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Old 03-06-2007, 11:20 PM   #1
Greg in H-Town
 
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Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

What are the inspection requirements for turn signals? I read through parts of the TXDot vehicle code and didn't see a requirement that a motorcycle even needs them - I guess the loophole is that arm signals could be used instead. Is it illegal to remove them if the vehicle was originally equipped with them? I was just curious about this because I thought about removing the factory rear signals and replacing them with a gadget that makes each half of your tail light flash as a turn signal.
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:29 PM   #2
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

I was told if you have them they must work, otherwise they're not required. The law may have changed, but if it's omitted from the current code then not having them is still OK as it was last time I check about a year ago.
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:41 PM   #3
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

I was under the impression that if your bike came with them then you had to have them and if it did not come with them there was no requirement to install them.

However, I have known several cruiser riders (Mostly HD) who have stripped the signals from their bikes because they like the minimalist look and they still seem to pass inspection.

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Old 03-07-2007, 12:01 AM   #4
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by rearviewmirror
I was told if you have them they must work, otherwise they're not required.
I was under the same impression, for whatever that's worth.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:18 AM   #5
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

The rules changed the middle of last year. Before, if you had lights on the bike, they had to be fully operational, but no turn signals were required.

The regulations have been amended to state that, now, pretty much all street bikes must have operational lighted turn signals visible from front and back.
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:15 AM   #6
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

From http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/msb/txm...tm#Chapter%202

TURN SIGNAL LAMPS REQUIRED.

(a)Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps that indicate the operator's intent to turn by displaying flashing lights to the front and rear of a vehicle or combination of vehicles and on that side of the vehicle or combination toward which the turn is to be made.

* * * * *

(c) Turn signal lamps:

(1) shall be mounted at the same level and spaced as widely apart as practicable on the front and on the rear of the vehicle; and

(2) may be included as a part of another lamp on the vehicle.

(d) A turn signal lamp shall emit:

(1) a white or amber light, or a color between white and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the front of the vehicle; or

(2) a red or amber light, or a color between red and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the rear of the vehicle.

(e) A turn signal lamp must be visible in normal sunlight at a distance of:

(1) at least 500 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle if the vehicle is at least 80 inches wide; and

(2) at least 300 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle if the vehicle is less than 80 inches wide.

My interpretation is that turn signals must be installed as far apart as possible, so unless your taillight is as wide as your stock turn signals, mounting the signals in the light would be a violation. Subsection B referred to above exempts mopeds from the turn signal requirement.
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:20 AM   #7
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenH
From http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/msb/txm...tm#Chapter%202

TURN SIGNAL LAMPS REQUIRED.

(a)Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps that indicate the operator's intent to turn by displaying flashing lights to the front and rear of a vehicle or combination of vehicles and on that side of the vehicle or combination toward which the turn is to be made.

* * * * *

(c) Turn signal lamps:

(1) shall be mounted at the same level and spaced as widely apart as practicable on the front and on the rear of the vehicle; and

(2) may be included as a part of another lamp on the vehicle.

(d) A turn signal lamp shall emit:

(1) a white or amber light, or a color between white and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the front of the vehicle; or

(2) a red or amber light, or a color between red and amber, if the lamp is mounted on the rear of the vehicle.

(e) A turn signal lamp must be visible in normal sunlight at a distance of:

(1) at least 500 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle if the vehicle is at least 80 inches wide; and

(2) at least 300 feet from the front and rear of the vehicle if the vehicle is less than 80 inches wide.

My interpretation is that turn signals must be installed as far apart as possible, so unless your taillight is as wide as your stock turn signals, mounting the signals in the light would be a violation. Subsection B referred to above exempts mopeds from the turn signal requirement.

There is another chapter: This one lists what is required.

Subch. M. ADDITIONALORALTERNATIVEEQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR MOTORCYCLES AND MOTOR-DRIVEN CYCLES

TRC 547.801.

LIGHTING EQUIPMENT.

(a) A motorcycle, including a motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with:

(1) not more than two headlamps mounted at a height from 24 to 54 inches;

(2) at least one taillamp mounted at a height from 20 to 72 inches;

(3) a taillamp or separate lamp to illuminate the rear license plate that complies with the requirements of Sections 547.322(f) and (g);

(4) at least one stoplamp that complies with the requirements of Section 547.323(d); and

(5) at least one rear red reflector that complies with the requirements of Section 547.325(b) and may be included as a part of the taillamp.

(b) A motorcycle, other than a motor-driven cycle, shall be equipped with multiple-beam lighting equipment that produces:

(1) an uppermost distribution of light that reveals a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 300 feet ahead; and

(2) a lowermost distribution of light that:

(A) reveals a person or vehicle at a distance of at least 150 feet ahead; and

(B) is aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam on the motorcycle that is on a straight and level road under any condition of loading projects into the eyes of an approaching vehicle operator.

(c) A motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with:

(1) multiple-beam lighting equipment that complies with the requirements of Subsection (b); or

(2) single-beam lighting equipment that:

(A) emits light sufficient to reveal a person or vehicle:

(i) at a distance of at least 100 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed less than 25 miles per hour;

(ii) at a distance of at least 200 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed of 25 miles per hour or more; and

(iii) at a distance of at least 300 feet when the cycle is operated at a speed of 35 miles per hour or more; and

(B) is aimed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam from the lamp on a loaded cycle projects a beam higher than the level center of the lamp for a distance of 25 feet ahead.

(d) A motorcycle may not be operated at any time unless at least one headlamp on the motorcycle is illuminated. This subsection does not apply to a motorcycle manufactured before the model year 1975.

The common rule is what was said earlier, if it has them they must work, if they don'thave them, they don't. I may be wrong but when reading the laws you cannot take just one chapter and make it apply. Notice that is does say up top of this law "Additional Alternative Equipment" go figure what they meant by that

By the way, I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:46 AM   #8
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

As I posted elsewhere recently, I looked into it years ago, and there's no mention of if them being mandatory if they were original equipment. They aren't required, and that's all there is to it. Regardless, I've had 6 bikes without signals over the last 10 years (2 of them were street bikes) and have never been questioned at any inspection.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

They kept breaking off the fairing on my SV, so I yanked and tossed 'em. Just got an inspection sticker without 'em. I never had a turn signal on my XL600 either.

BTW, I ride my Chinese 200 around with the lights turned off all the time. I guess I'm a criminal.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:31 AM   #10
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

This topic was covered thoroughly here, and sums it up well:
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2449

Everything you need to know, and much that you don't....
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:44 AM   #11
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by gotdurt
This topic was covered thoroughly here
Except at least one person believes the law changed this year and that thread is older.

An inspector or peace officer may not have or know current laws. That said, still ask them as they are generally better informed than many.

This forum is good for things like this. At least we come out with an informed consensus.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:47 AM   #12
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Yeah, from that link/thread.....

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/vi/insp...ejectsubmit=Go

Quote:
"20.29 Turn Signal Lamps. Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer shall be equipped with electrical turn signal lamps, except that passenger cars and trucks less than 80 inches in width and manufactured or assembled prior to the model year 1960 need not be equipped with electrical turn signal lamps.


If the bed, body, cab, load, and any other equipment on a vehicle or combination of vehicles exceeds 24 inches or more to the left of the center of the top of the steering post in the same horizontal plane (that is, as high as the center of the top of the steering post) or when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the rear limit of the body or load exceeds 14 feet, then turn signal lamps are required, even though a hand and arm signal can be seen and the vehicle was manufactured or assembled prior to model year 1960.


NOTE: Required turn signal lamps must be visible to the front and to the rear of the vehicle.


1. Electric turn signal lamp types:


a. Single-faced units.


b. Double-faced units.


c. Arrow-faced units.


d. Kits designed to be used in conjunction with the parking light assembly.


2. Electric turn signal lamp flashers. All open-faced and arrow-type turn signal lamps must flash on and off in order to clearly indicate an intention to turn.


Turn signal lamps are required on those vehicles manufactured with a right-hand (steering wheel) drive, regardless of model year.


A single lamp (large double-faced unit) on each side of a truck-tractor, which is visible to the front and rear, will suffice for turn signal lamps.


3. Turn signal lamp mounting. The lamps showing to the front shall be mounted on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and, when signalling, shall emit a white or amber light or any shade of light between white and amber.


The lamps showing to the rear shall be mounted on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and, when signalling, shall emit a red or amber light or any shade of color between red and amber.


Turn signal lamps on vehicles 80 inches or more in overall width shall be visible from a distance of not less than 500 feet to the front and rear in normal sunlight.


Turn signal lamps may, but need not, be incorporated in other lamps on the vehicle.


Turn signal lamps shall indicate an intention to turn by flashing lamps showing to the front and rear of a vehicle. On a combination of vehicles, turn signal lamps shall indicate an intention to turn by flashing lamps to that side of the vehicle or combination toward which the turn is to be made.


Motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, and mopeds are not required to be equipped with turn signal lamps.


Semaphore or mechanical arm devices are not acceptable as turn signal lamps.


4. Inspection Procedure. Check operation and condition visually....."
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:35 AM   #13
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by rearviewmirror
I was told if you have them they must work, otherwise they're not required. The law may have changed, but if it's omitted from the current code then not having them is still OK as it was last time I check about a year ago.

+1

I just got my bike inspected and you don't need them. They will inspect my CRF without signals 4 the purpose of getting a plate.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:53 AM   #14
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

There seems to be lots of things passing inspection that are not right with the law.

Quote:
(2) at least one taillamp mounted at a height from 20 to 72 inches;
I sure see lots of bikes with the tail light mounted on the rear axial. Just how does a light mounted half way up a 16in wheel measure 20in I wonder?

Jack you are not the only outlaw! I have four headlights!
Full time headlights is new to me also, I have no way to turn them off and would not if I did. But have plenty of alternator 730wats worth.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:46 PM   #15
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairsmith

Jack you are not the only outlaw! I have four headlights!
Full time headlights is new to me also, I have no way to turn them off and would not if I did. But have plenty of alternator 730wats worth.
Well, that Chino bike has an on/off headlight. With the light on, as you slow down and the revs drop, the flasher gets slower and slower. LOL It's just a little 200 and the stator ain't that strong. BUT, it does have a small parking bulb in the headlight that don't draw near the wattage, so I think I'll leave that on from now on.

I like the light switch, though. On my XL600, I'd have to pull the bulb out when took it off road. All the rough riding would break the filament if I didn't. Haven't had that problem on the Chino bike with the light off.

Yeah, I read that TWO HEADLIGHTS thing and thought about all the dressers with three and four running lights. Hmmmm....
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:07 PM   #16
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

The headlights and the alternative driving lights are recognized separately. Just like on cars.
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:10 PM   #17
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Giesecke
..Yeah, I read that TWO HEADLIGHTS thing and thought about all the dressers with three and four running lights. Hmmmm....
They're not all headlights.
They're auxiliary and passing lights which are allowed. But I seem to recall a limit on how much total illumination one is allowed to have in front. I'll have to dig into the transportation code to resolve it.

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Old 03-07-2007, 04:15 PM   #18
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

no more than 6 white lights on the front...
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:37 PM   #19
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallendown
no more than 6 white lights on the front...
I was gonna say that, but only knew that from my high-school days when we were adding aux lamps to cars with quad headlights so I was cautious about what is law and what is urban legend.

I took a quick search thru the transp. code and only found this:

547.302.d
"Not more than four of the following may be lighted at one
time on the front of a motor vehicle:
(1) a headlamp required by this chapter; or
(2) a lamp, including an auxiliary lamp or spotlamp,
that projects a beam with an intensity brighter than 300
candlepower."

But the code allows installation of a pair of fog, spot, aux driving and aux passing lamps. It's not clear to me that this is AND or OR. Sensibly, it would be OR, but we've all seem some of those 4x4s with all their Dick Cepek lights.....
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Old 03-07-2007, 04:42 PM   #20
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Re: Turn signal requirements for motorcycles in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by dukey33
but we've all seem some of those 4x4s with all their Dick Cepek lights.....
They can't all be lit while on a public street or roadway.
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