Mr. Gilbert Lenkiewicz
c/o Mr. Haydn Doughty
Cybernet Services Incorp.
704 Edgewater Drive
Dayton, TN 37321
Dear Mr. Lenkiewicz:
This is in response to your letter of June 23, 1996, to John Womack of this Office. We are sending it to you in care of Haydn Doughty as your letter has no return address on it, and the envelope in which it came has been misplaced.
We appreciate your including copies of your letter of March 14, 1996, and Mr. Womack's response of April 4 to Cybernet Services Incorp. In the system you described, an aftermarket strobe light is installed in the center highmounted stop lamp assembly to flash before the activation of the stop lamp signal. Mr. Womack informed Cybernet that this is not permissible under Federal law unless the strobe light is installed by the vehicle owner. This is because Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 requires all stop lamps to be steady burning when the brake pedal is applied.
You inform us in your letter of June 23 that you have revised the design which "still requires the addition of a strobe light . . . but now does not delay the operation of the normal 'Third Stop Light', during the 3-second flash time of the strobe light." To explain, there will be
- "a 3 Watt strobe 'flash' approximately 3-4 times for a period of 3 seconds, anytime the brakes are initially applied. This cycle will only repeat when the brake pedal is released and again depressed. The rapid flashing occurs concurrently with the energization of the normal 'Third Stop Light.' At no time are any of the original stop lamps precluded from providing their intended 'steady burning' indication of both the car and driver's action, i.e. stopping."
I am sorry to inform you that this modification does not alter our previous advice to you. The
fact that the center stop lamp filament is activated simultaneously with the strobe light, rather than after it, does not change the fact that the center stop lamp will be perceived as flashing, even if the stop lamp bulb is steady burning.
If you have further questions, you may refer them to Taylor Vinson of this Office 9202-366-5263).
Samuel J. Dubbin