308 Lolly Lane
Jacksonville, FL 32259
Dear Mr. Fisher:
This is in reply to your letter of October 11, 1995, asking for our comments on the relationship of your lighting invention, "The Enlightener," to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108.
The Enlightener is intended to replace the center highmounted stop lamp. The lens has two colors, divided between amber at the top and red at the bottom. The amber portion is lit in a steady burning mode when both the accelerator and brake are not depressed, and in a flashing mode when the transmission lever is in Reverse. The red portion is lit when the brake pedal is depressed and amber is extinguished.
This device would not be permissible under FMVSS No. 108. The center highmounted stop lamp must stand alone; the lamp cannot serve another function, and paragraph S5.4(a) prohibits combining it with any other lamp.
In addition, the backup function on motor vehicles is furnished by a steady burning white lamp, required by FMVSS No. 108. The presence of a flashing amber lamp operating simultaneously would impair the effectiveness of the backup lamp by sending a conflicting signal.
I am sorry that we cannot provide you a more positive response. If you have any questions, you may refer them to Taylor Vinson of this office by calling (202) 366-5263.
Samuel J. Dubbin Chief Counsel ref:108 d:11/21/95