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  • Chuck Watwood

Motorcycle Lighting, Flashers, Mirrors, & Novelty Lights in Georgia


You just got a new bike, now you want to make it unique, make it stand out. Some of the most popular ways to customize include lights, flashers, custom mirrors. What are the rules about customizing lights and other safety equipment?


Note: Most of these provisions apply only to motorcycles manufactured on or after January 1, 1972.

Headlights:

According to §40-8-22, motorcycles must have at least one but no more than two headlights mounted at least 24 inches off the ground but no more than 54 inches high.


Brake Lights:

§40-8-25 states at least one brake light is required, and if it comes from the factory with two, then both must be operational. The brake light must be red and visible from 300 feet in both daylight and at night. The light however cannot be a “glaring or dazzling light.”


Turn Signal Lights:

§40-8-25(c) says all vehicles must be equipped with mechanical or electrical turn signals. and they must be visible from 300 feet in both daylight and at night from the front and the rear. Furthermore, those signals must be maintained in good repair and should meet the manufacturer’s specifications.

Hand signals are acceptable substitutes for signaling a turn; however, you can still be cited for failure to maintain turn signals in good repair if you choose to use hand signaling in lieu of inoperative or missing turn signals.


Auxiliary Lights:

According to §40-8-29(b), motorcycles may be equipped with no more than two fog lights between 12 inches and 30 inches off the ground. These lamps must be aimed so that they project at least four inches lower than the center of the bulb mounting height at a distance of 25 feet.


Flashing or Modulating Lights:

Only emergency vehicles or those with proper permits may display flashing or revolving colored lights. Nothing is mentioned which prohibits motorcyclists from displaying flashing or revolving clear lights.


L.E.D. And Other Colored Novelty Lights

According to §40-8-90, blue lights, whether flashing or stationary are prohibited except for law enforcement, specially permitted, or hobby-type vehicles designated by §40-2-86.1 which may display a blue light or “blue dot taillight” in the rear under limited circumstances.


Flashing green lights are prohibited and subsection (b) states that the Commissioner of Public Safety shall authorize the use of red or amber flashing or revolving lights only when the person shall demonstrate to the Commissioner a proven need for equipping the vehicle with emergency lights. Although the law surrounding blue auxiliary lights seems clear, it is unknown how the courts would interpret a citation for the use of red, amber, or green novelty L.E.D. lights on a motorcycle, whether parked or while moving.


Mirrors:

§40-8-72 requires every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Nothing is mentioned which describes which side the mirror must be on, nor whether it should be above or below the grip of the handlebars.


Reflectors:

O.C.G.A. §40-8-24 says motorcycles must have at least one rear red reflector at least 20 inches off the ground and it must be visible at night between 50 and 300 feet behind the reflector.


Horns:

According to §40-8-70(a), motorcycles must have a horn clearly audible from at least 200 feet without emitting “an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.”

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