Tail lights

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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Tail lights

Post by Sync » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:45 pm

I know the MV illumination has to make it seen from the rear. Does it need working tail and signal lights?

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Re: Tail lights

Post by Sham » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:54 pm

The more light the better. You want to make sure your vehicle can be seen by other MV's and people in the dark of night. Turn signals are not so important. You also want so good headlightage to make sure you can see any passed out bodies lying in your path.

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Re: Tail lights

Post by Sync » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:14 pm

Maybe I should include a cow catcher...

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Re: Tail lights

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:26 pm

There's no rule requiring traditional red tail lights - but once a few years ago the DMV, presumably under pressure from the local police, threw an on-playa surprise red tail light requirement at us. I had to borrow a set of trailer lights to get my license for the week. I'll be fitting a set of tail lights this year just in case.
There is a requirement that ALL sides be "radically illuminated" though.
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Re: Tail lights

Post by BetaBox » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:33 pm

The people in charge of safety and order need to be able to identify the "front" and "rear" in an emergency situation. Since people are typically more concerned with the front, the easiest way to identify the rear is with 2 red lights. They can be glow sticks if it's proportional; be creative if need be. However, this rule is not the highest of priorities for enforcement, let alone if it is even an official rule that has been shown to MV owners in writing.
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Re: Tail lights

Post by unjonharley » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:34 pm

HF has trailer LED tail light sets on sale today $32.

I have my trailer lights on a removable bar.. This so I can put them on a towed car or MV.. Going to change then out for LED.. Then put the old one high up on the rear hatch with a license plate and light..

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Re: Tail lights

Post by smittydc » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:03 pm

I used taillights from a 1959 Cadillac - they look like rockets. For the front I used a vintage 500w spotlight off of a fire engine (I put it on a dimmer to be nice).

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Re: Tail lights

Post by chefjuke » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:16 pm


First off, as always, if you ever have any questions about Mutant Vehicle criteria, please email [email protected] for the fastest, direct response, straight from the horses mouth.

Next, below is the full skinny on lighting requirements for Mutant Vehicle Night Licenses:

* * *
There are two fundamental requirements for mutant vehicle night illumination.


SAFETY: People need to be able to see you and you need to be able to see them. This includes front head lights and a well lit area around your tow hitch (if you have one).

RADICAL ILLUMINATION: For a vehicle to be licensed for night driving, its visual presentation should be contributing something to the event. For mutant vehicles, in most cases, this requirement is met by radical visual stimulation. The more you make people go "WOW! What an Awesome Mutant Vehicle!!!", the more likely you are to be granted a license. At night this can be accomplished in two ways:

a) The lighting itself is the "art" (such as the BATTLEZONE tank - http://tinyurl.com/3nsrr6c)

b) You are illuminating a well crafted mutant vehicle that is already worthy of a day license.

In either case, the lighting should be significant so that the vehicle is easily seen from all sides from some distance away.

Other important notes regarding Mutant Vehicle lighting:


The Black Rock City DMV does not specifically require tail lights, HOWEVER, while the DMV focuses on more general lighting/illumination than the Nevada Vehicle Code, Nevada state law does require vehicles to have headlights and two red tail lights. This rule has not always been enforced on the playa, but Mutant Vehicle owners/operators should be aware that LEOs (law enforcement officers) that work the event MAY stop you if you don't have those two red rear facing lights.

We have some strict guidelines regarding the use of certain kinds of strobes during the event:

You cannot have any lights that can be mistaken for emergency flashers. Police/Emergency/Service vehicle style lights are not allowed on any mutant vehicles, no Red, Blue or Amber rotating or flashing lights. White or other colors are allowed.

Hope that clears up this question, and again, if you need further clarification, please email the DMV directly.


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Re: Tail lights

Post by zerzura » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:40 pm

On all our vehicles with real headlights, we have taped the top half of them with gafers tape during the event to prevent blinding walkers. Other vehicles have very bright LEDs lighting the ground in front as a replacement for the headlights. Some have real btailights, others have red LEDs on the back.

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Re: Tail lights

Post by trilobyte » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:38 am

Giving this a nudge over to the Transportation board, since the Preparation forum is a better fit for general questions and problem solving. The MV board is more for announcing (and updating on progress) for fully formed projects.

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