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Old 08-31-2019, 04:38 PM
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After Market Bumpers Illegal

Hey Guys,

I was driving down the PA turnpike and got pulled over by the state police. I was surprised, as i wasn't speeding, but he said he pulled me over because my bumpers were metal and not OEM. I have a Poison Spyder full width brawler in the front and a black mountain Recovery bumper with the tire mount. I was surprised as these are not overly extreme. I was given a written warning and sent on my merry way.

Has anyone run into this before?

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Old 08-31-2019, 05:03 PM   #2
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Never I would ask to see the code
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Old 08-31-2019, 05:39 PM   #3
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According t the link below, you don't need OEM bumpers in PA. They just have to be of "equivalent strength".

All stock vehicles have metal bumpers. You just can't see them because most are fitted with plastic covers. There's no requirement for plastic covers. Look up the 2018 Silverado. They come stock with metal bumpers. (Either pained or chromed).

From this link: https://www.pacode.com/secure/data/0...5/s175.78.html

(1) A bumper shall be of at least equivalent strength and mounting as the original equipment.

(2) No portion of a bumper may be broken, torn or protruding to create a hazard.

(3) A bumper may not extend beyond the body line or be longer than original equipment, whichever is greater.

(4) A wood plank bumper is permitted on a road service truck or wrecker if it is firmly attached to a regular bumper or equivalent steel backing.

(5) Some part of the main horizontal bumper bar on passenger vehicles shall fall within 16-20 inches above ground level.

(6) Some part of the main horizontal bumper bar on multipurpose passenger vehicles and light trucks shall fall within 16-30 inches above ground level.
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Old 08-31-2019, 06:46 PM   #4
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I'd say the jury is in.

I have the recon bumpers and they are nice. But metal. I'm gonna plasti dip them so the cops can't get me.

Seriously though, I think this cop may have been breathing exhaust fumes.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:57 PM   #5
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Perusing the interwebs, I found this:

Lift Laws | Suspension Lift Laws By State

Not sure how current it is, but it's still good info.
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:39 AM   #6
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Perusing the interwebs, I found this:
Lift Laws | Suspension Lift Laws By State
Not sure how current it is, but it's still good info.
Outstanding information.

I think what Mikeysip experienced was an over zealous, rookie State Police Officer, that didn't pay as much attention as he/she should have in the Vehicle Code class at his/her academy. What I would do in his case, if it happens again, is thank him/her for their zealousness trying to keep our streets safe, pull out your own version of Pa.'s Vehicle Code and ask them to point out the section which he/she said you violated. Then, when they can't do that, ask if there is a Sgt. or Lt. supervisor that can respond to the scene to assist in the young officer. If there isn't, I would drive directly to the nearest State Police Office or Barracks, seek out that officers supervisor and ask for clarification as to why the officer is violating his civil rights by stopping citizens for made up violations. This works very well if the complainant remains calm, professional and mater of fact. Don't get mad or irritated. But if this kind of Police abuse has to to stop. If we, as citizens, don't report this, it will continue and in some cases, get much worse.

Mikeysip, in his 'Written Warning,' did they write down a vehicle code section which he/she was referring to which he said you were in violation of by putting a much stronger bumper on your jeep?
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:23 PM
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Hey guys thanks for all the responses with citation of the code. 87_WhyJay the written warning was just a sentence stating that i operated the vehicle with the bumpers. I'm glad i didn't receive a ticket out of it.
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Old 09-01-2019, 03:46 PM   #8
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That warning is still attached to your drivers license. If it was me, I would run it to ground, go to the station and get it removed.
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:35 AM   #9
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My wife and I were riding our motorcycles from Denver CO to Amarillo TX when a Texas cop pulled us over and gave us a warning for riding side by side. She told us that we had to ride staggered.

As far as I know, riding 2 motorcycles side by side is legal in Texas. Since it was simply a warning, I thanked her and we rode staggered until we were far down the road.
I imagine this kind of stuff happens often. Cops can't know every detail of every law. For the most part, they're just trying to do the best job they can.

Always be polite to all police officers. Their job is tough enough without someone giving them a difficult time. If you're polite and courteous you might get off with a warning. If you're a butt, you just might end up with two or three tickets, rather than just one.

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Old 09-02-2019, 02:15 AM   #10
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That warning is still attached to your drivers license. If it was me, I would run it to ground, go to the station and get it removed.
Agreed, and like others said, the cop may very well not even know or may have a confused perception of the law and it will only get worse until brought to the dept’s attention and clarified.
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Old 09-02-2019, 09:56 AM   #11
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funny how lots of these posts come from PA, too many other cool places to live than to be stuck there
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:48 PM   #12
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To the OP...

Winter Edition JKU comes with AEV styled bumpers... all steel.

The mudflap ticket is a whole other bag. Most states require the bumper to extend lower than the midline of the axle as viewed from the side without mudflaps. My Winter Edition doesn't meet that, nor does the Recon, Polar, and a bunch of other special editions in OEM form.

As for riding side by side, it does vary by state. Georgia yes, Arizona, no. Most safety programs discourage it. Remember Obamas motorcade officers who collided side by side in Florida? However, from a safety standpoint, it provides one less exit for both riders in case of emergency. Id always advise to ride staggered.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:26 PM   #13
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Hey guys thanks for all the responses with citation of the code. 87_WhyJay the written warning was just a sentence stating that i operated the vehicle with the bumpers. I'm glad i didn't receive a ticket out of it.
From one who used to issue verbal warnings and/or citations for violations of Ca.'s Vehicle Code (we didn't have written warnings) for 22 years, I would definitely seek out his supervisor. I would ask if Pa. allows their officer to make traffic stops for made up violations or did that Officer just get confused? From what I read on Pa's statutes regarding bumpers, he was 100% wrong and needs some special guidance (remedial training) from his sup's. Most supervisors don't like having rouge officers under them and they might not know he needs help. Guarantee, if that happened to me, I would be down there in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:51 PM   #14
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I imagine this kind of stuff happens often. Cops can't know every detail of every law. For the most part, they're just trying to do the best job they can.

Always be polite to all police officers. Their job is tough enough without someone giving them a difficult time. If you're polite and courteous you might get off with a warning. If you're a butt, you just might end up with two or three tickets, rather than just one.

Good Luck, L.M.
Too right. I used to be a cop years ago. I never made shit up, if I didn't know the law about something, I didn't pretend to. I was just in it to help the community.

Today they have it tough. For some reason there are people out there who think they need to test their rights. And test the patience of the police.

Be good to them, and they'll possibly be good to you. Police are people too.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:17 PM   #15
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From one who used to issue verbal warnings and/or citations for violations of Ca.'s Vehicle Code (we didn't have written warnings) for 22 years, I would definitely seek out his supervisor. I would ask if Pa. allows their officer to make traffic stops for made up violations or did that Officer just get confused? From what I read on Pa's statutes regarding bumpers, he was 100% wrong and needs some special guidance (remedial training) from his sup's. Most supervisors don't like having rouge officers under them and they might not know he needs help. Guarantee, if that happened to me, I would be down there in a heartbeat.
OP says he is "glad he didn't get a ticket." I assume a ticket for equipment isn't something you pay like a speeding ticket, instead you would be forced to reinstall the correct equipment. It appears that the officer was wrong in this case which is good (for OP), but I would assume in this day and age the manufacturer would be the one required to meet all min standards before ever going to market. In other words, the cop would never need to pull someone over unless they have a railroad tie bolted on for a bumper.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:43 PM   #16
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OP says he is "glad he didn't get a ticket." I assume a ticket for equipment isn't something you pay like a speeding ticket, instead you would be forced to reinstall the correct equipment. It appears that the officer was wrong in this case which is good (for OP), but I would assume in this day and age the manufacturer would be the one required to meet all min standards before ever going to market. In other words, the cop would never need to pull someone over unless they have a railroad tie bolted on for a bumper.
Not quite. There are plenty of parts that are not legal for on-road use. Some of the auxiliary lights we all like, for example. In some cases, the law will be, "It's no good on the road unless it has a DOT stamp on it."

Take a look at most bead lock tires. They are not DOT approved, and are sold as "off-road only." That doesn't stop most people from using them on the street, but I'm sure there are states where using a wheel that is not DOT approved on the road is illegal.

I'd definitely call the officer's supervisor for clarification / correction.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:31 AM   #17
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OP says he is "glad he didn't get a ticket." I assume a ticket for equipment isn't something you pay like a speeding ticket, instead you would be forced to reinstall the correct equipment. It appears that the officer was wrong in this case which is good (for OP), but I would assume in this day and age the manufacturer would be the one required to meet all min standards before ever going to market. In other words, the cop would never need to pull someone over unless they have a railroad tie bolted on for a bumper.
Unfortunately no. All they have to put on their packaging or 'SAY' that they told you when they installed it is, "For Off-Highway Use Only" if the state doesn't allow them on the highway. That is very much of a grey area. There is TON'S of things that aren't allowed for use on Ca. highways that are sold there. VERY VERY small printing on the packaging, For Off Highway Use ONLY!! Cali. doesn't allow ANY amount of tinting on the front side windows. EVERY tint shop will tell you that it IS allowed and illegally tint your windows for you. WHY? Because nobody want's to go to court and testify against the shop that lied to them.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:33 AM   #18
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Cali. doesn't allow ANY amount of tinting on the front side windows. EVERY tint shop will tell you that it IS allowed and illegally tint your windows for you. WHY? Because nobody want's to go to court and testify against the shop that lied to them.
That Sir is incorrect, you are allowed to tint your front side windows.

The percent of visible light allowed through your car windows is called VLT: Visible Light Transmission. The percentage of light allowed through your film and glass in California is very specific. Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield. Front Side windows: Aftermarket film must allow more than 88% of light in, or minimum 70% VLT if combined with factory-tinted windows. Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used. Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:20 AM   #19
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Back to the bumper.


The "Off Road Use Only" sticker used to be on EVERYTHING back in the day. Everything. I remember it clear as day. Often times it was a yellow oval sticker with red lettering. Made the DOT folks happy I guess.

Now, no one is in 100% compliancy and maybe 50% of them put any kind of disclaimer on their website and even fewer put it on their packaging and instructions. There are exceptions. Those that work with manufacturers for third party developed products like Teraflex, AEV and others in the Jeep community.

The Stinger bumper is the one that really gets me. It is illegal as hell on the road but especially here, you se them everywhere. IMO, they are a massive liability. There was a report of a Jeep who had a car pull out in front of it. The stinger protruded the passenger door/window and killed the passenger. I do not know where it took place or what the final outcome was, but sure as hell, a bright attorney could put 2 and 2 together and come up with a reasonable lawsuit for negligence. Sure, the car was at fault for pulling out, but the Jeep was operating illegally.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:08 PM   #20
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Hey Guys,

I was driving down the PA turnpike and got pulled over by the state police. I was surprised, as i wasn't speeding, but he said he pulled me over because my bumpers were metal and not OEM. I have a Poison Spyder full width brawler in the front and a black mountain Recovery bumper with the tire mount. I was surprised as these are not overly extreme. I was given a written warning and sent on my merry way.

Has anyone run into this before?
are you from Pa?
if not my guess is the cop seen out of state tags and decided to go fishing
your "bumper code violation" warning was just the excuse.

now if you are from Pa , id stop by his barracks and have a discussion with his supervisor .
have my record cleared and find out why this officer is not aware of the vehicle code
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:30 PM   #21
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You bumper boys better make sure you keep your original equipment on hand just in case. The man is looking for you
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:33 PM   #22
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I've read that the 5 mph safety bumpers are part of the requirements and that the off-road use bumpers that don't include the (?) crush can in them are not legal for road use.

Being made of steel is not as much an issue as what happens to the other guy if you hit someone?
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:52 PM   #23
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Just trying to meet his end of the month citation quota.....
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:25 PM   #24
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That Sir is incorrect, you are allowed to tint your front side windows.

The percent of visible light allowed through your car windows is called VLT: Visible Light Transmission. The percentage of light allowed through your film and glass in California is very specific. Windshield: Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield. Front Side windows: Aftermarket film must allow more than 88% of light in, or minimum 70% VLT if combined with factory-tinted windows. Back Side windows: Any darkness can be used. Rear Window: Any darkness can be used.
That is not how I interpreted CVC 26708 (a)(1) A person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied upon the windshield or side or rear windows.

It doesn't seem to allow for ANY applied film, no matter what the VLT. Maybe you could cite the section where you are getting your information so NOBODY GETS LED ASTRAY!!!
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:02 PM   #25
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That is not how I interpreted CVC 26708 (a)(1) A person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied upon the windshield or side or rear windows.

It doesn't seem to allow for ANY applied film, no matter what the VLT. Maybe you could cite the section where you are getting your information so NOBODY GETS LED ASTRAY!!!

So... do they not do inspection stickers on the windshield in California? What a confusing state.


* This is not meant to question what you're saying, it's meant to question California.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:18 PM   #26
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Next thing you know you won't be able to drive with no doors on your Wrangler in PA.....
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:26 PM   #27
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I have seen the Pa mud flap discussion yet
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:57 PM   #28
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So... do they not do inspection stickers on the windshield in California? What a confusing state.


* This is not meant to question what you're saying, it's meant to question California.
If memory serves me... California I believe and Washington I know use stickers on the front and rear license plates, not window stickers like much of the Midwest and east coast. Individual month and year stickers. Ive seen cars that have 20-30 years worth of stickers stacked on top of one another. Pretty funny looking.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:45 PM   #29
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So... do they not do inspection stickers on the windshield in California? What a confusing state.


* This is not meant to question what you're saying, it's meant to question California.
Except for smog testing no. The results of the smog test is transmitted directly to the DMV, if itís a pass you can reregister your vehicle, if no pass, no reregistration.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:47 PM   #30
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Next thing you know you won't be able to drive with no doors on your Wrangler in PA.....
....and stop driving with your leg out of the missing door resting on the bar. its looks more ridiculous than your man bun. i can tell your door is off. you dont need your leg out there to prove it.
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