Roof mounted driving lights

Submitted: Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 20:42
ThreadID: 12524 Views:9717 Replies:12 FollowUps:7
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Who knows what the definitive ruling is in regards to roof mounted spot / driving lights.

When I was a kid in the country, our local copper booked me because they were higher than my head lights.

Now we see all sorts of vehicles with these added on. Some say as long as they are not connected ( duh!!! ) it's all legal. Some say that if they have the plastic covers on it's all legal. Some say that as long as you don't have more than 6 lights on at a time etc..... etc........

A young girl got booked here in Adelaide for driving with her fog lights on...... no fog mind you.
But then we see all these cars with all the blue light coming from underneath, like the steriliser in my Barbers shop, just a big mobile version......

Jeep has a model with these lights on the roof as a factory option.

What's the go?



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Reply By: Member - StevenL - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 21:40

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 21:40
Apparantly if they were factory standard on an imported vehicle (Nissan X-Trail comes to mind) then they are OK but aftermarket roof mount is no go. Someone will post the "definitive" answer and reasons but that is what I am aware of.

There is an article on today about window tint. If a car is imported with dark tint from the factory it is fine but if it is fitted aftermarket then it must be 75 percent light transmitting as a minimum. The local tinters are screaming because everyone comes in and says "I want mine to look like that one" and they can't do it.

AnswerID: 56779

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 22:31

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 22:31
It all depends on the cops.

Mate has been nailed for it a few times, but has been pulled over many other times and they have said nothing.

I removed mine from on top of bullbar, as was told when my car was engineered, that there is a maximum legal height from the ground for spotlights. Cant remember what it is, but try RTA/Vicroads etc websites, Ive found it in there before.
AnswerID: 56791

Reply By: Diesel 1 - Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 04:56

Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 04:56
G'day Ian,

From what I have been led to believe, the ruling that driving/spot lights are not to be mounted any higher than the headlights seems to be a general requirement in all states and territories.

Up here in the Top End a lot of vehicles have the spotties mounted on the top rail of the bullbar to try and keep them high & dry with deep water crossings during the wet. The authorities (police & motor vehicle registration) turn a blind eye to this practice because they do see the sense in it even though technically it does not comply with the law.

I guess the only way you could really find out is to contact your local vehicle registration authority.

Diesel 1
AnswerID: 56811

Reply By: Rod from Bush Camping - Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 10:41

Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 10:41
When I see a 4x4 with roof mounted lights I think to myself that it is quite clear that the owner of that vehicle has never been off road in the true sense as the low vegetation will prove the better.
AnswerID: 56827

Reply By: Ian Bee - Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 13:22

Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 13:22
I got off my bum & went down to my local Police station.

The girl as well as being a nice looker ( mmmmm. ........... handcuffs........ ) was quite helpful. She went across the hall and asked the traffic guys.

Guess what....... they don't know!!!!

She suggested that I call the City inspection place on Monday, they of all people should know.

I'll keep ya all posted.


AnswerID: 56832

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 00:57

Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 00:57
Not even the traffic cops know.
That to me says lots about our wonderful revenue raisers...
FollowupID: 318671

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 00:57

Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 00:57
PS dont be suprised if they say to ask the cops.. LMAO
FollowupID: 318672

Follow Up By: Ian Bee - Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 08:05

Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 08:05
LMAO ?????????

Okay....... I emailed the South Australian Dept Transport for a ruling. I downloaded a PDF which is quite explicit regarding every other light you could imagine in your wildest dreams....... but no roof lights were mentioned.

Don't you just love it when you're a trendsetter..........


FollowupID: 318678

Reply By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 14:32

Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 14:32
No higher than headlights unless O/E
AnswerID: 56842

Reply By: thomo - Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 17:15

Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 17:15
My brother in law is a copper and he has just done a course on this sort of thing he was saying that you can have one but it has to be a work light.And just on the subject of lights he was saying that it is illegal to have a spot and a spread beam driving lights they have to be both spot or both spread.
AnswerID: 56850

Follow Up By: thomo - Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 17:15

Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 17:15
I forgot to say thats in vic.
FollowupID: 318625

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, May 03, 2004 at 11:12

Monday, May 03, 2004 at 11:12
Why? ? This is the sort of crap that really annoys me! These stupid frigin rules and regs, like we are all stupid!
You can't have your highbeam, driving lights, spot lights, fog lights on in a built up areas because it's illegal and you don't need them because there are street lights. You have to dip them/switch them off when you are behind another vehicle or there is a vehicle oncomming because it's just common bloody sense. So why does it matter where the hell your lights are or what they are? If your too stupid to understand that you need to switch them off when there are other people around then the cops can book you for having them on! Not stop every other decent person from being able to have them position in a different place! What do you think the lightforce spotties are going to be less bright when they are comming towards you because they are on the bullbar and not the roof?!
The Police State of Australia....
Can I scratch my ass while having a beer, or is this unsafe in some way? Maybe I can scratch my ass if my pants are longer than my knees and I have my left index finger up my nose.
Just for the record, I don't even have spot lights, my high beams are enough 95% of the time but it's not the point!
Uppy, let's go back to the bush mate, at least we didn't have to worry about this crap on the weekend! ;-)
Oh yeah, this is not a dig at anyone on this thread, just at the stupidity of some of our laws.
FollowupID: 318757

Reply By: Coops (Pilbara) - Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 21:13

Saturday, May 01, 2004 at 21:13
I'm pretty sure there's posts on this previously.
From memory the height restriction is 1.2 metres but all other details escape me
AnswerID: 56877

Reply By: Richard - Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 15:36

Sunday, May 02, 2004 at 15:36
Ive been told as long as you have them in pairs ie 2 or 4 that its legal, and as rod from bush campings comment... rubbish!!! Not all 'serious 4wding is done with low vegetation.
AnswerID: 56931

Reply By: flappan - Monday, May 03, 2004 at 09:11

Monday, May 03, 2004 at 09:11
I and a couple of others have looked into this a few times. This is from another forum.
Looking through 'Vehicle Standards Information No. 10' (Victoria), I cannot find any limits to the height of high beam, driving lights or additional lights. Only the following statements apply:

'3. Position

Pairs of lamps shall be fitted symmetrically (same position on both sides of vehicle).

The light emitted shall not cause the driver discomfort either directly or indirectly through the rear view mirror and/or other reflecting surfaces of the vehicle.

When there are two pairs of headlamps, one pair which function as main-beam headlamps only may swivel according to the angle of lock of the steering about a substantially vertical surface.'


'3.2 Height:

No individual specifications'

A height limit is only applied to low beam lights, at 500mm (bottom) to 1200mm (top).

but maybe i missed something, so check it out for yourselves:
'Vehicle Standards Information No. 10'
See Section 6 and 7.

This is something we have seen argued with.

3.3 Length:

At the front of the vehicle and facing forward.

The roof isn't the front of the vehicle.

Whilst I believe they are OK , and NSW RTA seem to agree , it depends on who you speak to. You can get different answers all the time.

As I recall , those regs though only apply to vehicles after 1991. Before that , its no go.

The General View of the NSW and VIC RTA guys is , they ARE legal (and to a degree the Jeep confirms that) however , try and get an ABSOLUTE ruling , and you wont. It seems the Police have a different view , to the RTA Inspectors.

As I mentioned above , according to the Vic rules , no doubt you can run Roof Lights , it is actually quite clear. Where it becomes VERY unclear , and where I have seen people pinged is.

3.3 Length:

At the front of the vehicle and facing forward.

The roof is NOT the front of the vehicle , and the Police agree.
AnswerID: 56983

Follow Up By: Ian Bee - Monday, May 03, 2004 at 20:00

Monday, May 03, 2004 at 20:00

Well....... I did ask!

Okay, I have emailed the RAA........ reply was that it's all too hard. They suggest I email Dept. of Transport, which I have done. What's the bet I don't get an answer!


FollowupID: 318815

Reply By: Davoe - Monday, May 03, 2004 at 15:31

Monday, May 03, 2004 at 15:31
Got told by a copper that my spotlights on my cm valiant were illegal coz it meant I had 6 lights on the front ( i was parked up at the time without any lights on at all) someone in perth got booked for having an air freshener hanging on the rear view mirror and here in kalgoorlie they are having a crackdown on how much flesh the skimpys are showing. my point is that while some coppers are ok the majority become coppers because they were teased at school or there mum didnt love them or whatever and if you have lights on your roof they will harass you coz it is easier than chasing crims
AnswerID: 57023

Reply By: Rob! - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 at 11:50

Tuesday, May 04, 2004 at 11:50

Try looking on the net for your state's legislation. It'll all be there in black and white. In queensland it's in the "TRANSPORT OPERATION REGULATION 1999" under part 7 - LIGHTS AND REFLECTORS

or just follow the long link below.

I assmue that they don't want anyone to have lights mounted above head height because when driving over the crest of a hill your high mounted lights will blind an oncoming vehicle a long time before you see their lights.
AnswerID: 57150

Follow Up By: Rob! - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 at 12:12

Tuesday, May 04, 2004 at 12:12
this is a better link

look under part seven for lights.
FollowupID: 318893

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