Mr. Dennis G. Moore
1113 Greenville Road
Livermore, CA 94550
Dear Mr. Moore:
This responds to your letter of June 26, 1996, to the Administrator asking whether a provision of the California Vehicle Code is preempted by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108.
Table II of Standard No. 108 requires that clearance lamps be located "on the front and rear." However, paragraph S18.104.22.168.1 allows them to "be mounted at a location other than on the front and rear if necessary to indicate the overall width of a vehicle, or for protection from damage during normal operation of the vehicle, and at such a location they need not be visible at 45
degrees inboard." California Vehicle Code Sec. 25100(e) requires that "Clearance lamps shall be visible from all distances between 500 feet and 50 feet to the front or rear of the vehicle."
We see no conflict between Standard No. 108 and CVC Sec. 25100(e). Standard No. 108 incorporates by reference SAE Standard J592e "Clearance, Side Marker, and Identification Lamps", July 1972. Table I specifies photometric minimum candela requirements that these lamps must meet at test points 45 degrees Left, Center, and 45 degrees Right. Thus, even if a clearance lamp is not visible at 45 degrees inboard, it is required to be visible directly to the rear and at 45 degrees outboard. We assume that at that location a clearance lamp would be "visible . . . to the rear of the vehicle" within the meaning of the California requirement.
If you have any questions, you may refer them to Taylor Vinson of this Office (202-366-5263).
Samuel J. Dubbin