New Mexico Supreme Court: Tail lamp does not need to be ‘perfectly’ working to comply with State law

Akanksha Singh-

Published on: September 15, 2021 at 14:05 IST

An unanimous rule passed by the New Mexico Supreme Court that not every bulb in a tail lamp needs to be illuminated to comply with state law, which requires motor vehicle equipment to be in “good working order.”

The direction came after the Court was hearing an appeal filed by Albuquerque man who was convicted for drunken driving and operating a vehicle with defective equipment.

It was argued in the Court that the Cop’s illegally stopped his client because of the burnt bulb , when the upper bulb was working and emitting light .

Further it was also argued against the Accused that ,“All tail light bulbs must be fully functioning to satisfy the requirements that the equipment on cars, trucks, trailers and other vehicles be in ‘good working order and adjustment’.”

In furtherance to this the Supreme Court concluded that ,“As long as a vehicle’s tail lamp complies with specific equipment requirements in state laws, it meets the more general requirement to be in “good working order”— even if there is a burned out bulb on a tail lamp with multiple bulbs”

The requirements include that it emits enough light to be visible from at least 500 feet said the SC.

And hence the Court held that “’Good working order’ doesn’t require equipment to function 100% fully if it is suitable or functioning for its intended use.”

The Supreme Court’s decision remanded the matter back to the District Court for further proceedings.

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