TRENTON – The Assembly Transportation Committee release bill A354, which requires that all lamps or other illuminating devices on motor vehicles be kept in good working order.
Under current law, only the minimum number of lighting devices required by statute to be installed on a motor vehicle must be kept in working order. For example, the Motor Vehicle Code (Title 39) requires that vehicles have at least two brake lights; therefore, under current law, only two brake lights must be functional, notwithstanding that many newer cars have three or more brake lights.
Bill A354 is in response to a recent Appellate Division case (State v. McDade) in which the defendant moved to suppress evidence of a driving while intoxicated offense on the grounds that the police officer had no legal basis for stopping the vehicle because, even though a light was out, the car still had the minimum required number of working lights. The bill would make it an equipment violation if any lighting device installed on a vehicle is not in working order.