N.J. considers tougher law on brake lights

 (AP File Photo/ Winfried Rothermel)

(AP File Photo/ Winfried Rothermel)

If you’re driving the streets of New Jersey, current law requires your motor vehicle to have two working brake lights.

But a bill awaiting final legislative approval in the state Senate would require all of the brake lights to be functional.


Because of the two-light provision, drivers cannot now be cited for an equipment violation if the high-mounted light on a rear window is not working.

Requiring all brake lights to be in working order can help prevent accidents,said Eric Blomgren of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association.

“Sometimes the reason that you’re able to stop in time is because you can see a couple of cars ahead of you, you can see their brake lights come on,” Blomgren said. “A lot of times, it’s that third high mounted brake light to the point where now everyone is so used to seeing them that, if you don’t see it, you think the guy is not stopping, and that can cause an accident.”

Since safety inspections in New Jersey were eliminated three years ago, Blomgren said many motorists are no longer making safety-related repairs. The cost of a brake light is much cheaper than the cost of an accident, he said.

If the measure becomes law, drivers with a non-working light could be fined $47.

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