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RCMP warns about use of aftermarket LED lights

High-beam LEDs
High-beam LEDs

HOLYROOD, N.L. — Ever been blinded by oncoming LED headlights? You are not alone. The RCMP is warning that use of the aftermarket lights that are not DOT approved is illegal.

This includes LED light bars and ultra-bright replacement headlights.

Staff Sgt. Boyd Merrill, detachment commander in Holyrood, N.L., said there have been many complaints from motorists and the lights have been mentioned at crash scenes.

“It’s even bigger than just a ticket,” Merrill said, noting if the lights were ever determined to have caused a death on the roadways, that’s a serious charge for the driver using them.

Like aftermarket tinting, it’s not illegal to sell or to own, but the use of them on a public roadway is an offence under the Newfoundland and Labrador Highway Traffic Act. The same is true under the laws in the rest of the Atlantic provinces.

Switching out bulbs for different colours is also an offence, and a safety risk, said Merrill. Headlight housings are design for the bulbs supplied with the cars when new.

Changing them can impair the light’s function and reduce visibility for the driver.

Bulb inspection

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All provinces have their own highway and traffic laws and requirements, but this document offers a good guideline.

BC Vehicle Inspection Manual and Motor Vehicle Regulation
fog lamps (if equipped)
Reject if:
lens type -not lens designation “F”
number and location - more than two, mounted more than 30 cm below
Reject if:
colour - not white
operation -not wired to tail light circuit, do not operate on
park, high or low beam
high-beam driving lamps (if equipped)
Reject if:
lens type- not lens designation “Y”
number and location -more than two, not located on front of vehicle
colour -not white operation not wired to high-beam circuit, operate on high
beam only
low-beam driving lamps (if equipped)
Reject if:
lens type -not lens designation “Z”
location -not located on front of vehicle
colour -not white
operation -operate on low beam only
Type of Lamp Height Requirements
Headlamps 56 cm to 137 cm
Tail Lamps 38 cm to 183 cm
Reflectors 38 cm to 183 cm
Fog Lamps maximum 30 cm below headlight
Auxiliary Driving Lamps 40 cm to 106 cm
Side marker lamps must be 38 cm or more above road surface

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