Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety
6/24/2019

§ 46.2-1012. Headlights, auxiliary headlights, tail lights, brake lights, auxiliary lights, and illumination of license plates on motorcycles or autocycles. (2018 updated section)

Every motorcycle or autocycle shall be equipped with at least one headlight which shall be of a type that has been approved by the Superintendent and shall be capable of projecting sufficient light to the front of such motorcycle or autocycle to render discernible a person or object at a distance of 200 feet. However, the lights shall not project a glaring or dazzling light to persons approaching such motorcycles or autocycles. In addition, each motorcycle or autocycle may be equipped with not more than two auxiliary headlights of a type approved by the Superintendent except as otherwise provided in this section.

Motorcycles or autocycles may be equipped with means of modulating the high beam of their headlights between high and low beam at a rate of 200 to 280 flashes per minute. Such headlights shall not be so modulated during periods when headlights would ordinarily be required to be lighted under § 46.2-1030.

Notwithstanding § 46.2-1002, motorcycles or autocycles may be equipped with standard bulb running lights or light-emitting diode (LED) pods or strips as auxiliary lighting. Such lighting shall be (i) either red or amber in color, (ii) directed toward the ground in such a manner that no part of the beam will strike the level of the surface on which the motorcycle or autocycle stands at a distance of more than 10 feet from the vehicle, and (iii) designed for vehicular use. Such lighting shall not (a) project a beam of light of an intensity greater than 25 candlepower or its equivalent from a single lamp or bulb; (b) be blinking, flashing, oscillating, or rotating; or (c) be attached to the wheels of the motorcycle or autocycle.

Every motorcycle or autocycle registered in the Commonwealth and operated on the highways of the Commonwealth shall be equipped with at least one brake light of a type approved by the Superintendent. Motorcycles or autocycles may be equipped with one or more auxiliary brake lights of a type approved by the Superintendent. The Superintendent may by regulation prescribe or limit the size, number, location, and configuration of such auxiliary brake lights.

Every motorcycle or autocycle shall carry at the rear at least one or more red lights plainly visible in clear weather from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Such tail lights shall be constructed and so mounted in their relation to the rear license plate as to illuminate the license plate with a white light so that the same may be read from a distance of 50 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Alternatively, a separate white light shall be so mounted as to illuminate the rear license plate from a distance of 50 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Any such tail lights or special white light shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.

Motorcycles or autocycles may be equipped with a means of varying the brightness of the vehicle's brake light upon application of the vehicle's brakes.

Code 1950, § 46-266; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-261; 1983, c. 132; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 165; 2003, c. 964; 2009, c. 79; 2014, cc. 53, 256; 2015, c. 405; 2018, c. 763.