View Single Post
Old 09-11-2019, 04:36 PM
Corry El is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,896
Originally Posted by jonesj2205 View Post
Not in NY:
4. if required to display a number plate on the rear, a white light
which shall illuminate the numerals on such plate in such manner as to
render such numerals legible for at least fifty feet from the rear. The
provisions of this subparagraph shall also apply to trailers.

As long as plate is illuminated with white light there is no stipulation on all bulbs be working.
I realize state laws differ, and OP doesn't say which state. But OP's public profile says 'Midwest' and the first three states I checked (IL, WI, IN) had laws similar to NY's, all with the 50' visibility requirement, all mentioning a white light, none specifically saying or even implying IMO that multiple license plate lights all have to work just because they are there even if one sufficiently illuminates the plate.

I think like other cases of revenue-oriented traffic stops, it ends up as a ticket for the most plausible thing, in this case that valid insurance card wasn't produced immediately, and the validity of other claims or the original pretext for the stop is only important if person challenges the ticket and the local court is in any mood to consider throwing out the ticket because of that. Which is many cases they wouldn't be, which is why realistically most people vent and commiserate about stuff like this but just pay it.

My 50% similar story is one of three times in 40+ yrs I've been pulled over (warning for expired inspection sticker in LA where I lived, warning for speeding in IN when passing passing through, I think he was exaggerating my speed just after a 55>45mph transition but could have caught me going 90 [on small rural road] a few miles back so I'm not up on my high horse about it and the following). 'Pulled over' by a pedestrian cop, in Jersey City NJ near where I live, for supposedly blocking an intersection in a traffic jam, actually avoiding another guy who recklessly cut me off, in front of near zero traffic side street to/from an area of abandoned warehouses. Anyway that kind of went away and it ended up as a ticket for no valid insurance card...which I later found I just hadn't dug deep enough in the glove box to find, but after everything was over. He said it would it be fine if I showed up in court with the valid card. Nope, that just reduced it from a shitload to pretty expensive. Revenue raising.

Last edited by Corry El; 09-11-2019 at 04:40 PM.