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Old 06-12-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
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The law and wheels extending beyond fenders

I just learned from a Jeep dealer that California law does not allow wheels to extend beyond a vehicle's fenders. Here's the vehicle code:

"No person shall operate any motor vehicle having three or more wheels...unless equipped with fenders, covers, or devices, including flaps or splash aprons, or unless the body of the vehicle or attachments thereto afford adequate protection to effectively minimize the spray or splash of water or mud to the rear of the vehicle and all such equipment or such body or attachments thereto shall be at least as wide as the tire tread."

He said that the law is not often enforced, but it is subject to the whim of the law enforcement officer. In 15 years the dealership said it has only had problems twice.

This makes me nervous. I don't much like the idea of being in the position where I can be pulled over any time an officer chooses to do so. I am also concerned about what I would need to resolve such an issue - keep the original wheels and tires to put back on if I get cited?

I see that many folks have modified their stock JKs with wheels and tires that extend beyond the fenders. Do the laws in your states allow it? Have you ever had problems with the law? How did you resolve it?

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Old 06-12-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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PA doesn't allow it either, I've never had a problem though

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Old 06-12-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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This makes me nervous. I don't much like the idea of being in the position where I can be pulled over any time an officer chooses to do so. I am also concerned about what I would need to resolve such an issue - keep the original wheels and tires to put back on if I get cited?
If you are concerned with the tires sticking out, there are multiple vendors that sell extended fenders.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
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I think you're going to find that, in reality, a cop can pull you over for pretty much whatever he feels like. If you are going to modify your vehicle in any way shape or form, you are going to have to take the chance that a LEO might have a bad day and decide to hassle you for it. That chance is probably one in a million when it comes to a moderate amount of tire poke, but there is a chance.

Alternatively, there are wheels out there with backspacing to fit bigger tires without pushing them outside the fender. The AEV Pintlers, for instance.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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it depends on the officer. i got pulled over by a cop who happens to be a close friend of mine...he just wanted to check out my new wheels and tires since i posted pics on instagram and he knows the route i take when i go home. my tires extend about an inch but nothing too much to attract unwanted attention.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
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It's a Jeep, therefore it's exempt from such foolishness.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:13 PM   #7
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Screw the law......
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:59 PM   #8
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PA doesn't allow it either, I've never had a problem though
You're fortunate -- around my part of PA, that's one of the favorite tickets for the State Police. As a consequence, I don't see very many Jeeps with tires beyond the flares around here. PA tickets are expensive.

Also, if memory serves, PA prohibits fender flares wider than 3" unless they're the factory ones.

PA really needs to create a special section in the vehicle code for Wranglers, IMO.

Just like the bikers banding together to get the helmet law changed, maybe all the Wrangler owners in PA could get together and lobby the governor to change the VC to allow some of the common mods on Wranglers?
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Here in Philly you see cars running around with missing body parts. Some of the cars I see look like tape is holding together. They have never bothered me driving my truck and the tires stick out a bit on it. I think the law here just has to much going on to stop ya for your tires being to wide.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:10 PM   #10
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Never been harassed. I'm running PSC narrows and my front tires stick out about 6 inches on each side at the narrowest point. Just got it inspected last week too with no problems.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:37 AM   #11
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The Army has me in Belgium. The vehicle inspectors told me my tires couldn't stick out. I bought some used tires and rims from ebay and had them shipped. My tires did not stick out...during the inspection. Those tires and rims are now in the shed until next year. Bigger tires are on the way.

I used to be a cop. We didn't like the cops who would give tickets for stupid things like that. Every departments different, though.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:55 AM   #12
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You're fortunate -- around my part of PA, that's one of the favorite tickets for the State Police. As a consequence, I don't see very many Jeeps with tires beyond the flares around here. PA tickets are expensive.

Also, if memory serves, PA prohibits fender flares wider than 3" unless they're the factory ones.

PA really needs to create a special section in the vehicle code for Wranglers, IMO.

Just like the bikers banding together to get the helmet law changed, maybe all the Wrangler owners in PA could get together and lobby the governor to change the VC to allow some of the common mods on Wranglers?
Pa really does have a bunch of BS laws for vehicles.
The only thing I ever had trouble with around my area was Tint. I've been pulled over twice for it.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:03 AM   #13
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Do the laws in your states allow it?
Missouri does
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:09 AM   #14
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Not suppose to have the tire sticking out more then 4" from the flare here in VA but I currently am not running any an have had no issues. Waiting to put my new flat fenders on which will still likely be pushing the "law" but oh well
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:29 AM   #15
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So in PA you can ride a motorcycle with no helmet but cant have wide tires past fenders?
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:37 AM   #16
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Its a jeep! its exempt from silly laws like that!
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:43 AM   #17
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The wide tire laws are probably there to keep vehicles from flinging rocks and road debris behind them. I know I wouldn't want rocks flying against my windshield if I was driving behind someone with tires that stuck out beyond the fenders.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:56 AM   #18
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The wide tire laws are probably there to keep vehicles from flinging rocks and road debris behind them. I know I wouldn't want rocks flying against my windshield if I was driving behind someone with tires that stuck out beyond the fenders.
Drive behind a semi once. They have fenders and mudflaps and still fling rocks and debris. Just saying...
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:06 PM   #19
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Good thing I live in Alaska. We barely have any auto-related laws. The only things are pretty much tint & need two license plates but I think that's it. We're not even required to have a windshield. Lol.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:29 PM   #20
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Here in Texas, we can ride motorcycles without helmets AND put on the widest tires we want! No laws regarding tire width to my knowledge.

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Old 06-13-2013, 12:42 PM   #21
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Yeah, VA law is pretty flexible...which is nice...but pushing them out that far is not for me. I don't need them sticking out far enough that they are covering the side of my Jeep in thrown rocks and even more road spray. It's definitely a cool look, but I prefer to kick the backspacing out just enough to make them flush.

Now if we could only get rid of the front license plate law. Keep hope alive...a bill is pending in Richmond...to save the Commonwealth some money of course...not to help folks with winches.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:43 PM   #22
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Here in Texas, we can ride motorcycles without helmets AND put on the widest tires we want! No laws regarding tire width to my knowledge.

As l as you are not wider then 9 foot I believe. No wheel or fender coverage laws eather.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:50 PM   #23
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I think you're going to find that, in reality, a cop can pull you over for pretty much whatever he feels like. If you are going to modify your vehicle in any way shape or form, you are going to have to take the chance that a LEO might have a bad day and decide to hassle you for it. That chance is probably one in a million when it comes to a moderate amount of tire poke, but there is a chance.
Spot on. Put on the wheels/tires you want and don't worry about it. Worst case, you get a small fine and have to temporarily swap on someone else's wheels to get your fix it ticket signed off.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:55 PM   #24
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I just learned from a Jeep dealer that California law does not allow wheels to extend beyond a vehicle's fenders. Here's the vehicle code:

"No person shall operate any motor vehicle having three or more wheels...unless equipped with fenders, covers, or devices, including flaps or splash aprons, or unless the body of the vehicle or attachments thereto afford adequate protection to effectively minimize the spray or splash of water or mud to the rear of the vehicle and all such equipment or such body or attachments thereto shall be at least as wide as the tire tread."

He said that the law is not often enforced, but it is subject to the whim of the law enforcement officer. In 15 years the dealership said it has only had problems twice.

This makes me nervous. I don't much like the idea of being in the position where I can be pulled over any time an officer chooses to do so. I am also concerned about what I would need to resolve such an issue - keep the original wheels and tires to put back on if I get cited?

I see that many folks have modified their stock JKs with wheels and tires that extend beyond the fenders. Do the laws in your states allow it? Have you ever had problems with the law? How did you resolve it?
Nothing new ... this has been around since the beginning of time.

Just don't piss-off the cops and you should be good to go ...



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Old 06-13-2013, 01:13 PM   #25
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Spot on. Put on the wheels/tires you want and don't worry about it. Worst case, you get a small fine and have to temporarily swap on someone else's wheels to get your fix it ticket signed off.
*Disclaimer*
My intent on this post isn't to start a flame fest and I would hate to see this thread get locked because there can be some useful information shared here.

However...
Can you explain what was "spot on" because I can not see it. Really, having a bad day is the reason for the ticket or the stop? Sounds more like a cop doing his job to me.

And being that you have pics on the web of your JK and then saying you are going to continue to break the law. (I agree kind of a CS nanny law) Might not be a good idea. It might be the difference of the Officer using his discretion to issue a non fix it ticket being that you are obviously going to continue to break that law. Kinda like window tint in Ca. My brother got a fix it ticket and got it removed. He reapplied the tint after getting it signed off. Well guess what happened the next time the same officer stopped him. Non correctable ticket for a correctable violation.

Again. This isn't directed at you but just something to think about.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:50 PM   #26
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A cop doing his job depends on the situation. If you're pulled over for speeding & you have tint, extended wheels, etc. he might not even ticket you for anything else but for speeding because he/she just had a long day & doesn't want to sit there all day to keep typing on his laptop.

Now if they wake up on the wrong side of the bed that day & want revenge on the world they're going to put your vehicle under a microscope & ticket you for everything they can.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:03 PM   #27
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A cop doing his job depends on the situation. If you're pulled over for speeding & you have tint, extended wheels, etc. he might not even ticket you for anything else but for speeding because he/she just had a long day & doesn't want to sit there all day to keep typing on his laptop.

Now if they wake up on the wrong side of the bed that day & want revenge on the world they're going to put your vehicle under a microscope & ticket you for everything they can.

All these comments on Officers waking up on the right or wrong side of the bed has nothing to do with the fact some vehicles may have more than one violation going against them. Nothing to do with "revenge on the world".
Yes, discretion is a very useful tool.

I feel like this is getting way off topic and going in the wrong direction so I'm just going to agree to disagree and I'm good with that.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:34 PM   #28
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Exactly. Are they saying it's okay to roll a stop sign because there's never anyone there...."silly laws". These same people cry the loudest when a relative gets hit, and wonder why no officer was "doing his job" at that stop sign.

30 years in L.E. and I agree there are stupid laws on the books. That doesn't give us the descretion to decide which ones I want to abide by, and which I dont.

I know several people who were cited for tires too wide. It's not the officer's attitude, it was the driver. Descetion goes both ways here. You can talk you way out of a citation, and you can get yourself one too.

In the example above, about the big rigs throwing rocks...you see that coming, as we all do, and stay clear. You don't see it coming from a regular vehicle, such as a jeep. Our tires pick up rocks and debris off road, then we go out and drive the roadways, tossing it out there. Several people here say how easy the windshields crack on our rigs.....

Ok, rant over. Sorry OP.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #29
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I agree that this thread is getting off topic but to be fair, the OP asked a pretty open ended question. He's in California but is asking for opinions/facts from people from all 50 states. My experience in Alaska or someone else's experience in Texas won't help him. If I were him I'd post in the California sub-forum, he might get more answers over there.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:00 PM   #30
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It is illegal to fart in California so dont fart and have your tires out past the fenders or you will be breaking two laws.

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