Q: I recently purchased a pickup truck and want to make a few modifications, such as risers and spotlight, is there a law restricting what adjustments I can make to my truck?

A: Thank you for your question. Recently the Red Wing Police Department has received complaints of people driving pickups carelessly and doing burnouts in public parking lots. This has also resulted in an increase in citations for vehicle equipment violations in addition to the driving offenses.

Most violations are petty misdemeanors for each offense; therefore, if you have three equipment violations, you may end up with a $500 fine or higher on top of the driving offense.

The following are some of the more common equipment violations that we have seen:

  • Spotlights are limited to no more than two per vehicle, and shall be so aimed and used upon approaching another vehicle that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam will be directed on the road surface to the left of the center of the vehicle, nor more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle.
  • Horns, every motor vehicle when operated upon a highway must be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet. However, the horn or other warning device must not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.
  • Muffler, every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order which blends the exhaust noise into the overall vehicle noise and is in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and no person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a street or highway. The exhaust system shall not emit or produce a sharp popping or crackling sound.
  • Window glazing material (tint), when any side window or rear window is composed of or treated with any material so as to obstruct or substantially reduce the driver's clear view through the window or has a light transmittance of less than 50% plus or minus 3% in the visible light range or a luminous reflectance of more than 20% plus or minus 3%. (Note: All squad cars have meters available for the measurement of light transmittance through window glazing/tint.)
  • Maximum bumper height, bumpers required under this section shall not exceed a height of 25 inches on any four-wheel-drive multipurpose type vehicle, pickup truck as defined in section 168.002, subdivision 26, when the vehicle is being operated on a public highway. The height of the bumper shall be determined by measuring from the bottom of the bumper, excluding any vertical bumper attachments, to the ground.
  • Every passenger automobile shall have fenders, or other devices, that are designed to prevent, as far as practicable, water, dirt, or other material being thrown up and to the rear by the wheels of the vehicle.
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References

1. Minnesota Statute 169.56, Auxiliary Lights, located online at www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.56

2. Minnesota Statute 169.68, Horn, Siren, located online at www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.68

3. Minnesota Statute 169.69, Muffler, located online at www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.69

4. Minnesota Statute 169.71, Windshields, located online at www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.71

5. Minnesota Statute 169.73, Bumpers, Safeguards, located online at www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.73

6. Minnesota Statute 169.734, Automobile Fenders, located online at www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.734

“Ask The Chief” allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

Generally one answer a week is posted RWPD social media sites and printed in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.