CHAPTER 292

RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 43, TITLE 21, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO EQUIPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION OF VEHICLES, BY REVISING THE PROVISIONS FOR LIGHTS ON VEHICLES; AND TO REPEAL CERTAIN SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 41, TITLE 21, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO LIGHTS ON VEHICLES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Chapter 43, Title 21, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out sections 4331 to 4344 inclusive, constituting subchapter II of said chapter, and inserting in lieu thereof the following subchapter:

SUBCHAPTER II. LIGHTS

§ 4331. When lighted lamps are required

Every vehicle upon a highway within this State at any time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise and at any time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet ahead shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices as hereinafter respectively required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles.

§ 4332. Visibility distance and mounted height of lamps

(a) Whenever requirement is hereinafter declared as to distance from which certain lamps and devices shall render objects visible or within which such lamps or devices shall be visible, said provisions shall apply during the times stated in section 4331 in respect to a vehicle without load when upon a straight, level, unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different time or condition is expressly stated.

(b) Whenever requirement is hereinafter declared as to the mounted height of lamps or devices it shall mean from the center of such lamp or device to the level ground upon which the vehicle stands when such vehicle is without a load.

§ 4333. Head lamps on motor vehicles

(a) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer and pole motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with at least two head lamps with at least one on each side of the front of the motor vehicle, which head lamps shall comply with the requirements and limitations set forth in this chapter.

(b) Every motor cycle and every motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with at least one and not more than two head lamps which shall comply with the requirements and limitations of this chapter.

() Every head lamp upon every motor vehicle, including every motor cycle and motor-driven cycle, shall be located at a height measured from the center of the head lamp of not more than 54 inches nor less than 28 inches, to be measured as set forth in section 4332 (b).

§ 4334. Tail lamps

(a) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer and pole trailer, and any other vehicle which is being drawn at the end of a train of vehicles, shall be equipped with at least one tail lamp, mounted on the rear, which, when lighted as hereinbefore required, shall emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear, provided that in the case of a train of vehicles only the tail lamp on the rearmost vehicle need actually be seen from the distance specified. And further, every such abovementioned vehicle, other than a truck tractor, registered in this State and manufactured or assembled after July 1, 1956, shall be equipped with at least two tail lamps' mounted on the rear, which when lighted as herein required, shall comply with the provisions of this section.

(b) Every tail lamp upon every vehicle shall be located at a height of not more than 72 inches nor less than 20 inches.

(c) Either a tail lamp or a separate lamp shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate and render it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. Any tail lamp or tail lamps, together with any separate lamp for illuminating the rear registration plate, shall be so wired as to be lighted whenever the head lamps or auxiliary driving lamps are lighted.

§ 4335. New vehicles to be equipped with reflectors

(a) Every new motor vehicle hereafter sold and operated upon a highway other than a truck tractor shall carry on the rear, either as a part of the tail lamps or separately, two red reflectors, except that every motor cycle and every motor-driven cycle shall carry at least one reflector, meeting the requirements of this section, and except that vehicles of the type mentioned in section 4338 shall be equipped with reflectors as required in those sections applicable thereto.

(b) Every such reflector shall be mounted on the vehicle at a height not less than 20 inches nor more than 60 inches measured as set forth in section 4332 (b), and shall be of such size and characteristics and so mounted as to be visible at night from all distances within 350 feet to 100 feet from such vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps, except that visibility from a greater distance is hereinafter required of reflectors on certain types of vehicles.

§ 4336. Stop lamps and turn signals required on new motor vehicles

(a) From and after July 1, 1955, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell any new motor vehicle, including any motor cycle or motor-driven cycle, in this State or for any person to drive such vehicle on the highways unless equipped with at least one stop lamp meeting the requirements of section 4347.

§ 4337. Application of succeeding sections

Those sections of this chapter which follow immediately, including sections 4338, 4339, 4340, 4341 and 4342, relating to clearance and marker lamps, reflectors and stop lights, shall apply as stated in said sections to vehicles of the type therein enumerated, namely passenger buses, trucks, truck tractors, and certain trailers, semi-trailers and pole trailers, respectively, when operated upon any highway, and said vehicles shall be equipped as required and all lamp equipment required shall be lighted at times mentioned in section 4331 except that clearance and side marker lamps need not be lighted on any said vehicle when operated within any municipality where there is sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of 500 feet.

§ 4338. Additional equipment required on certain vehicles

In addition to other equipment required in this chapter, the following vehicles shall be equipped as herein stated under the conditions stated in section 4337:

(a) On every bus or truck, whatever its size, there shall be the following:

On the rear, two reflectors, one at each side, and one stop light.

(a) On every bus or truck 80 inches or more in overall width, in addition to the requirements in paragraph (a) :

On the front, two clearance lamps, one at each side; on the rear, two clearance lamps, one at each side; on the side, two side marker lamps, one at or near the front and one at or near the rear ; on each side two reflectors, one at or near the front and one at or near the rear.

(b) On every truck tractor :

On the front, two clearance lamps, one at each side; on the rear, one stop light.

(c) On every trailer or semi-trailer having a gross weight in excess of 3000 pounds:

one at or near the rear ; on each side two reflectors, one at or near the front and one at or near the rear ; on the rear two clearance lamps, one at each side, also two reflectors, one at each side, and one stop light.

(e) On every pole trailer in excess of 3000 pounds gross weight :

On each side, one side marker lamp and one clearance lamp which may be in combination, to show to the front, side and rear; on the rear of the pole trailer or load, two reflectors, one at each side.

(e) On every trailer, semi-trailer or pole trailer weighing 3000 pounds gross or less:

On the rear, two reflectors, one on each side. If any trailer or semi-trailer is so loaded or is of such dimensions as to obscure the stop light on the towing vehicle, then such vehicle shall also be equipped with one stop light.

§ 4339. Color of clearance lamps, side marker lamps, backup lamps, and reflectors

(a) Front clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall display or reflect an amber color.

(b) Rear clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall display or reflect a red color.

(c) All lighting devices and reflectors mounted on the rear of any vehicle shall display or reflect a red color, except the stop light or other signal device, which may be red, amber or yellow, and except that the light illuminating the license plate shall be white and the light emitted by a back-up lamp shall be white or amber.

§ 4340. Mounting of reflectors, clearance lamps and side marker lamps

(a) Reflectors when required by section 4338 shall be mounted at a height not less than 24 inches and not higher than 60 inches above the ground on which the vehicle stands,

except that if the highest part of the permanent structure of the vehicle is less than 24 inches the reflector at such point shall be mounted as high as that part of the permanent structure will permit.

The rear reflectors on a pole trailer may be mounted on each side of the bolster or load.

Any required red reflector on the rear of a vehicle may be incorporated with the tail lamp, but such reflector shall meet all the other reflector requirements of this chapter.

(b) Clearance lamps shall be mounted on the permanent structure of the vehicle in such a manner as to indicate its extreme width and as near the top thereof as practicable. Clearance lamps and side marker lamps may be mounted in combination provided illumination is given as required herein with reference to both.

§ 4341. Visibility of reflectors, clearance lamps and marker lamps

(a) Every reflector upon any vehicle referred to in section 4338 shall be of such size and characteristics and so maintained as to be readily visible at nighttime from all distances within 600 feet to 100 feet from the vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps. Reflectors required to be mounted on the sides of the vehicle shall reflect the required color of light to the sides, and those mounted on the rear shall reflect a red color to the rear.

(b) Front and rear clearance lamps shall be capable of being seen and distinguished under normal atmospheric conditions at the times lights are required at a distance of 500 feet from the front and rear, respectively, of the vehicle.

(c) Side marker lamps shall be capable of being seen and distinguished under normal atmospheric conditions at the time lights are required at a distance of 500 feet from the side of the vehicle on which mounted.

§ 4342. Obstructed lights not required

Whenever motor and other vehicles are operated in combination during the time that lights are required, any lamp

(except tail lamps) need not be lighted which, by reason of its location on a vehicle of the combination, would be obscured by another vehicle of the combination, but this shall not affect the requirement that lighted clearance lamps be displayed on the front of the foremost vehicle required to have clearance lamps, nor that all lights required on the rear of the rearmost vehicle of any combination shall be lighted.

§ 4343. Lamp or flag on projecting load

Whenever the load upon any vehicle extends to the rear 4 feet or more beyond the bed or body of such vehicle there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of the load, at the time specified in section 4331 hereof, a red light or lantern plainly visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the sides and rear. The red light or lantern required under this section shall be in addition to the red rear light required upon every vehicle. At any other time there shall be displayed at the extreme rear end of such load a red flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square and so hung that the entire area is visible to the driver of a vehicle approaching from the rear.

§ 4344. Lamps on parked vehicles

(a) Whenever a vehicle is lawfully parked upon a street or highway during the hours between a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise and in the event there is sufficient light to reveal any person or object within a distance of 500 feet upon such street or highway no lights need be displayed upon such parked vehicle.

(b) Whenever a vehicle is parked or stopped upon a roadway or shoulder adjacent thereto, whether attended or unattended, during the hours between a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise and there is not sufficient light to reveal any person or object within a distance of 500 feet upon such highway, such vehicle so parked or stopped shall be equipped with one or more lamps meeting the following requirements : At least one lamp shall display a white or amber light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle, and the same lamp or at least one other lamp shall display a

red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the vehicle, and the location of said lamp or lamps shall always be such that at least one lamp or combination of lamps meeting the requirements of this section is installed as near as practicable to the side of the vehicle which is closest to passing traffic. The foregoing provisions shall not apply to a motor-driven cycle.

(c) Any lighted head lamps upon a parked vehicle shall be depressed or dimmed.

§ 4345. Lamps on other vehicles and equipment

Every vehicle, including animal-drawn vehicles and vehicles referred to in section 4331 (c), not specifically required by the provisions of this article to be equipped with lamps or other lighting devices, shall at all time specified in section 4331 of this Act be equipped with at least one lamp displaying a white light visible from a distance of not less than 500 feet to the front of said vehicle, and shall also be equipped with two lamps displaying red light visible from a distance of not less than 500 feet to the rear of said vehicle, or as an alternative, one lamp displaying a red light visible from a distance of not less than 500 feet to the rear and two red reflectors visible for distances of 100 to 600 feet to the rear when illuminated by the upper beams of head lamps:

§ 4346. Spot lamps and auxiliary lamps

(a) Spot Lamps. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two spot lamps, and every lighted spot lamp shall be so aimed and used upon approaching another vehicle that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam will be directed to the left of the prolongation of the extreme left side of the vehicle nor more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle.

(b) Fog Lamps. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed two fog lamps mounted on the front at a height not less than 12 inches nor more than 30 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands and so aimed that when the vehicle is not loaded none of the high-intensity portion of the light to the left of the center of the vehicle shall at a distance

of 25 feet ahead project higher than a level of 4 inches below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes. Lighted fog lamps meeting the above requirements may be used with lower head-lamp beams as specified in section 4349.

(c) Auxiliary Passing Lamp. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed one auxiliary passing lamp mounted on the front at a height not less than 24 inches nor more than 42 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands. The provisions of section 4349 shall apply to any combination of head lamps and auxiliary passing lamp.

(d) Auxiliary Driving Lamp. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed one auxiliary driving lamp mounted on the front at a height not less than 16 inches nor more than 42 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands. The provisions of section 4349 shall apply to any combination of head lamps and auxiliary driving lamp.

§ 4347. Signal lamps and signal devices

(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped and when required under this chapter shall be equipped with a stop lamp or lamps on the rear of the vehicle which shall display a red or amber light, or any shade of color between red and amber, visible from a distance of not less than 100 feet to the rear in normal sunlight, and which shall be actuated upon application of the service (foot) brake, and which may but need not be incorporated with one or more other rear lamps.

() Any motor vehicle may be equipped and when required under this chapter shall be equipped with lamps or mechanical signal devices showing to the front and rear for the purpose of indicating an intention to turn either to the right or left. When lamps are used for such purpose, the lamps showing to the front shall be located on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and when in use shall display a white or amber light, or any shade of color between white and amber, visible from a distance of not less than 100 feet to the front in normal sunlight, and the lamps showing to the rear shall be located at the same level and as widely spaced

laterally as practicable and when in use shall display a red or amber light, or any shade of color between red and amber, visible from a distance of not less than 100 feet to the rear in normal sunlight. When actuated such lamps shall indicate the intended direction of turning by flashing the lights showing to the front and rear on the side toward which the turn is made. Where mechanical signal devices are used for such purpose, said devices shall be self-illuminated when in use at the times mentioned in section 4331.

(c) No stop lamp or signal lamp or device shall project a glaring light.

§ 4348. Additional lighting equipment

(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two side cowl or fender lamps which shall emit an amber or white light without glare.

(a) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than one running-board courtesy lamp on each side thereof which shall emit a white or amber light without glare.

(b) Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two back-up lamps either separately or in combination with other lamps, but any such back-up lamp shall not be lighted when the motor vehicle is in forward motion.

(c) Any vehicle may be equipped with lamps which may be used for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing, and when so equipped may display such warning in addition to any other warning signals required by this Act. The lamps used to display such warning to the front shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall display simultaneously flashing white or amber lights, or any shade of color between white and amber. The lamps used to display such warning to the rear shall be mounted at the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and shall show simultaneously flashing amber or red lights, or any shade

of color between amber and red. These warning lights shall be visible from a distance of not less than 500 feet under normal atmospheric conditions at night.

§ 4349. Multiple-beam road-lighting equipment

Except as hereinafter provided, the head lamps or the auxiliary driving lamp or the auxiliary passing lamp or combination thereof on motor vehicles other than motorcycles or motor-driven cycles shall be so arranged that the driver may select at will between distributions of light projected to different elevations and such lamps may, in addition, be so arranged that such selection can be made automatically, subject to the following limitations:

(a) There shall be an uppermost distribution of light, or composite beam, so aimed and of such intensity as to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of at least 350 feet ahead for all conditions of loading;

(b) There shall be a lowermost distribution of light, or composite beam, so aimed and of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of at least 100 feet ahead ; and on a straight level road under any condition of loading none of the high-intensity portion of the beam shall be directed to strike the eyes of an approaching driver;

(c) Every new motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, registered in this State after January 1, 1956, which has multiple-beam road-lighting equipment shall be equipped with a beam indicator, which shall be lighted whenever the uppermost distribution of light from the head lamps is in use, and shall not otherwise be lighted. Said indicator shall be so designed and located that when lighted it will be readily visible without glare to the driver of the vehicle so equipped.

§ 4350. Use of multiple-beam road-lighting equipment

(a) Whenever a motor vehicle is being operated on a roadway or shoulder adjacent thereto during the times specified in section 4331 the driver shall use a distribution of light, or composite beam, directed high enough and of sufficient intensity

to reveal persons and vehicles at a safe distance in advance of the vehicle, subject to the following requirements and limitations:

(b) Whenever a driver of a vehicle approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet, such driver shall use a distribution of light, or composite beam, so aimed that the glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of the oncoming driver. The lowermost distribution of light, or composite beam, specified in section 4349 (b) shall be deemed to avoid glare at all times, regardless of road contour and loading.

(c) Whenever the driver of a vehicle follows another vehicle within 200 feet to the rear, except when engaged in the act of overtaking and passing, such driver shall use a distribution of light permissible under this chapter other than the uppermost distribution of light specified in paragraph (a) of section 4349.

§ 4351. Lighting equipment on motor-driven cycles

The head lamp or head lamps upon every motor-driven cycle may be of the single-beam type but in either event shall comply with the requirements and limitations as follows:

1. Every said head lamp or head lamps on a motor-driven cycle shall be of sufficient intensity to reveal a person or a vehicle at a distance of not less than 100 feet when the motor-driven cycle is operated at any speed less than 25 miles per hour, and at a distance of not less than 200 feet when the motor-driven cycle is operated at a speed of 25 or more miles per hour, and at a distance of not less than 300 feet when the motor-driven cycle is operated at a speed of 35 or more miles per hour;

2. In the event the motor-driven cycle is equipped with a multiple beam head lamp or head lamps the upper beam shall meet the minimum requirements set forth above and shall not exceed the limitations set forth in section 4349 (a) and the lowermost beam shall meet the requirements applicable to a lowermost distribution of light as set forth in section 4349.

3. In the event the motor-driven cycle is equipped with a single-beam lamp or lamps, said lamps shall be so aimed that when the vehicle is loaded none of the high-intensity portion of light, at a distance of 25 feet ahead, shall project higher than the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes.

§ 4352. Number of driving lamps required or permitted

(a) At all times specified in section 4331, at least two lighted lamps shall be displayed, one on each side at the front of every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, except when such vehicle is parked subject to the regulations governing lights on parked vehicles.

(b) Whenever a motor vehicle equipped with head lamps as herein required is also equipped with any auxiliary lamps or a spot lamp or any other lamp on the front thereof projecting a beam of intensity greater than 300 candle power, not more than a total of four of any such lamps on the front of a vehicle shall be lighted at any one time when upon a highway.

§ 4353. Special restrictions on lamps

(a) Any lighted lamp or illuminating device upon a motor vehicle, other than head lamps, spot lamps, auxiliary lamps, flashing turn signals, emergency vehicle warning lamps and school-bus warning lamps, which projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than 300 candlepower, shall be so directed that no part of the high intensity portion of the beam will strike the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than 75 feet from the vehicle.

(b) No person shall drive or move any vehicle or equipment upon any highway with any lamp or device thereon displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the center thereof. This section shall not apply to any vehicle upon which a red light visible from the front is expressly authorized or required by this Act.

(c) Flashing lights are prohibited except on an authorized emergency vehicle, school bus, snow removal equipment or on any vehicle as a means of indicating_ a right or left turn, or the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard required unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.

§ 4354. Standards for lights on snow-removal equipment

(a) The State Highway Department shall adopt standards and specifications applicable to head lamps, clearance lamps, identification and other lamps on snow-removal equipment when operated on the highways of this State in lieu of the lamps otherwise required on motor vehicles by this chapter. Such standards and specifications may permit the use of flashing lights for purposes of identification on snow-removal equipment when in service upon the highways. The standards and specifications for lamps referred to in this section shall correlate with and, so far as possible, conform with those approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials.

(b) It shall be unlawful to operate any snow-removal equipment on any highway unless the lamps thereon comply with and are lighted when and as required by the standards and specifications adopted as provided in this section.

§ 4355. Scope and effect of regulations

(a) It is a misdemeanor for any person to drive or move times equipped with such lamps and other equipment in proper or for the owner to cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person, or which does not contain those parts or is not at all condition and adjustment as required in this subchapter, or which is equipped in any manner in violation of this subchapter, or for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required under this subchapter.

(b) Nothing contained in this subchapter shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any vehicle not inconsistent with the provisions of this subchapter.

(c) The provisions of this subchapter with respect to equipment on vehicles, shall not apply to implements of husbandry, road machinery, road rollers or farm tractors except as herein made applicable.

§ 4356. Violations of subchapter; penalties

Whoever violates any provision of this subchapter shall, for the first offense, be fined not less than $5 nor more than $25, or imprisoned for not less than 2 nor more than 10 days, or both. For each subsequent like offense within one year he shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $50, or imprisoned for not less than 2 nor more than 15 days, or both.

Section 2. § 4114, § 4115, and § 4153 of this Title and all other sections or parts of sections inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed.

Approved June 13, 1955.