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Old 11-05-2016, 01:45 PM   #1
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Upper flashing lights as turn signals?

I see a lot of ex-School buses with the upper lights on front and back removed or painted over. Does anyone know if its legal to use these lamps as the turn signals? I'm looking at a bus that has the front turn signals alongside the headlamps and i'd like to convert it to a dual headlamp setup and have the turn signals somewhere else. This bus has a sloping hood and no fenders so its awkward to mount them anywhere else lower down.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:24 PM   #2
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it is state dependent.. when I called the DMV in Ohio about it.. they said turn signals and brake lights up high on a vehicle in and of themselves were not an issue.. however because the vehicle used to be a school bus.. and even though a different color, this was not permitted as to "give people the wrong idea" when being driven...

my original plan was to do exactly that on the rear and then have extra off-road lights on the front...
I called 2 different DMV offices in ohio abd both said same..

so I would Look at your state's Laws and see what they say.. I have seen other people turn all their lenses to orange and have no issues... ..

-Christopher
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Old 11-07-2016, 04:00 PM   #3
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I plan on putting a set of clear lens spot light type lights as high beams in the spaces at the front and convert the rear to red and use them as brake lights.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
it is state dependent.. when I called the DMV in Ohio about it.. they said turn signals and brake lights up high on a vehicle in and of themselves were not an issue.. however because the vehicle used to be a school bus.. and even though a different color, this was not permitted as to "give people the wrong idea" when being driven...

my original plan was to do exactly that on the rear and then have extra off-road lights on the front...
I called 2 different DMV offices in ohio abd both said same..

so I would Look at your state's Laws and see what they say.. I have seen other people turn all their lenses to orange and have no issues... ..

-Christopher
Here is the Ohio law on the lights, etc.
Lawriter - ORC - 4511.762 School bus no longer used for transporting school children.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:15 PM   #5
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I read that... and was confused thats why I called DMV... it can be read one way that only a church bus has to remove them... or it can be read that any purpose other than a school bus has to remove them.. so i opted to remove them..

the DMV people read it in the way that they needed to be removed for any operation other than a school bus...

its one of those that Invites a stop... sure if I got a ticket im sure I could fight it and say there is 2 ways to read it.. However id rather not invite a stop...

-Christopher
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:15 PM   #6
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I haven't read a law yet that wasn't "open for interpretation"

Seems like it all depends on who you ask and how you ask.
If you don't like the answer one person gives you, call back and you'll get a different answer...

3 calls, usually yields 3 different answers
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Old 11-07-2016, 08:49 PM   #7
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I plan on putting a set of clear lens spot light type lights as high beams in the spaces at the front and convert the rear to red and use them as brake lights.
any headlight up that high would be illegal in every state, since every state has adopted the federal uniform lighting code, there is a max height for headlights or fog lights on the road, which is why jeeps and such have their roll bar mounted lights covered on the road

I was planing on using the flashers as brake lights, glad I saw this post since I am in Ohio
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:09 AM   #8
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I plan on putting a set of clear lens spot light type lights as high beams in the spaces at the front and convert the rear to red and use them as brake lights.
My old Ford bus had halogens up top. Just two. They were not connected to the headlights. A separate switch and they would reach out between an 1/8 to 1/4 mile.
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:35 AM   #9
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you can have white lights up high as long as you dont use them on road... the jeep guys are not required to cover them up.. they just do to prevent them accidentilly shining during the day which might invite a traffic stop.. in a jeep they are also very prone to getting busted by rocks so the covers protect them..

the new LED light bars the jeepers are putting on are often uncovered.. they are low profile and much less likely to get damaged by rocks...

Ohio just seemed not to like any operable light up high so I played it safe.. but I think in many cases re-purposing those lights is not illegal..

-Christopher
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:38 AM   #10
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I plan on installing square LEDs up top where the rear flashers were (yellow outboard, red inboard). No mistaking them for bus flashers.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:23 AM   #11
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bus flashers can be square too... the thomas Safe-T-Liner C2 uses square flashers..

I want one of those busses someday
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:26 AM   #12
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bus flashers can be square too... the thomas Safe-T-Liner C2 uses square flashers..

I want one of those busses someday
-Christopher
True. But this is in NJ, where the Motor Vehicle monkeys aren't exactly the brightest. By example, I had to show them where the ODB II port was in my Volvo.
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:57 AM   #13
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My old Ford bus had halogens up top. Just two. They were not connected to the headlights. A separate switch and they would reach out between an 1/8 to 1/4 mile.
Having a separate switch does seem like a better idea to keep the police happy. Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:14 PM   #14
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I plan on installing square LEDs up top where the rear flashers were (yellow outboard, red inboard). No mistaking them for bus flashers.
I am thinking the use of the up high rear lights as brake and turns would slide by or even be condoned.
Whereas utilizing the fronts as turns would be outlawed or frowned upon because they do not want oncoming traffic to be doing panic stops.
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:49 PM   #15
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I've completely removed and covered over the front red warning lights to make my bus look less skoolie-ish, maybe an advantage in some private campgrounds? The rear warning lights are now extra brake lights, wired through the relay that used to power the flip-out stop sign. Instead of having these extra brake lights work all the time, I wired them to my Fog Lights switch - when I turn on the fog lights the front Hella 550 foglights come on (but only if the headlights are on, and only on lowbeam), the single red Hella rear foglight comes on, and the extra high brake lights work when braking. My theory is that if it's foggy or raining hard, I want people behind me to see me in enough time; I can take care of what's in front of me. My warning lights are Weldon 2020 with 85W sealed-beam lamps in them, so they're very visible!

Federal Motor Vehicle Lighting Requirements specify the location and type of all required lights, but if you have extra lights I see no specific prohibition against them, as long as they don't dazzle or confuse other drivers. Some of our new local transit buses have a pair of extra brake lights high up above the engine door, maybe not quite as high as mine but similar otherwise. I saw a tour bus with two extra high-mount brake lights, maybe a Van Hool or Setra, so if they can legally use them it should be OK for us. Tow trucks all have extra high-mount brake lights that work even when they don't have anything on their flatbed, and I presume they're legal! In practice, why would a LEO ticket you for using something that reduces the chance of an accident in bad weather?

Maybe high-mount turn indicators would arouse a cop's curiosity? Why do you want to have extra ones there? I plan on putting an extra pair of bodyside turn indicators on my bus to augment the pair already there. Two per side should be better to deter those idiots who try to slide by on the right when you're trying to make a right turn.

John
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:24 AM   #16
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Today is garbage day in my area so it is swarming with garbage trucks.
All of them have four turn signals, one on each corner on the back.
As well as four tail lights, one per corner.
When the brakes are applied there are the two lower red ones and another four yellow ones at each corner that flash like strobe lights would.
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:38 AM   #17
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Vehicles owned by most cities and municipalities play by a totally different set of rules. Kinda like Congress. They get 100% of their salary for life as their retirement deal...you and I do not.
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:53 AM   #18
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Vehicles owned by most cities and municipalities play by a totally different set of rules. Kinda like Congress. They get 100% of their salary for life as their retirement deal...you and I do not.
Okay but our garbage trucks are company trucks not government trucks.
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