Article 1. General Provisions of California Vehicle Code >> Division 12. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 1.
During darkness, a vehicle shall be equipped with lighted
lighting equipment as required for the vehicle by this chapter.
Any requirement in this chapter as to the distance from
which any lighting equipment shall render a person or vehicle visible
or within which any lighting equipment shall be visible shall apply
during darkness, directly ahead upon a straight, level unlighted
highway, and under normal atmospheric conditions, unless a different
time, direction, or condition is expressly stated.
(a) All lighting equipment of a required type installed on a
vehicle shall at all times be maintained in good working order.
Lamps shall be equipped with bulbs of the correct voltage rating
corresponding to the nominal voltage at the lamp socket.
(b) The voltage at any tail, stop, license plate, side marker or
clearance lamp socket on a vehicle shall not be less than 85 percent
of the design voltage of the bulb. Voltage tests shall be conducted
with the engine operating.
(c) Two or more lamp or reflector functions may be combined,
provided each function subject to requirements established by the
department meets such requirements.
(1) No turn signal lamp may be combined optically with a stoplamp
unless the stoplamp is extinguished when the turn signal is flashing.
(2) No clearance lamp may be combined optically with any taillamp
or identification lamp.
(a) All motor vehicles manufactured and first registered
after January 1, 1970, shall be equipped so all taillamps are capable
of remaining lighted for a period of at least one-quarter hour with
the engine inoperative. This requirement shall be complied with by an
energy storing system which is recharged by energy produced by the
(b) All motorcycles manufactured and first registered after
January 1, 1971, shall be equipped so all taillamps, when turned on,
will remain lighted automatically for a period of at least
one-quarter hour if the engine stops.
Whenever a requirement is declared as to the mounted height
of lamps or reflectors, the height shall be measured from the center
of the lamp or reflector to the level surface upon which the vehicle
stands when it is without a load.
(a) A vehicle may be equipped with a system to supplement
the driver's visibility of the roadway to the front or rear of the
vehicle during darkness. This system may incorporate an illuminating
device that emits radiation predominantly in the infrared region of
the electromagnetic spectrum and a display monitor to provide an
image visible to the driver of the vehicle. The system, or any
portion of it, shall not obstruct the vision of the driver, and shall
not emit any glaring light visible in any direction or to any
person. The illuminating device may be mounted inside the vehicle, if
it is constructed and mounted so as to prevent any direct or
reflected light, other than a monitorial indicator emitted from the
device, from being visible to the driver.
(b) The system shall be operated only with the headlamps lighted.
An illuminating device for the system shall be interlocked with the
headlamp switch so that it is operable only when the headlamps are
(c) (1) No part of the illuminating device may be physically or
optically combined with any other required or permitted lighting
(2) The illuminating device may be installed within a housing
containing other required or permitted lighting devices, if the
function of the other devices is not impaired thereby.