Code of Alabama 2019 :: Title 32 – Motor Vehicles and Transportation. :: Chapter 5 - Regulation of the operation of motor vehicles, etc., in general. :: Article 9 - Equipment. :: Department 2 - Lights, lamps and reflectors. :: Section 32-5-240 - Required (2023)

Section 32-5-240Required lighting devices and lighting devices of vehicles.

(a) When illuminated headlamps are required.

(1) Every vehicle on a highway within that state, except for a parked vehicle, which is subject to Section 32-5-244, must display illuminated lamps and lighting devices required by this section for various classes of vehicle at the following times:

A. From half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise.

B. Anytime the vehicle's wipers are being used due to rain, sleet or snow, except when use is interrupted due to foggy rain, sleet or snow.

C. Whenever there is insufficient light to clearly identify people and vehicles 500 feet away on the freeway.

(2) Notwithstanding sub-section (1), when motor vehicles or other vehicles are operated in combination during a period when lamps and lighting devices must be on, any lamp other than a rear lamp which, by virtue of its arrangement on a vehicle of the combination, is another vehicle in the combination would not be illuminated. This subdivision is without prejudice to the requirement that luminous end-outline lamps be fitted at the front of the foremost vehicle, which must be equipped with end-outline lamps, or that all lamps required at the rear of the rearmost vehicle of any combination be lit.

(b) Headlights on motor vehicles.

(1) Every motor vehicle, with the exception of a motorcycle or motor-powered two-wheeler, shall be equipped with at least two but not more than four headlights, with at least one but not more than two on each side of the front of the motor vehicle. Headlamps must meet the requirements and limitations of Section 32-5-242.

(2) Each motorcycle and powered two-wheeler must be equipped with at least one and not more than two headlights, which must comply with the requirements and limitations of Section 32-5-242.

(3) Every headlamp on every new motor vehicle, including every motorcycle and two-wheeler sold after January 1, 1950, must be mounted at a height not exceeding 54 inches or less than 24 inches measured from the center of the headlamp , as set forth in Section 32-5-242.

(c) taillights.

(1) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer and post-trailer, and every other vehicle towed at the end of a vehicle combination, shall be fitted with at least one rear position lamp which, when required to illuminate, emits a red light which can be seen from a distance clearly visible from 500 feet behind. When vehicles pull into a train, only the tail light of the rearmost vehicle needs to be seen from the specified distance.

(2) Each taillight on each vehicle shall be at a height of no more than 60 inches and no less than 20 inches as measured in accordance with Section 32-5-242.

(3) Every motor vehicle shall have a tail lamp or separate lamp so constructed and arranged as to illuminate the rear registration plate with white light and make it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. Each tail lamp or tail lamp shall be wired together with any separate rear registration plate lamp to illuminate whenever the main beam headlamps or auxiliary lamps are on.

(d) Additional equipment required for certain vehicles. In addition to other equipment required by this Article, the following vehicles shall be equipped with:

(1) Every bus or lorry, regardless of size, must have at the rear: two red reflectors, one on each side, and a brake light.

(2) For any bus or truck with an overall width of 80 inches or more, in addition to the requirements in subsection (1):

A. Two front position lights, one on each side.

B. Rear two clearance lights, one on each side.

C. Two side marker lights on each side, one on or near the front and one on or near the rear.

D. Two reflectors on each side, one at or near the front and one at or near the rear.

(3) On each tractor unit:

A. Two front position lights, one on each side.

B. Rear brake light.

(4) On any trailer or semi-trailer with a combined weight exceeding 3,000 pounds:

A. Two front position lights, one on each side.

B. Two side marker lights on each side, one on or near the front and one on or near the rear.

C. Two reflectors on each side, one at or near the front and one at or near the back.

D. Rear two clearance lights, one on each side, also two reflectors, one on each side, and a brake light.

(5) For any pole trailer with a gross weight greater than 3,000 pounds gross weight:

A. One side marker lamp and one clearance lamp on each side, which can be combined to point forward, sideways and backwards.

B. On the back of the bar trailer or cargo, two reflectors, one on each side.

(6) On any trailer, semi-trailer, or post-trailer with a gross vehicle weight of 3,000 pounds or less: On the back, two reflectors, one on each side. If the load or dimensions of a trailer or semi-trailer hide the brake light of the towing vehicle, the towed vehicle must also be equipped with a brake light.

(e) Lamps on other vehicles and equipment. All vehicles, including animal-drawn vehicles and those for which special permits have been issued under Section 32-9-29 and which are not otherwise specifically required to be equipped with lamps, shall, at the times specified in subsection (a) of this section, be equipped with at least one be equipped with one illuminating lamp or lantern emitting a white light visible from 500 feet in front of the vehicle and one lamp or lantern emitting a red light visible from 500 feet to the rear .

(f) Brake lights mandatory on new motor vehicles. It is unlawful for any person to sell a new motor vehicle, including a motorcycle or motor-powered bicycle, in this state, or to operate the vehicle on highways, unless it is equipped with a stop lamp that meets the requirements of Section 32 -5-242.

(g) New motor vehicles must be fitted with reflectors.

(1) No new motor vehicle first sold on or after January 1, 1950, other than a tractor-trailer, motorcycle, or motor-driven bicycle, may be operated on a highway unless the vehicle carries on the rear either as part of the rear lights or separately, two red reflectors. Every motorcycle and motor cycle must carry at least one reflector that meets the requirements of this section. Vehicles specifically provided for in subsection (d) of this section shall be fitted with reflectors in accordance with the requirements of this subsection.

(2) These reflectors shall be mounted on the vehicle at a height of not less than 20 inches and not more than 60 inches as measured in accordance with subparagraph (a) of Section 32-5-242 and shall be of such size and characteristics and shall be so mounted so that they can be seen from 300 feet at night.

(Acts 1927, Nr. 347, S. 348; Code 1940, T. 36, §40; Acts 1949, Nr. 517, S. 754, §10; Acts 1957, Nr. 414, S. 577; Acts 1993, Nr. 93-720, S. 1407, §1.)

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