days, and correctly identify yours as aftermarket.

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Old 10-15-2003, 04:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darkelf_99
So would you just tell the police officer that you were not aware that HIDs were illegal? Is it standard procedure to first warn, then fine?

Just as a side note, i was planning to get the HID kit in the STI projectors, so maybe that's better.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse in the eyes of some law enforcement. It really depends on the officer. The only thing I'm pointing out is that you should be prepared to pay the price if you do happen to get popped. Check your local vehicle code so you'll know what to expect. Also, I would hold on to your stock headlamps just in case.

.....who knows....you may not ever have a problem. I drove around in my Chevy p/u for 11 years without a front plate (was even pulled over twice). I was never warned or given a ticket for it (it's illegal to not have one in CA). I haven't had one on my WRX either since I bought it (a year ago). .....so far so good.

- Kean
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Old 10-15-2003, 04:27 PM   #8
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Question what?

So....

I was never under the impression that the EDM STi HID lights were illegal. Where are you sourcing this information from?

I DO know that the JDM RHD lights shoot the beam pattern into oncoming traffic resulting in a lot of flashing from oncoming drivers, but I have never heard of the HIDs breaking any sort or national or local statute.

I say this as I have been researching HIDs for quite a while, and this is going to be one of the very near future mods for my car. If someone does know something, let me know. I was under the impression that the EMD lenses were DOT approved, and hence, no problem.

As long as you are not directly sending light into on-coming traffic (JDM STi HIDs), I dont see a problem.

I bet someone tells me that the EDMs were never offered in HID

- dow
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Old 10-15-2003, 04:37 PM   #9
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It's illegal to modify your OEM headlights in any way, including replacing them with factory lights used in non-US models. However the tolerance of local authorities varies and unless they are very strict in your particular area you should not have a problem as long as your lights are LHD, properly aimed, and not excessively blue. It also helps not to drive around with fog, high beam, and driving lights on when they are not needed.
I have Morettes with 4500K HIDs and in over a year with them I have never been flashed, pulled over, ticketed or otherwise bothered about them. I drive around the NYC area regularly.
Go ahead and upgrade your lighting, but as with other mods be prepared to deal with any legal consequences that may come up.
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Old 10-15-2003, 05:07 PM   #10
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A bigger issue regarding after market lighting is Inspection. I know many people get through inspection without problems but be aware that it can be an issue. Odds of being stopped by police with well aimed lights is remote. Inspection is another matter.
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Old 10-15-2003, 05:19 PM   #11
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Inspection is part of what I was referring to with regard to local authorities. The other aspect of that is enforcement by PD and whether they will pull you over. It's possible to have to change your lights to get through inspection but never have a problem with them driving around. Or conversely you could get stopped frequently for "improper lights" but pass inspection. A little research should reveal what the situation is in your town and state.
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Old 10-15-2003, 05:25 PM   #12
Darkelf_99
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I see. I guess the worst case scenario is i get fined and keep my stock lights handy...

I plan to buy the EDM STI projectors, is it safe to assume that they are properly aimed for use here?

Also, how bright an HID kit would u guys recommend?
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Old 10-15-2003, 05:31 PM   #13
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EDM lights will have the correct LHD beam pattern, just be sure to aim them properly.
For HIDs stay away from the high color temperature kits, 5000K or under is best for usable light output and minimal glare. Anything higher will be more blue/purple and will tend to attract more unwanted attention.
The NHTSA has officially banned vendors from selling any more aftermarket HID kits so the selection may not be what it once was.
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:33 PM   #14
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if they have the correct lhd beam pattern, why is it necessary to also aim them? shouldnt they be aimed in the right direction already?
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:38 PM   #15
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All headlights have to be aimed when they are actually in the car. The beam pattern is set by the reflector or optics in the light assembly, but you still have to point it the right way
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Old 10-15-2003, 08:01 PM   #16
Darkelf_99
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As you can see, i know nothing about car headlights...

so how is this aiming done?
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Old 10-15-2003, 08:21 PM   #17
Zola
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Default Re: what?

Quote:
Originally posted by dowroa
I was never under the impression that the EDM STi HID lights were illegal. Where are you sourcing this information from?

I was under the impression that the EMD lenses were DOT approved, and hence, no problem.

As long as you are not directly sending light into on-coming traffic (JDM STi HIDs), I dont see a problem.

I bet someone tells me that the EDMs were never offered in HID
Well, it's true that the EDM lights have the DOT marking on the lens cover. I can take a picture if you want. However, we have gone round and round on this issue here on the forums in the past, and I have yet to see anything which disproves my belief that DOT and E-code certifications are mutually exclusive. I suppose you could try calling someone at NHTSA, I'm sure they could give you a definitive answer. When you consider that Subaru never sold Imprezas with projectors here in the US, it's bewildering that the lens covers have the DOT marking. The cover has a little etching where the focal point of the low beam is, so it's a different cover than the USDM Impreza.

But at the end of the day, I think what mulder already posted is correct. You can't technically modify your OEM lighting. Whether or not you can get away with it in practice will depend on local law enforcement and/or state inspections.

I always heard that LHD EDM projectors were in fact never offered with HIDs. If you know differently, please share.

Joel
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Old 10-15-2003, 08:55 PM   #18
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i've had my hid's for 6 months now and no pull overs...of course i imagine having eyelids for glare reduction and a 4300k temperature to give the appearance of stock helps...
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Old 10-16-2003, 12:26 AM   #19
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okay i have 8000K HIDs, my lights are bright blue, im originally from brooklyn where almost everyone has xenons on their bimmers n benzs, but now im in school in albany AKA hicksville ... when i got pulled over for speeding he said i'm also giving you a ticket for those razzle dazzle lights (his exact words F-in Hick) anyway i got my tickets etc... i went to the police station the next morning with my stock bulbs in, it took me 10 min to swap i said i dont know what he was talkin about these are original subaru lights ... cop said ha ha no problem and signed off my ticket and told me to have a good day ... i got to my parkin light in school and put in my xenons and i was off to sleep
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Old 10-16-2003, 12:42 AM   #20
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The problem with 8000K bluish lights is that you're sacrificing brightness over looks. Especially when it downpours.. oh well... But hey it's your call. =)
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Old 10-16-2003, 08:50 AM   #21
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EDM and JDM lights are illegal in the US. Period.

Everyone else in the world uses the sharply defined cut-off pattern. The US sticks with the more diffuse pattern that throws some light overhead. The exception is HID: because they are so much brighter, HID's in the US are required to have EDM-style sharp cut-off pattern. (There is a picture of this in a Consumer Reports article a few months ago - I wish I had scanned it.)

Strictly speaking, any light not approved by DOT is illegal for use on US public roads, but if you get EDM lights with HID and add the levelling motor function, you are abiding by the spirit of the DOT requirements.

If you want to get a head-ache reading about this, go here:
http://lighting.mbz.org/nhtsa/NHTSA.html
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Old 10-16-2003, 12:06 PM   #22
Kean
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Default Re: what?

Quote:
Originally posted by dowroa
So....

I was never under the impression that the EDM STi HID lights were illegal. Where are you sourcing this information from?

I DO know that the JDM RHD lights shoot the beam pattern into oncoming traffic resulting in a lot of flashing from oncoming drivers, but I have never heard of the HIDs breaking any sort or national or local statute.

I say this as I have been researching HIDs for quite a while, and this is going to be one of the very near future mods for my car. If someone does know something, let me know. I was under the impression that the EMD lenses were DOT approved, and hence, no problem.

As long as you are not directly sending light into on-coming traffic (JDM STi HIDs), I dont see a problem.

I bet someone tells me that the EDMs were never offered in HID

- dow
Sorry for the delay in my response. Actually......it looks like the others pretty much covered your questions.

Here in CA, there are no "black & white" laws against aftermarket lighting that I could find. However, there are plenty of laws that can be "used" against you (glare, tampering, etc) if you do use lighting other than what is supplied by the factory. These laws give broad authority.

I was aware the EDM's had a DOT stamp on the housing, but I heard that it didn't necessarily mean the whole assembly was DOT approved. Some vendors even point this out. Obviously, having the stamp could only help if you run into problems with the authorities. However, depending on your local laws (and the knowledge of the officer), you could end up getting ticketed anyhow. This is why I suggested he look up the local VC for violations he may be committing by running these. In some cases this can be a very grey area.

- Kean
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Old 10-16-2003, 12:46 PM   #23
Darkelf_99
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If you get ticketed, are u also required to replace your headlights with the stock lights? Or can u simply pay the ticket and take your chances of getting another ticket in the future (if u get pulled over again)?
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Old 10-16-2003, 12:53 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darkelf_99
If you get ticketed, are u also required to replace your headlights with the stock lights? Or can u simply pay the ticket and take your chances of getting another ticket in the future (if u get pulled over again)?
I would imagine you would be required to remove the "illegal" component and replace it with something legal (i.e. factory part).
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Old 10-16-2003, 04:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darkelf_99
If you get ticketed, are u also required to replace your headlights with the stock lights? Or can u simply pay the ticket and take your chances of getting another ticket in the future (if u get pulled over again)?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Depends on where you live. In socal, I have gotten fix-it tickets for front tint, and there is a box that says "correctable" or "non-correctable". I have had times were I just paid the fine and went on my way. While other times I had to pay the fine and get the front tint removed. IIRC If the officer marks "non-correctable" I had to do both. (remove and pay)

I guess with these grey areas are really hit and miss sometimes. I just say don't draw extra attention and they won't bother you.

And you can get pulled over again for the same infractions if you continue to have them. I recieved 4 fix-its in 5 years for my front tint. Here is the thing though....the fine increases each time. Started @$30 last one was $140.
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