DOT Vehicle Lighting

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Post Reply
User avatar
Kingfish
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4275
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:23 am

DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Kingfish » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:20 pm

I have been on the hunt for a tail light. Actually I want an integrated L/R Turn Signal Indicators with the running lights and brake lights; don’t need the license plate lights – but whatever. It turns out that this hunt is very difficult.

Sure, there are plenty of tail lights out there, however the gating factors are:
  • Size: Will it fit my bike (not greater than 5 inches wide)?
  • Delivery: Is it stateside (meaning will I need to wait 3 days or 3 weeks for it)?
  • Extra fees: Is the handling fee modest, or is it 50% of the cost (such as Kapsco-Moto on Amazon)?
  • Workmanship: Does it look cool, and not some skanky-POS you wouldn’t wish upon your enemies?
  • Warrantee: Is it reasonably understandable and not written in cryptic pigeon-English?
  • DOT: Is it street legal?
Ahh, the last one is the clincher! I came across a really odd write-up on Washington-State DOT regs concerning LED lighting. Here’s a snippet:
WA-DOL wrote:“Light-Emitting Diode (LED) kits are very popular among motorcyclists who wish to augment the look of their motorcyclists with colored lights. However, the state of Washington has very specific rules on auxiliary lighting systems.

According to Washington statute RCW 46.37.210, only one color in an auxiliary lighting system may be illuminated at one time. The reason for this is that at night there are specific colors that correspond with the actions of the vehicle.

Green or amber lights can only be illuminated when the stop lamps are not illuminated but the vehicle is in motion. Green and amber lights indicate to a motorist behind the vehicle that the vehicle is moving forward. If the accelerator is depressed, the only acceptable color is one green light. If the accelerator is not depressed, but the motorcycle remains in motion, then only two white or amber lights may be used. If the brakes are being applied, the color of the auxiliary lighting system must be red.”
That’s the primary gist of the article. What is strange is that there’s a link to Florida DOT laws concerning Blue taillights which evidently is legal (or rather not illegal yet); many states are moving to band blue/purple lighting on vehicles as being the exclusive reserved color for emergency lighting.

Bottom-line is this complicates my search. The elusive integrated solution is looking pretty grim. Perhaps it is better to entertain a Red-Green taillight for forward or stopping motion, and yellow for turn-indication. I presume that coasting forward would still be a green color. Does this mean that when sitting at a stoplight with no motion whatsoever that the rear light is off? What if I am braking and turning? Sounds like an unfriendly regulation for a desperate source of income. :?

Give me liberty not give me a ticket.
Confuzzled, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

User avatar
amberwolf
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 23820
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:43 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by amberwolf » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:56 am

I've never seen anything with green lighting; here in AZ it's not legal AFAIK (must be amber to red for all rearward-facing lighting, except backup lights which would be white, but generally those aren't on any MC or bike).

As for why they don't want more than one color lit up at a time within a single lighting module, I'd guess a small part of that might be that when you have multiple colors of lighting in a small space, it no longer appears as distinct colors, but rather appears as the amalgam of those colors. With some color combinations and some other external lighting conditions, the color actually perceived may be very different from what's actually there. Whether this would actually matter under road condtions I don't know, but I suspect it's part of the issue.

Anyway, there are places like Clear Alternatives that make model-specific motorcycle lighting replacements for taillights that include the red LEDs for tail and brake light, and amber LEDs for turn signals. Half of the amber ones turn on for each signal, right half for right signal, left for left, of course. The tail and brake share their LEDs, but they're only on about 1/3 to 1/2 brightness for tail, and full for brake. Depending on the model of MC, I'm sure you can find one that fits your shape/size requirements.
ca-led-kit.gif
ca-led-kit.gif (108.93 KiB) Viewed 3045 times
I can't find the original CA site, but this place:
http://stores.motolume.com/StoreFront.bok
appears to carry all the ones I saw when I was looking, as does this one:
http://www.bikebandit.com/brand/clear-alternatives
and a google shopping link:
http://www.google.com/search?q=Clear+Al ... CDMQrQQwAg


I have three OEM DOT-approved MC LED taillights, one in use on DayGlo Avenger, from (I think) a Kawasaki, in a bowtie-shape, and another from a Yamaha that is a wedge-shape. The third I can't recall what it's from but it's the half-dome shape on the back of my Kennel Trailer. The Yamaha would fit your width requirement, but the Kawasaki is at least an inch too wide. Both are weatherproof, but neither has a "pretty" casing, as they are meant to mount within the MC fairing/housing. Not difficult to fab a plastic housing for them, though.

All three of mine are only taillight and brakelight, but they are VERY bright, easily daylight visible, and at night brighter than many older car taillights (and some newer ones).

For turn signals I use separate modules, mostly because that's what I have, but also to make them farther to the side to increase the apparent width of the vehicle when signalling, to make it easier for someone to tell which way that signal is indicating. I have seen some of the in-taillight-signals in operation on the road now and then, and they are harder to tell at a glance which way someone is signalling they're planning to go--I have to watch their signal for over a couple of seconds, and that takes my attention from the rest of traffic, which could increase the danger of me not noticing something else going on.

So while they are more compact, and can "look cooler", they are not as instantly helpful as separated signals would be. At one time I preferred them, and was going to build some like that, but after seeing them on the road I don't want to anymore. I'd still use them if I had them already, but I'd be likely to add separate ones further out to the side. :)

User avatar
RallySTX
10 kW
10 kW
Posts: 838
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:29 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by RallySTX » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:41 am

I was just gonna get some led trailer lights as they are DOT approved. Then working out the mounts and wireing to fit function, as that takes priority over looks for me. However, if you read my thread you will find other ideas that might help you. I like the use of motorcycle lights, and might sudjest Harley Davidson, or older Japanese stuff with replacement LED bulbs from vendors like SuperbrightLEDs.com

Brian L.
Brian Larson CST. KC9DAK.
Janesville WI.
2005 Schwinn Stingray Spoiler
2004 Schwinn Stingray OCC. The Stripper.
Build thread
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 4&p=322312
Web. http://www.wix.com/brian_larson/rallystx128hhj

Image

Image

User avatar
dogman dan
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 34255
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 12:53 pm

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by dogman dan » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:00 am

In my town there is a motorcycle salvage yard. Nothing like that in your area? You'd be on your own for switches and stuff though.

User avatar
michaelplogue
10 kW
10 kW
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:34 pm

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by michaelplogue » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:24 am

Do you really need them to be DOT approved? I mean, I'm assuming that this is going on a bicycle - and as such (I assume) should not need to meet DOT standards for lighting (except what your local ordinances require for night riding).

Or are you trying to get your bicycle licensed as a motorcycle?

Bluefang
10 kW
10 kW
Posts: 767
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:34 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Bluefang » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:36 am

If you are trying to get it registered as a motorbike or similar, be very careful and make sure you have spoken to the relevant engineers about what they require to certify it. In Australia the rules to follow to register a motorbike, lights etc are very easy to follow but after speaking to a engineer about registering a individual vehicle it was going to cost me over $2000 just to get past all the approvals and tests. I went to 2 places in my local area and none come even close to wanting to register the bike easily, you may get lucky and the engineer will pass the bike on just the basics like lights etc.
Building high powered electric vehicles.
http://www.facebook.com/ausemoto
Goldenmotor dealer in Queensland, Australia.

User avatar
Kingfish
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4275
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:23 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Kingfish » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:23 pm

My top speed is roughly 34 mph. I do not intend to register the eBike at a motorcycle; I simply wish to be as roadworthy and compliant as possible since I often merge into slow-going commuter traffic to change lanes and take advantage of the inside Turn Signal (or center turn lane).

This is also a good drill for me to prepare for when I eventually craft an eMotorcycle (or is that ElectriCycle?).

I cannot for the life of me find any lights using green, except green bulbs or green LED bulbs which appear to be quite illegal as indicators in most states. I shall have to wait until tomorrow after the Holiday to check with our local Vehicle Inspection Station on the authenticity of the requirements.

Worse comes to worse, the handlebars are 22 inches wide (I cut them narrower than MtBs but not as narrow as a road bike), and the pedals from edge to edge are 16 inches wide. Therefore I could just get the running/brake light and a pair of indicator stalks and mount the whole shebang beneath the rear rack - and try not to exceed the 16 inches.

As for DOT, the quality of construction would be elevated; given that the lion’s share is coming from China – and there is a lot of crap out there – these details capture my attention. :)

Overtly indicating safely, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

x88x
10 kW
10 kW
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by x88x » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:11 pm

The color restrictions sound to me more like they're trying to cut down on decorative lighting than anything else. The sound like pretty standard descriptions of brake and turns signals to me. Is building your own out of the question? :D
That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
--Benjamin Franklin
Battery stats comparison spreadsheet.

User avatar
Kingfish
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4275
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:23 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Kingfish » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:59 pm

That is a good question. :wink:

If GREEN is the new law for indicating forward motion then I am all for crafting a Red-Green array with a clear lens. 8)

I knows how tu spel inginere. Lookie here: Ï€r²! KF
No… wait a minute; Pie are round, an cornbread are square!
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

User avatar
amberwolf
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 23820
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:43 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by amberwolf » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:26 am

My cornbread usually comes out crumbly and shapeless. ;) Also, I think Red Green might have something to say about your Red/Green light if it doesn't have any duct tape. :P

I've had lots of ideas on stuff to use to build lights out of, that are weatherproof (-able), and can look really nifty. Even some aluminum or stainless steel "decorative" pots, vases, and containers of various types for kitchen use that would look really cool, and are commonly found at thrift stores for next to nothing.

User avatar
Kingfish
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4275
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:23 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Kingfish » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:59 pm

Digging deeper into the conundrum, I found the consummate source for Washington State; perhaps these laws are similar in your areas.

The root of all the state laws are located here: Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
Title 46 RCW Motor vehicles/ 46.37 Vehicle lighting and other equipment.
  • RCW 46.37.200 Stop lamps and electric turn signals displayed.
    Summery: Turn signals/running lights can be non-glaring white or amber (or interestingly color in-between) in the front, and amber or red (or color in-between) in the rear. The rear stop light must be on the centerline. The rear turn signals may be integrated with the stop light.
  • RCW 46.37.210 Additional lighting equipment.
    Interesting bits:
    • One green light to be activated when the accelerator of the motor vehicle is depressed.
    • Not more than two amber lights to be activated when the motor vehicle is moving forward, or standing and idling, but is not under the power of the engine. (I take this to mean the front amber running lights).
    • Auxiliary (lighting) system …may operate in conjunction with such stop lamps or turn signals.
    • Only one color of the system may be illuminated at any one time, and at all times either the green light, or amber light or lights shall be illuminated when the stop lamps of the vehicle are not illuminated.
    • The green light, and the amber light or lights, when illuminated shall be plainly visible at a distance of one thousand feet to the rear. (Thus we must presume that the single green light is considered an Auxiliary lighting system).
  • RCW 46.37.215 Hazard warning lamps.
  • RCW 46.37.220 Multiple-beam road-lighting equipment.
  • RCW 46.37.230 Use of multiple-beam road-lighting equipment.
  • RCW 46.37.240 Single-beam road-lighting equipment.
    Summary: The head lamps shall be so aimed that when the vehicle is not loaded none of the high intensity portion of the light shall at a distance of twenty-five feet ahead project higher than a level of five inches below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes, and in no case higher than forty-two inches above the level on which the vehicle stands at a distance of seventy-five feet ahead… and reveal persons and vehicles at 200 feet.
  • RCW 46.37.260 Alternate road lighting equipment.
  • RCW 46.37.270 Number of lamps required — Number of additional lamps permitted.
  • RCW 46.37.280 Special restrictions on lamps.
The laws digress into other areas going forwards. I began going backwards and ran into more Green light stuff:
  • RCW 46.37.187 Green light, sign or plate — Identification card required.
  • RCW 46.37.185 Green light on firefighters' private cars.
    Summary: Firefighters, when approved by the chief of their respective service, shall be authorized to use a green light on the front of their private cars when on emergency duty only.
Conclusion: I actually like the study of laws and lawyering; it was one of my favorite subjects when perusing my Business degree. Most of the above vehicle laws make good sense; common sense really. Last week I visited the Vehicle Inspection Station and they really only knew about emissions and deferred me to the State Patrol Office; that’s a bit of a hike from where I live so it will have to wait.

I hope to finally resolve the green light question then.
~KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

x88x
10 kW
10 kW
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:10 pm

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by x88x » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:25 pm

Interesting. I assume turn signals don't apply to the "only one color of the system may be illuminated at any one time"?
That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
--Benjamin Franklin
Battery stats comparison spreadsheet.

User avatar
Kingfish
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4275
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:23 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Kingfish » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:10 pm

Small update:
Last Friday I placed a call into my local PD to discuss some additional lighting options, specifically Red taillight Brake & Running, and Amber turn indicators L/R & F/R. They took down my details – who I wuz, where I lived, details about my ebike, how fast I went… and then said that they would get back to me.

<hold breath; wait for them to cuff me and throw away the key…> :shock:

However on Monday my call way returned in the afternoon. The officer on the other side said that the City didn’t have any issues with my plans and generally applauded my efforts to become more visible and overtly indicative of intent. There was no downside; just happy “go for it” & do as you wish. :!: :D

Yesterday (Monday) I rode out to the State Patrol district office and requested an officer to converse with. After a short wait the gal said none were available but had me call the State Capitol over the Courtesy Phone to connect with someone who could provide direction. This individual gave me a number to call about Vehicle Equipment Compliance (I think that what it was called); this number I called today and promptly got a recording which stated that either "leave a message" or email them at xyz address. I did the latter – stating my case about additional lighting, who I wuz, etcetera.

That’s where we are at: Now we wait to see how the egg gets hatched. :|

Twiddling, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

User avatar
amberwolf
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 23820
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:43 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by amberwolf » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:51 am

FWIW, I just started adding the lighting to my bike that matched the color and style of lighting I saw on cars, after verifying there wasn't any specific AZ DOT laws against it, and collected various police and firefighter compliments on having "correct lighting". :) So far I have yet to get any kind of problem with anyone over it, and indeed have had less problems because of it. Plus quite a number of people who've talked to me about the bike projects *because* of the lighting drawing their attention to it.

Well, there have been people that laugh at having turn signals and whatnot on a bicycle, but they don't matter anyway. :)


That said, I'm very interested in the "official" responses you get up there in WA. :)

User avatar
Kingfish
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4275
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:23 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Kingfish » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:47 pm

Updated Status Wednesday Jan-26th.
I have received my reply from the Washington State Patrol Equipment people. I suppose it makes sense to publish the email sent so that the reply can be fully appreciated. Here’s what I wrote:
Kingfish wrote: To: Equipment
Subject: Bicycle Lighting & Safety
Importance: High

Re: Bicycle Lighting & Safety

Greetings

Please allow me to introduce myself:

<Myself, My Company, & website>

I have been a resident in or around the City of Redmond, Washington since 1993.

Relatively of late I have been riding my bicycles as a primary form of transportation to great benefit of personal health. One of these bicycles has been modified with a low-powered electric hub motor kit to help me climb the steep Seattle-area hills. The motor is not that powerful; about 500W - and provides grateful assist up to 20 mph. I can however pedal the bike faster on my own. Sometimes my downhill speeds exceed 40 mph; a common feat any child-at-heart can do without too much difficulty on steep downgrades.

In the deep dark season of winter I am very concerned about my illumination. To see and be seen, I wear the brightest florescent Yellow and White jacket possible (bought at REI), as well as a white DOT-approved helmet w/ face shield - mainly because I wear glasses to see (whereas goggles would fog up).

Presently my bike has two "blinky" flashing red-white lights on the rear and two white LED lights in the front. This bike is in excellent repair; brand new with top-of-the-line components. I built a slight faring for it to help reduce the road crud from hitting the chain and rider; this faring is bright HDPE white plastic with a 1-inch wide reflective stripe down the side. (I also wear reflective stripes at my ankles).

Still, it is not enough visibility as not all drivers are attentive when I slow down, turn, or stop because I have my hands on my handlebars for maximum control - especially when it is chucking down sheets of rain snow or sleet. When the weather gets really nasty I have little choice but to ride into the same space as cars (though on the right) to avoid the trash & tree debris in the road margins. It is during these conditions where I feel extra bicycle lighting would be most beneficial.

I propose the addition of:
. Red Brake/Running taillight, bright LED array and DOT-approved. I can trip the brake light from my electric brake; this will better alert drivers of my intended activity and avert them from potentially skidding into my rear when I slow down and stop.
. Amber Signal Lights, L/R & F/R, DOT-approved and LED. The indicator switch can be mounted on the handlebar. The frequency of the switching shall be 90/minute DOT-compliant.

The bicycle does not have motor-assist above 20 mph; it is a bicycle first and foremost: When the battery dies I still have to pedal the beast, and I have many 10s of miles.

In preparation for this modification I have discussed the matter with the City of Redmond Police Department and they have given tacit approval for local use. I commute regularly between Eastside & Seattle-metro, and summer-time cross-country on bike trails, city, county, state, and (where permitted) interstate routes.

I was hoping to discuss these matters of additional lighting with a State Patrol officer in Bellevue. The district office there referred me to this office, and hence this kind correspondence :)

I have not mounted the additional lighting proposed above; I merely suggest out of courtesy with attention to safety. I should however very much like the State's approval, and I am willing to present the modifications to inspection at your pleasure. The last thing I wish to do is become a problem; make sense? :)

Bike Details:
. 2009 Felt Compulsion 1 Full-Suspension medium-frame bicycle . Marzocchi fork/Fox rear Shocks . Top-grade very strong 26" Cross-country rims w/ Marathon Winter studded tires F/R in winter; thick Hookworms otherwise.
. All components are top-of-the-line Shimano or SRAM.
. Motor: Nine Continent 2806 36-48V 500W DC w/ Lithium-Polymer Batteries

I have operated this bicycle for 15 months now, averaging 25 miles/day, with a distance record of 173 alpine miles on a single charge in one day. I'm in great shape for an old young-guy :)

It would be a privileged honor to discuss this matter with you further.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,
<Myself, My Phone Number>
...and the Reply...
WSP Equipment wrote: To: <Bein, mon frère>
From: Equipment
January 26, 2011

This is in response to your e-mail.

Attached for your convenience is a document that outlines the requirements under state law for an electric assisted bicycle such as the one you describe below. The Washington State Patrol does not provide safety inspections, so we would not be able to approve your bicycle for use on the public roadway.

There is nothing in the law that we could find that would prohibit the use of additional lighting equipment on a bicycle provided that the lighting used complied with the state regulations.

Thank you for your inquiry.
Sincerely,
Equipment
WSP-ElectricAssistedBicycle.pdf
(57.47 KiB) Downloaded 121 times
Please take a moment review the attachment as I should like to make some observations. :D
  • The WA-State Law essentially says that electric-assisted bicycles are the same as regular bicycles so long as they are lawfully compliant to the electric-assisted regulation which we know all too well (< 1000W, & assist up to 20 mph).
  • Everything else is gravy: There is no law that says additional DOT-approved lighting is wrong, and you cannot be cited for making your electric bike compliant with motorcycle regulations of which are more stringent than traditional bicycle regulations.
There is one fuzzy gray area with regards to prohibiting motor vehicles on bike paths and sidewalks, but then there is an exception and specific waiver for electric-assisted bicycles and scooters that obviates the regulation.

The most interesting fact not mentioned ~ although noticed through discovery ~ is that the moped licensing requirement has been repealed and not replaced in Washington State; the law requiring licensing of mopeds (RCW 46.16.630) expires on July 1st, 2011. I am not sure what the State is going to do about this; perhaps it paves the way for unlicensed higher-powered electric vehicles not meeting the full motor vehicle regulation. This is a very interesting development of itself. :idea:

Regardless, I didn’t want to stir the pot with the WSP by asking about the green light et al;
I think it is pretty clear that green lights on vehicles are for special use. :wink:

So that’s that! It looks like there are no legal impediments to future lighting modifications in WA-State. I encourage fact-checking in your provinces; it doesn't hurt to ask. FWIW - the lighting accessories are coincidentally in the queue and should arrive shortly.

From the catbird seat, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

User avatar
amberwolf
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 23820
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:43 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by amberwolf » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:39 pm

Kingfish wrote:There is one fuzzy gray area with regards to prohibiting motor vehicles on bike paths and sidewalks, but then there is an exception and specific waiver for electric-assisted bicycles and scooters that obviates the regulation.
In most of the various state regulations that I've read, bicycles are specifically EXCLUDED from being Motor Vehicles, even when they have assist motors, and thus specifically exempt from any regulations that specify that they are for Motor Vehicles. Some of the states actually say that in so many words, and others imply that this is the case by the way they define a Motor Vehicle vs a Bicycle, and some do both.

User avatar
Kingfish
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4275
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:23 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Kingfish » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:03 am

Precisely!

Chapter 46.04 RCW Definitions
RCW 46.04.071 Bicycle.
RCW 46.04.169 Electric-assisted bicycle.
RCW 46.04.336 Motorized foot scooter.
RCW 46.04.304 Moped.
RCW 46.04.332 Motor-driven cycle.
RCW 46.04.330 Motorcycle.

RCW 46.61.710 Mopeds, EPAMDs, electric-assisted bicycles, motorized foot scooters — General requirements and operation.
  • This is the one particular regulation where obvious exception is made for electric-assisted bicycles (although it nearly becomes circular referencing at several points).
46.61.710 wrote:(5) Subsections (1), (2), and (4) of this section do not apply to electric-assisted bicycles. Electric-assisted bicycles and motorized foot scooters may have access to highways, other than limited access highways, of the state to the same extent as bicycles. Subject to subsection (6) of this section, electric-assisted bicycles and motorized foot scooters may be operated on a multipurpose trail or bicycle lane, but local jurisdictions may restrict or otherwise limit the access of electric-assisted bicycles and motorized foot scooters, and state agencies may regulate the use of motorized foot scooters on facilities and properties under their jurisdiction and control.
I think for our purposes we generally belong to one of these approximate classifications:
  • Electric-assisted bicycle (up to 1 hp, < 20 mph)
  • Moped (up to 2 hp, < 30 mph), or
  • Motor-driven cycle (up to 5 hp)
Perhaps we can get a few of these terms into the Glossary of EV Terminology (paraphrased of course) :)
Preferring to pedal, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

User avatar
Kingfish
10 GW
10 GW
Posts: 4275
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:23 am

Re: DOT Vehicle Lighting

Post by Kingfish » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:18 pm

I thought I’d offer up these two docs from the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) concerning Electric Assisted Bicycles, and Mopeds. I could not find a similar summary for scooter or motor-driven cycles.
WSP-ElectricAssistedBicycle.pdf
(57.47 KiB) Downloaded 84 times
WSP-Moped.pdf
(42.55 KiB) Downloaded 91 times
Also, I found another semi-consolidate (albeit brief) reference to electric bicycle laws which may be of value.

Here is a brief on after-market equipment and a matrix of requirements for all but bicycles/scooters/electric assisted bicycles by the WA-State Patrol.
Notes on 2/3-wheeled vehicles:
  • Windows should not be required if wearing a face shield or goggles.
  • I don’t know about the VIN & Fed. Certifications; that needs follow-up.
What are other people saying:
I found this thread on the subject of laws near and about our concerns here.
Select the topic index for more goodies on the subject of Motored Biking Laws & Legislation.

I think that in the short term I shall continue to play as an electric-assisted bicycle. Come this summer though I might have to comply for moped: I will be going across state lines and doing so will make the going a lot easier to hide my power and speed that way, even at the small expense of becoming legal.

Looking down the road at WOT, KF
* My 2WD Garden Wall
* Kinaye MotorSports
* Primary ride: 2WD Disc 9C 2806-equiv / Dual Lyen 12FET / 20S7P LiPo.
* Epics: Going to California: 2011 8)
* 50-mph, 101, 10k-Club. 12,527 miles-to-date, 7037 as 2WD.

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed.
The hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning.
It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

Post Reply