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347.09(1)(c) (c) Every motor bicycle or vehicle registered under s. 341.067 and operated by a person licensed under s. 343.075 or 343.135 shall be equipped with at least one and not more than 2 headlamps, which headlamps shall comply with the requirements and limitations set forth in sub. (2) and s. 347.11.
347.09(2) (2) Every headlamp on a motor vehicle shall be located at a height of not more than 54 inches nor less than 24 inches.
347.09 History History: 1983 a. 243; 1985 a. 65.
347.09 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.11, 305.43, and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.10 347.10 Headlamp specifications for motor vehicles other than mopeds and motor bicycles.
347.10(1) (1) Except as provided in sub. (4), the headlamps or the auxiliary driving lamp or the auxiliary passing lamp or combination thereof on motor vehicles other than mopeds and motor bicycles shall be so arranged that the driver may select at will between distributions of light projected to different elevations. No such lamp shall have any type of decorative covering that restricts the amount of light emitted when the lamp is in use. Such lamps may, in addition, be so arranged that such selection can be made automatically. This subsection does not apply to any type of decorative covering originally equipped on the vehicle at the time of manufacture and sale.
347.10(2) (2) Multiple-beam headlamps shall comply with the following requirements:
347.10(2)(a) (a) There shall be an uppermost distribution of light or composite beam so aimed and of such intensity as to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of at least 350 feet ahead for all conditions of loading;
347.10(2)(b) (b) There shall be a lowermost distribution of light or composite beam so aimed and of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of at least 100 feet ahead, and on a straight level road under any condition of loading none of the high-intensity portion of the beam shall be so directed as to strike the eyes of an approaching driver.
347.10(3) (3) No person shall sell after July 1, 1958, any new motor vehicle equipped with multiple beam headlamps and no person shall operate any motor vehicle sold new after July 1, 1958, and equipped with multiple beam headlamps unless such vehicle also is equipped with a beam indicator which is lighted whenever the uppermost distribution of light from the headlamps is in use and which is not otherwise lighted. Such indicator shall be so designed and located that when lighted it will be readily visible without glare to the driver of the vehicle so equipped. This subsection does not apply to motorcycles.
347.10(4) (4) Any motor vehicle may be operated during hours of darkness when equipped with 2 lighted lamps upon the front thereof capable of revealing persons and objects 75 feet ahead in lieu of lamps required by subs. (1) to (3) if such vehicle at no time is operated at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour. No lighted lamp under this subsection shall have any type of decorative covering that restricts the amount of light emitted when the lighted lamp is in use. This subsection does not apply to any type of decorative covering originally equipped on the vehicle at the time of manufacture and sale.
347.10 History History: 1983 a. 243; 1995 a. 346.
347.10 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.11, 305.43, and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.11 347.11 Headlamp specifications for mopeds and motor bicycles. The headlamps on mopeds or motor bicycles may be of the single-beam or multiple-beam type but in either event shall comply with the following requirements and limitations:
347.11(1) (1) The headlamp shall be an electric headlamp and the current shall be supplied by a wet battery and electric generator, by a current-generating coil incorporated into the magneto or by a generator driven directly by the motor by means of gears, friction wheel, chain or belt.
347.11(2) (2) The headlamp shall display a white light of sufficient illuminating power to reveal any person, vehicle or substantial object at a distance of 200 feet ahead and shall be so adjusted or operated that the glaring light rays therefrom are not directed into the eyes of the driver of any oncoming vehicle. No headlamp shall have any type of decorative covering that restricts the amount of light emitted when the headlamp is in use. This subsection does not apply to any type of decorative covering originally equipped on the vehicle at the time of manufacture and sale.
347.11(3) (3) If the moped or motor bicycle is equipped with a multiple-beam headlamp, the upper beam shall meet the minimum requirements set forth in sub. (2) and the lowermost beam shall meet the requirements applicable to a lowermost distribution of light as set forth in s. 347.10 (2) (b).
347.11(4) (4) If the moped or motor bicycle is equipped with a single-beam lamp, such lamp shall be so aimed that when the vehicle is loaded none of the high-intensity portion of light, at a distance of 25 feet ahead, projects higher than the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes.
347.11 History History: 1983 a. 243; 1995 a. 346.
347.115 347.115 Modulating headlamps for motorcycles, motor bicycles or mopeds. A motorcycle, motor bicycle or moped may be equipped with and use a means of modulating the upper beam of the headlamp between a high and a lower brightness at a rate of 200 to 280 changes per minute. A headlamp may not be modulated during hours of darkness.
347.115 History History: 1981 c. 52; 1983 a. 243.
347.12 347.12 Use of multiple-beam headlamps.
347.12(1) (1) Whenever a motor vehicle is being operated on a highway during hours of darkness, the operator shall use a distribution of light or composite beam directed high enough and of sufficient intensity to reveal a person or vehicle at a safe distance in advance of the vehicle, subject to the following requirements and limitations:
347.12(1)(a) (a) Whenever the operator of a vehicle equipped with multiple-beam headlamps approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet, the operator shall dim, depress or tilt the vehicle's headlights so that the glaring rays are not directed into the eyes of the operator of the other vehicle. This paragraph does not prohibit an operator from intermittently flashing the vehicle's high-beam headlamps at an oncoming vehicle whose high-beam headlamps are lit.
347.12(1)(b) (b) Whenever the operator of a vehicle equipped with multiple-beam headlamps approaches or follows another vehicle within 500 feet to the rear, the operator shall dim, depress, or tilt the vehicle's headlights so that the glaring rays are not reflected into the eyes of the operator of the other vehicle. This paragraph does not prohibit an operator from intermittently flashing the vehicle's high-beam headlamps as provided under par. (a).
347.12(2) (2)Subsection (1) (a) and (b) does not apply to the use of alternately flashing or pulsating headlamps under s. 347.25 (1r).
347.12 History History: 1989 a. 69; 1991 a. 316; 1999 a. 66.
347.12 Annotation Sub. (1) (b) does not require proof that the headlights reflected into the eyes of another driver. The statute directs drivers operating within 500 feet to dim their headlights and concludes by describing the purpose of this requirement: to prevent the glaring rays from reflecting into another driver's eyes. An interpretation that would require an ordinary driver using high beams to know whether his or her headlights will impair another driver's vision is absurd. State v. Tomaszewski, 2010 WI App 51, 324 Wis. 2d 433, 782 N.W.2d 725, 09-0385.
347.13 347.13 Tail lamps and registration plate lamps.
347.13(1) (1) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, mobile home or trailer or semitrailer upon a highway during hours of darkness unless such motor vehicle, mobile home or trailer or semitrailer is equipped with at least one tail lamp mounted on the rear which, when lighted during hours of darkness, emits a red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear. No tail lamp shall have any type of decorative covering that restricts the amount of light emitted when the tail lamp is in use. No vehicle originally equipped at the time of manufacture and sale with 2 tail lamps shall be operated upon a highway during hours of darkness unless both such lamps are in good working order. This subsection does not apply to any type of decorative covering originally equipped on the vehicle at the time of manufacture and sale.
347.13(2) (2) Every tail lamp on a vehicle shall be located at a height of not more than 72 inches nor less than 20 inches.
347.13(3) (3) No person shall operate on a highway during hours of darkness any motor vehicle upon the rear of which a registration plate is required to be displayed unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a lamp so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate and render it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. Such lamp may be incorporated as part of a tail lamp or may be a separate lamp.
347.13(4) (4) Tail lamps and registration plate lamps shall be so wired as to be lighted whenever the headlamps or auxiliary driving lamps are lighted. In a tractor-semitrailer combination, 2 switches may be employed, one to activate semitrailer lamps and one to activate tractor lamps.
347.13 History History: 1973 c. 252; 1995 a. 346.
347.13 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.13, 305.16, 305.43, 305.45, and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.13 Annotation A tail lamp with one of three light bulbs unlit does not violate sub. (1) when it otherwise meets the statutory definition of a tail lamp. The statute does not require that a vehicle's tail lamps be in perfect working order. It only requires "good working order." When two lit light bulbs were sufficient to designate the rear of the vehicle to a vehicle travelling behind it, there was no probable probable cause to make a stop for a traffic violation and the stop was unconstitutional. State v. Brown, 2013 WI App 17, 346 Wis. 2d 98, 827 N.W.2d 903, 11-2907.
347.14 347.14 Stop lamps.
347.14(1)(1) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, lightweight utility vehicle as defined in s. 346.94 (21) (a) 2., mobile home, or trailer or semitrailer upon a highway unless such motor vehicle, lightweight utility vehicle, mobile home, or trailer or semitrailer is equipped with at least one stop lamp mounted on the rear and meeting the specifications set forth in this section. The stop lamp on a mobile home or trailer or semitrailer shall be controlled and operated from the driver's seat of the propelling vehicle. A stop lamp may be incorporated with a tail lamp. No vehicle originally equipped at the time of manufacture and sale with 2 stop lamps shall be operated upon a highway unless both such lamps are in good working order.
347.14(2) (2) A stop lamp shall be so constructed as to be actuated upon application of the service or foot brake or separate trailer brake and shall emit a red or amber light plainly visible and understandable from all distances up to 300 feet to the rear during normal sunlight when viewed from the driver's seat of the vehicle following.
347.14 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.15, 305.43, 305.45, and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.14 History History: 2009 a. 157.
347.145 347.145 Deceleration warning lights for motorcycles, motor bicycles, mopeds or motor buses.
347.145(1) (1) A motorcycle, motor bicycle or moped may be equipped with and use a system in which an amber light which pulses in a controlled fashion at a rate which varies exponentially with deceleration is center mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
347.145(2) (2) A motor bus may be equipped with amber lights that shine with a steady beam or that pulse during deceleration, braking, or standing and idling. The lights shall be mounted symmetrically with respect to the vertical center line of the motor bus in a horizontal alignment on the rear of the motor bus. The lights may be mounted no higher than the lower edge of the rear window, or no higher than 72 inches if the motor bus does not have a rear window.
347.145 History History: 1981 c. 52; 1983 a. 243; 1987 a. 235; 2001 a. 104.
347.145 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also s. Trans 305.43, Wis. adm. code.
347.15 347.15 Direction signal lamps or devices.
347.15(1) (1) No person may sell any new motor vehicle, other than a moped or Type 1 motorcycle, unless such motor vehicle is equipped with direction signal lamps meeting the requirements of this section. No person may operate on a highway any motor vehicle sold new after January 1, 1955, or any mobile home, or trailer or semitrailer sold new after January 1, 1968, other than a vehicle which is operated pursuant to s. 341.47 (1) (b) or a moped or Type 1 motorcycle, unless such vehicle is equipped with direction signal lamps meeting the requirements of this section. Any other vehicle may be equipped with such lamps. Subsection (3m) notwithstanding direction signals are not required on trailers when the rear direction signals on the towing vehicle are fully visible from all distances to the rear to 300 feet during normal sunlight when viewed from the driver's seat of the vehicle following.
347.15(2) (2) Except as provided in sub. (1), there shall be at least 2 direction signal lamps showing to the front on motor vehicles and at least 2 showing to the rear on motor vehicles, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, trailers and semitrailers, so as to indicate intention to turn right or left. Lamps showing to the front shall be located on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and lamps showing to the rear shall be located on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable. Such lamps shall project a flashing white or amber light visible to the front and a flashing red or amber light visible to the rear. Direction signal lamps when in use shall be plainly visible and understandable from all distances to 300 feet during normal sunlight. No direction signal lamp shall have any type of decorative covering that restricts the amount of light emitted when the direction signal lamp is in use. When actuated, such lamps shall indicate the intended direction of turning by flashing the lights showing to the front and rear on the side toward which the turn is made. This subsection does not apply to any type of decorative covering originally equipped on the vehicle at the time of manufacture and sale.
347.15(3) (3) Vehicles equipped with direction signal lamps shall be equipped with a signal visible to the signaling driver when the signaling driver's signal lamps are operating.
347.15(3m) (3m) Any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles in use on a highway shall be equipped with direction signals meeting the requirements of this section when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the left outside limit of the body, cab or load of such motor vehicle or combination of vehicles exceeds 24 inches, or when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the rear limit of the body or load thereof exceeds 14 feet.
347.15(4) (4) Vehicles sold new prior to July 1, 1958, are exempt from the requirements of this section if they either comply with the requirements of s. 85.06 (15), 1955 stats., or are exempt from the requirements of that section.
347.15 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.09, 305.43, and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.16 347.16 Clearance lamps and reflectors.
347.16(1) (1) No person shall operate on a highway during hours of darkness any vehicle, except automobiles, having a width at any part in excess of 80 inches unless such vehicle is equipped with:
347.16(1)(a) (a) Two clearance lamps mounted on the front of the vehicle so as to be visible from the front; and
347.16(1)(b) (b) Two clearance lamps mounted on the rear of the vehicle so as to be visible from the rear; and
347.16(1)(c) (c) Two reflectors mounted on the rear of the vehicle in such a manner as to indicate as nearly as possible the extreme width of the vehicle.
347.16(2) (2) No person shall operate any of the following vehicles on a highway during hours of darkness unless such vehicles are equipped as indicated:
347.16(2)(a) (a) Every truck tractor shall carry on the front 2 clearance lamps, one at each side.
347.16(2)(b) (b) Every trailer or semitrailer shall carry on the rear 2 reflectors, one on each side.
347.16(3) (3) Reflectorized material extending across the full width of the vehicle and otherwise meeting the mounting and visibility specifications for reflectors may be used in lieu of the reflectors required by this section.
347.16 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also s. Trans 305.14, and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.17 347.17 Color of clearance and marker lamps and reflectors. Whenever a vehicle is equipped with clearance lamps, sidemarker lamps or reflectors:
347.17(1) (1) Those clearance and marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of the vehicle shall display or reflect an amber color;
347.17(2) (2) Those clearance lamps and marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of the vehicle, or on both, shall display or reflect a red color.
347.17 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.14 and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.18 347.18 Mounting of clearance lamps and reflectors.
347.18(1)(1) Whenever s. 347.16 requires any reflector to be displayed upon a vehicle, each such reflector shall be mounted at a height not less than 16 inches nor more than 60 inches above the ground on which the vehicle stands. On vehicles which are more than 80 inches wide, the front and rear reflectors shall be mounted so as to indicate as nearly as possible the extreme width of the vehicle. Any required red reflector on the rear of a vehicle may be incorporated with the tail lamp but such reflector shall meet all the other reflector requirements of this chapter.
347.18(2) (2) Whenever this chapter requires a vehicle to be equipped with clearance lamps, such lamps shall be mounted in such a manner as to indicate the extreme width of the vehicle and as near to the top thereof as practicable except that when rear identification lamps are mounted at the extreme height of the vehicle, rear clearance lamps may be mounted at optional heights.
347.18 History History: 1975 c. 121.
347.18 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.14 and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.19 347.19 Visibility of clearance lamps and reflectors.
347.19(1)(1) Every reflector required by s. 347.16 to be displayed upon a vehicle shall be of such size and characteristics and so maintained as to be readily visible during the hours of darkness from all distances within 500 feet to 50 feet from the vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps.
347.19(2) (2) Front and rear clearance lamps when lighted shall be capable of being seen and distinguished under normal atmospheric conditions during hours of darkness at a distance of 500 feet from the front and rear, respectively, of the vehicle.
347.19 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ss. Trans 305.14, 305.43, and 305.55, Wis. adm. code.
347.20 347.20 Lamp or flag on projecting load or fixture.
347.20(1)(1) No person shall operate on a highway during hours of darkness any vehicle with a load or fixture thereon extending more than 4 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body thereof unless there is displayed at the extreme rear end of the load or fixture a red light or lantern plainly visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the sides and rear. The red light or lantern shall be in addition to any tail lamp or clearance lamp which the vehicle is required to carry.
347.20(2) (2) No person shall operate on a highway, at times other than hours of darkness, any vehicle with a load or fixture thereon extending more than 4 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body thereof unless there is displayed at the extreme rear end of such load or fixture a red flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square and so hung that the entire area is visible to the operator of a vehicle approaching from the rear.
347.20(3) (3) This section does not apply to vehicles loaded with loose hay or straw.
347.20 History History: 1981 c. 176.
347.21 347.21 Lamps and flags on trains of agricultural vehicles.
347.21(1)(1) No person shall operate on a highway during hours of darkness any train of vehicles authorized by s. 348.08 (1) (d) unless there is mounted on each side of every vehicle in such train, including farm tractors and implements of husbandry, at least one lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the side of the vehicle on which mounted or, in lieu thereof, at least one red reflector or, notwithstanding s. 347.245, one slow moving vehicle emblem visible from all distances within 500 feet to 50 feet of the side of the vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps.
347.21(1m) (1m) No person shall operate on a highway during hours of darkness any train of vehicles authorized by s. 348.08 (1) (b) unless there is mounted on each side of every vehicle in such train, including farm tractors and implements of husbandry, at least one lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the side of the vehicle on which mounted or, in lieu thereof, at least one red reflector visible from all distances within 500 feet to 50 feet of the side of the vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps.
347.21(2) (2) No person shall operate on a highway, at times other than hours of darkness, any train of agricultural vehicles authorized by s. 348.08 (1) (b) unless there is displayed a red flag at least 12 inches square on each rear corner of the rearmost vehicle in the train.
347.21 History History: 1979 c. 143, 355; 1981 c. 276; 1981 c. 391 s. 210; 1987 a. 164.
347.22 347.22 Lamps on farm tractors, self-propelled farm implements, and lightweight utility vehicles.
347.22(1) (1) No person shall operate or park a farm tractor, self-propelled farm implement, or lightweight utility vehicle, as defined in s. 346.94 (21) (a) 2., upon a highway during hours of darkness unless such tractor, implement, or lightweight utility vehicle carries the lighted headlamps and tail lamps which would be required of other motor vehicles under similar circumstances.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)