1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

Flashing brake lights, pass MA inspection and road legal?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Matt-CZ, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Matt-CZ

    Matt-CZ NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    697
    Location:
    South Shore
    Hello all,

    I am trying to improve the brake visibility of my fiance's car. She is currently recovering from being rear ended at a red light by a distracted driver. Nearly 6 months of post-concussion symptoms with no end in sight. This is the second time the same thing has happened. So many drivers not looking at the road...

    Does anyone know if flashing brake lights are legal in MA? Or if a car with that installed would pass an inspection? I'm hoping I can replace her third brake light (the small, center one in most cars on on or above the trunk) with an super-bright LED strip with a flashing modulator. When the brake is pressed, it flashes a few times then eventually goes solid. This is a fairly common modification on motorcycles and hyperlites are a popular kit that I am trying to duplicate on a car.

    I could either modify the third light, or add auxiliary brake lights that have a strobe feature. Anyone with any experience using this and passing inspection?
     

  2. Asaltweapon

    Asaltweapon NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10,622
    Likes Received:
    3,487
    Location:
    Northern Mass
    Most ambulances have them.
     
  3. ipscdrl

    ipscdrl

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    5,601
    Likes Received:
    1,026
    Location:
    Central Mass
    I know that several of my friends have the brake modules that flash then stay lit on their motorcycle. (I won't mention the brand of bike so as not to trigger the jealous one)

    They do work well and I believe they are perfectly legal.
     
    xjma99 and slap shot like this.
  4. eboos

    eboos

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    Messages:
    2,169
    Likes Received:
    1,276
    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    Don't know for sure regarding the legality, but in addition to being a popular upgrade on motorcycles, aren't they factory installed in some cars dating back to around 2005?
     
  5. HorizontalHunter

    HorizontalHunter NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,735
    Likes Received:
    1,494
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    Evadd, Choctaw, wahsben and 3 others like this.
  6. Matt-CZ

    Matt-CZ NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    697
    Location:
    South Shore
    Great, just what I was looking for. Thanks
     
  7. HorizontalHunter

    HorizontalHunter NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,735
    Likes Received:
    1,494
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    There is a video on the page that shows how to program it for different variations. I didn’t bother with any of that. I just left the wire intact for the default mode. The default is six pulses then solid.

    I really liked the fact that it has the accelerometer so if your on the brakes and had to step on them it will pulse again.

    There is a car near me a that has all three brake lights on continuous strobe. It is awful and he is going to get hit.

    Bob
     
  8. ThePreBanMan

    ThePreBanMan NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6,828
    Likes Received:
    2,106
    Location:
    A Fair Haven in an unfair state.
    I've seen aftermarket units that plug into the tow receiver on trucks as well and plug into the trailer wiring harness. No splicing etc. required. Don't know what she's driving. But if it's a crossover or SUV with a receiver that would probably be the route I go.
     
  9. powerman

    powerman

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    971
    Likes Received:
    211
    Location:
    Eastern, MA
    I believe some new cars have it and they are bright. I have them on one of my motorcycles for the last 10-15 years and I know it works

    Having said that, I think it's going to be a bad idea once there are many on the road blinking away, especially with the rubbernecking on the highway.

    With all these random blinking lights someone is going to have a seizure.

    This rear ending is a big issue, I was rear end this year for the first time in 40 years driving. You guest it, I didn't see you, I looked down on my phone.
    I buddy of mine was lucky this past summer, the driver saw him last minute and they swerved off the road to miss him, he was on a motorcycle, very lucky
     
  10. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    13,374
    Likes Received:
    3,446
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    “In 2002, Daimler-Chrysler tested the benefits of a flashing brake light.

    From 2006 to 2010, the Department of Transportation (DOT) studied and published a series of reports on the effectiveness of a flashing third brake light showing that a flashing brake light improved the reaction time of the driver in a trailing vehicle by almost 50%.2 The same DOT studies showed that a distracted driver was 69% more likely to notice the car ahead of them slowing or stopping, if that car was equipped with a flashing third brake light.”
     
    kalash, StevieP, DrBurnsides and 2 others like this.
  11. Uzi2

    Uzi2 NES Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Messages:
    3,256
    Likes Received:
    3,242
    As do most newer fire trucks.
     
  12. crazymjb

    crazymjb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    9,579
    Likes Received:
    2,752
    Location:
    Green Eggs and...
    Have one on my bike. Not a bad idea for the jeep actually.

    Mike
     
  13. Canndo

    Canndo NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    8,159
    Likes Received:
    4,936
    I have one on the bike too. I can choose different strobe/pulse patterns. I’m a big believer in them.
     
  14. Coyote33

    Coyote33

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,088
    Likes Received:
    2,416
    I saw a car yesterday with a blue LED license plate light. I thought blue lights on cars was illegal. It was a CT plate.

    It's bad enough the light up signs along the highway, or people who swap in blue lights on their front porch. I'm hitting my brakes all over the place!
     
    Jason Flare likes this.
  15. jakeroub

    jakeroub

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Metro West
    I was behind a car with bright flashing brake lights a couple of weeks ago on the highway in rush hour traffic. It was actually really annoying and distracting to the point that I changed lanes.
     
    amm5061, ToddDubya, kalash and 3 others like this.
  16. Canndo

    Canndo NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    8,159
    Likes Received:
    4,936
    That’s the point.
     
    Mike Stanton likes this.
  17. TLB

    TLB

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,862
    Likes Received:
    1,417
    Location:
    Heading for greener pastures
    I was behind an ambulance that had them once. It was so annoying that I let them get ahead of me a bit and then rammed them from behind on purpose with the pedal to the metal.




    Well, the last part is BS, but they were very distracting, IMO.
     
    DarthRevan likes this.
  18. SpaceCritter

    SpaceCritter NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    10,445
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    Location:
    In Orbit
    NOT legal in Connecticut:

     
  19. Roof gunner

    Roof gunner

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    217
    Speaking of lights , does anyone else find the statys blue lights blinding and extremely distracting ? Especially when their is a few of them together ! I have almost hit a trooper directing traffic due to the blue blinding brightness !
     
    BigTimber, Qjake17 and M1911 like this.
  20. SeanT

    SeanT NES Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,144
    Likes Received:
    549
    Location:
    MA - Amherst area
    Yes, I have a lot of trouble at night when the statues have their lights blasting.
     
  21. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    13,374
    Likes Received:
    3,446
    Location:
    Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
    My pet peeve is Audi, BMW, Volvo and other European cars with the “Inclement Weather Package.” They include a rear-facing foglight designed to be used in bad weather on the autobahn.

    Nowadays people leave their fogs on all the time because “Look at me!” But that rear-facing Light is dazzling to following drivers in clear weather. I’d bet 95% of the drivers don’t even know.

    The 3rd light flashing 6 times seems likethe perfect compromise.
     
    M1911 likes this.
  22. Qwikdraw45

    Qwikdraw45 NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    479
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    The way it's written, it seems to state that the flashing lights must not be visible from the front of the vehicle (i.e. placed in the grille, on dash, or on top). As written, brake lights would seem to fit in. But I only drive in CT and don't live there, so it doesn't really affect me (no flashing brake lights, yet).
     
  23. SpaceCritter

    SpaceCritter NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    10,445
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    Location:
    In Orbit
    CGS 14-96p(b) makes it pretty clear it applies to ALL flashing lights not specifically listed as an exception.
    Connecticut's general take on vehicular lights is, if it's not REQUIRED it's PROHIBITED. Case in point: undercarriage lights, which are absolutely verboten. Wouldn't be surprised if the other nanny states (e.g. Assatwoshits) do similar.
     
  24. Qwikdraw45

    Qwikdraw45 NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    479
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    Wonder if CT will stop and ticket all of the out of state vehicles that have the flashing brake lights. Wouldn't surprise me, since it who would go back to fight a ticket that's just an infraction. (unless they do like with tinted windows on OOS vehicles - if you're from Florida, etc. you can't just "untint" your windows to drive through CT.
     
  25. SpaceCritter

    SpaceCritter NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    10,445
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    Location:
    In Orbit
    I can't say how much they bust balls for flashing brake lights. I DO know they can and will for the undercarriage lights.

    A few years back, a local twentysomething (IIRC) had them and insisted on keeping them on when riding about town, despite having been popped by the popo for them already. Well, did it again, lights and sirens, and he engaged them - with (teenaged) friends in the car - on a chase down the main road. He decided to try losing them by whipping onto a side road (gentle right), apparently not realizing the road makes a sudden turn to the left immediately thereafter. Not much in the way of street lights there, so he didn't see it. Vehicle went airborne with sufficient velocity to strike the adjacent commercial building on the SECOND floor. All made it, banged up... EXCEPT one kid: football star at the local high school.
     
  26. Roof gunner

    Roof gunner

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    217
    You can get that little light with a pellet gun if your any good !
     
  27. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    8,649
    Likes Received:
    3,107
    Location:
    Granite State of Mind
    I recall in the '70s, when there was a commercial kit (and some home-brew instructions) for a flashing rear brake light for motorcycles. It involved mercury switches at different angles, so the harder you braked, the faster it flashed.

    As for rear-facing lights, this morning on the way down 93 to Concord, we got behind a local plow truck who had his white salt-spreader lights on: two of them, LEDs, facing to the rear.

    Glad he got off at the next exit.
     
  28. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Messages:
    38,347
    Likes Received:
    5,812
    Location:
    Near Framingham
    Absofrickinlutely! I understand that they need their lights to be bright, but blinding drivers at night doesn’t increase safety — it decreases safety.
     
  29. Uzi2

    Uzi2 NES Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Messages:
    3,256
    Likes Received:
    3,242
    Two reasons flashing brake lights even came about was because there are so many distracted drivers on the roads not paying attention to their driving and people tailgating.
     
    Chevy 2 65 likes this.
  30. highlander

    highlander

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    3,955
    Likes Received:
    266
    Location:
    Lynn Ma
    A month ago I saw a pickup with flashing brake lights and thought that was pretty cool,the flashed maybe 6 time and went to regular intensity. I didn't get the make and thought the lights were some new regs from the feds. I did't find them distracting.
     

Share This Page