We live in a nation of rules, laws and regulations. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is how many we actually live under; the answer is a lot. That’s not a bad thing, though. Most of these laws and regulations have been put in place to make America a safer place to live and allow us to enjoy our constitutionally-granted freedoms. The good old USA really is a pretty nice place to live.
So, speaking of safer, when it comes to your car you likely know there are tons of laws and regulations that apply. Most of these regulations have perfectly good reasoning behind them, but some of them stop some third party manufacturers from making accessories that some car guys want. Thanks to some assistance from Hiley Mazda of Hurst, a local Mazda dealer located in Hurst, TX, we have a list of a few popular accessories that your local police and inspection station will likely “frown upon.”
Pulsing brake lights
Brake lights that pulse on and off seem like a good idea, right? There’s nothing that will grab your attention more than a flashing red light. Regulators have nixed this idea, however, and it gets presented to the NTSB quite often. They require that brakes light do one thing: illuminate when your brakes are applied –that’s it.
Exhaust flame kits
If you are driving a performance car, how cool would it be to have flames blowing out of the tail pipes Fast and Furious style? Well, very cool and quite a few companies make kits that do this. Problem is that it’s illegal in most states with many adopting California Code 27153 as their mandate. Under California Code 27153 it is clearly written that: “No motor vehicle shall be operated in a manner resulting in the escape of excessive smoke, flame, gas, oil, or fuel residue.” I assume that fire blowing out the back of your car is considered “excessive flames”.
You may have never given much thought to the weight of the seats in your car or truck, but the regulations are quite detailed in this area. For crash safety reasons, many high performance vehicles need to be outfitted with special seats as Federal regulators won’t allow seats under a certain weight to be installed. Seating and related accessories (seat belts and air bags) are considered critical safety equipment.
Rear view mirror video
Soon every car sold in America will be equipped with rear-view camera. It’s now required by the federal government and for good reason. It can save lives. But why not replace the rear view mirror with a rear view video display? The technology exists now and just imagine how great it would be? Regulators have put their foot down on that idea, though. Most automakers are still working on it, though, and are working to get the laws changed.
Surely you have seen the trucks that are lifted so high in the air so most of the drivetrain is completely visible underneath. Well, this is one of those state-by-state deals, where it’s illegal in one state and allowed in another. This list of ride height regulations from AAA is a great reference to use if you are considering lifting a vehicle.
Here’s one feature that most U.S. consumers get to enjoy. Remote starters allow you to start your vehicle from the comfort of your house while the snow or rain falls. There are quite a number of aftermarket systems available and some interface with your smartphone. Problem is that they are illegal in some states. If you are thinking about installing a remote start system in your car, check with your states motor vehicle division first.