Which light bars must be covered on the road?


From: Sgt. Troy Christianson 

Minnesota State Patrol

 Question: I was wondering if I needed to cover my spotlight/light bar on top of my pickup before I hit the highway. Let me know what the rules are regarding a cover or no cover. The research I did before purchasing was only KC style or round lights needed a cover in the state of Minnesota. 


Answer: If a vehicle with auxiliary lamps is driven on a public highway, the lamps do not need to be covered if they are within the height requirements of the law. That law states that these lamps must be mounted on the front of a vehicle at a height not less than 16 inches or more than 42 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands. Those outside the height requirements, including yours, must be completely covered with an opaque material that does not allow light to pass through.

The vehicle is allowed a combination of head lamps and auxiliary lamps, not to exceed four lights illuminated at one time.

The law also states that each lamp must be aimed and used upon approaching another vehicle so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam will be directed on the road surface to the left of the center of the vehicle, nor more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle upon which such lamps are mounted.

The light bar you are talking about is designed for off-road use only. Having this type of auxiliary light on while driving would make it unsafe for approaching drivers.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and of course, drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, Minn., 55901-5848;   or reach him at Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.


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