Pulled over by the police - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Pulled over by the police

I was pulled over by the police on my way to work this morining. The officer told me had pulled me over because the headlight was flashing. He asked me why it was flashing and I told him I had installed a modulator. So why do you need a modulator, he asks. So other motorists can see me, I replied. I told the officer that the modulator is legal per federal law, and he told me he had no knowledge of this and that he had never seen it before on a motorcycle. He let me go without a ticket or a warning. He told me he would check with the office to make sure it was legal in case he saw me again

2006 Shadow Aero 750
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 10:42 AM
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With my Kisan there is a small clipping of the CFR to show any doubting LEOs that they are indeed legal here and in Canada.
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 11:49 AM
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Print this it may help next time..

This Federal law supersedes all state laws and makes motorcycle headlight modulators legal in all 50 states. FMVSS 108 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) (49 CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4) allows motorcycle headlight modulation systems all 50 states provided they comply with the standards set forth in this section. Title 49 USC 30103 (b1) (US Codes) prohibits any state from forbidding a system that conforms to FMVSS 108. Click here to see the regulation.

Code of Federal Regulation - Title 49, Volume 5, Parts 400 to 999 - Revised as of October 1, 2000
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 49CFR571.108] [Page 236-307]
TITLE 49: TRANSPORTATION - CHAPTER V, NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
PART 571, FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS - Subpart B--Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards - Sec. 571.108 Standard No. 108;

Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment - S7.9.4 Motorcycle headlamp modulation system.
S7.9.4.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a
lesser intensity, provided that:

(a) The rate of modulation shall be 240 <plus-minus> 40 cycles per minute.
(b) The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70 percent of each cycle.
(c) The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17 percent of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.
(d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power lead of the beam filament being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.
(e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper beam remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
(f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its sensing element perpendicular to a horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation shall cease whenever the level of light emitted by a tungsten filament light operating at 3000 deg. Kelvin is either less than 270 lux (25 foot-candles) of direct light for upward pointing sensors or less than 60 lux (5.6 foot-candles) of reflected light for downward pointing sensors. The light is measured by a silicon cell type light meter that is located at the sensor and pointing in the same direction as the sensor. A Kodak Gray Card (Kodak R-27) is placed at ground level to simulate the road surface in testing downward pointing sensors.
(g) When tested in accordance with the test profile shown in Figure 9, the voltage drop across the modulator when the lamp is on at all test conditions for 12 volt systems and 6 volt systems shall not be greater than .45 volt. The modulator shall meet all the provisions of the standard after completion of the test profile shown in Figure 9.
(h) Means shall be provided so that both the lower and upper beam function at design voltage when the headlamp control switch is in either the lower or upper beam position when the modulator is off.

S7.9.4.2(a) Each motorcycle headlamp modulator not intended as original equipment, or its container, shall be labeled with the maximum
wattage, and the minimum wattage appropriate for its use. Additionally, each such modulator shall comply with S7.9.4.1 (a) through (g)
when connected to a headlamp of the maximum rated power and a headlamp of the minimum rated power, and shall provide means so
that the modulated beam functions at design voltage when the modulator is off.

(b) Instructions, with a diagram, shall be provided for mounting the light sensor including location on the motorcycle, distance above the
road surface, and orientation with respect to the light.


Happy trails... Mark..



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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 11:51 AM
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I thought Ignorance of the law was no excuse...
Guess that doesn't apply the other way does it!!
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 12:05 PM
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Well this may sound like a silly question but why would you want to signal distress to everyone, flashing your headlight has always been a distress signal recognized by many, it's one of those unwritten rules of the road,
also some police use a wiggle waggle headlight ( flashing high low )

So of course the cop would stop you to see whats the matter or to check you out for having a wiggle waggle

I feel this is not a good item to add to a motorcycle, in theory it sounds good but it goes against the rules of the road

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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Print this it may help next time..
I printed it for my ride home. He's probably waiting for me...

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 12:19 PM
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Re: Pulled over by the police

Quote:
Originally Posted by HansS
I was pulled over by the police on my way to work this morining. The officer told me had pulled me over because the headlight was flashing. He asked me why it was flashing and I told him I had installed a modulator. So why do you need a modulator, he asks. So other motorists can see me, I replied. I told the officer that the modulator is legal per federal law, and he told me he had no knowledge of this and that he had never seen it before on a motorcycle. He let me go without a ticket or a warning. He told me he would check with the office to make sure it was legal in case he saw me again
My wife and I both carry laminated copies of the webBikeWorld regulations page because I like the "preamble" at the top. We've got the specs from the modulator on the back side -- just in case we have to prove that our modulators comply. Carrying these is, afaik, the best way to prevent being pulled over for the modulator.



Art's 1999 Shadow 1100 ACE (Ride bell by Dr. Bob's Patient)





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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 12:25 PM
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Carrying those pieces prevent you from being pulled over? Sorry.. just had to, I'll shut up now I know what you meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsjustme
I thought Ignorance of the law was no excuse...
Guess that doesn't apply the other way does it!!
You have NO idea how much that pisses me off. The average citizen is expected to know every f'ing law, thousands of pages of laws, yet the po-po aren't. What is up with that? I have friends who are LEO and former LEO, and they're cool and all that, but sometimes some LEO think they've got all the answers, as if they're <gulp> attorneys or something, and dammit, they're not.

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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 12:48 PM
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Motorcycles are "hobby" vehicles on US roads. Unless a law enforcment officer is a rider, expect him/her to know very little (or care) about motorcycles in general.

In 2004, there were 5.7 million registered motorcycles out of 243 million total registered passenger vehicles, or under 3% according to a Wikipedia article. Obviously, law enforcement agencies in areas with higher concentrations of riders (Myrtle Beach, Daytona, etc) have more exposure than police in other areas, and are likely to be more familiar (and often less forgiving) with motorcycle regulations.

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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 04-04-2008, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamaiden
Carrying those pieces prevent you from being pulled over? Sorry.. just had to, I'll shut up now I know what you meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsjustme
I thought Ignorance of the law was no excuse...
Guess that doesn't apply the other way does it!!
You have NO idea how much that pisses me off. The average citizen is expected to know every f'ing law, thousands of pages of laws, yet the po-po aren't. What is up with that? I have friends who are LEO and former LEO, and they're cool and all that, but sometimes some LEO think they've got all the answers, as if they're <gulp> attorneys or something, and dammit, they're not.
The police are expected to know the law, as are all civilians. That is how the system works. Ignorance of the relevant facts/circumstances etc. can cause problems across the board in lots of jobs, not just police.

Anyway, this particular LEO didn't write him a ticket, did he? I think modulators are worth the risk of an occasional, if unnecessary chat with the police and plan on adding one to my ride ASAP.

- Dan



"All the gear in the world won't help stupidity." --- Oldbike.
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