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Q. I was following a pick up truck this morning that appeared to be stepping on his brakes since the light in the middle of the back upper part of the bed cover was lit. As I got closer, I realized it was just a red light that continually stayed on. Is that legal? That light did not get brighter when he stepped on the brakes like his brake lights did. I was trying to drive defensively on Egan and didn't realize he had an "always-on" red light until I was behind him at the stop sign when we got off Egan. For safety reasons, I think that light in the middle of the back of the vehicle should NOT be on unless the driver is stepping on the brakes. Thank you!
Dear Juneau Resident,
The driver you were following had legal lights as long as there were two taillights mounted at the same level and as far apart as practical. See CBJ 72.04.025 below:
State law referenceó Similar provisions, 13 AAC 04.020.
72.04.025 - Taillights.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a vehicle must be equipped with at least two taillights mounted at the same level, as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and as low as practicable, but not less than 20 inches above the roadway on the rear, so that when lighted such taillights emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 1,000 feet to the rear. Passenger cars manufactured or assembled before January 1, 1958, must have at least one taillight.
Either a taillight or a separate light must illuminate, with a white light, the rear registration plate, so that it is clearly visible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. The light must be wired so as to be illuminated when the headlights or auxiliary driving lights are illuminated.
Vehicles with illuminated daytime running lamps that meet the standards in 49 CFR 571.108 (revised as of October 1, 1999) are exempt from illuminating taillights when daytime running lamps are permitted to be used under this chapter.