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  #1  
Old 11 August 2011, 02:30 AM
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Driver High beam floor switch law

Comment: I saw this on facebook and was wondering if it was real. I
searched around and couldnt find any info on it.

theres a new law on the books starting in january 2012. the high beam low
beam switch in all cars have to be put back to the little button on the
floor like the old days. 300.00 fine if not done by february 2012. they
are gonna sell a conversion kit for 200.00. crazy huh
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  #2  
Old 11 August 2011, 02:38 AM
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A) A law where? A federal law? A state law?

B) Who are "they" selling it?

C) Who gets the money for the fine?

D) How will "they" know whether you did it or not?

E) Aren't old cars grandfathered in? I mean, you can drive a Model T around without seatbelts, right?

F) What is the benefit of the high beam switch being on the floor instead of someplace else?
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  #3  
Old 11 August 2011, 04:06 AM
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G) Why would they pass said law in the first place?
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  #4  
Old 11 August 2011, 06:51 AM
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Police

Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
G) Why would they pass said law in the first place?
That's easy. A floor switch for the high beam/low beam would mean it is activated by stepping on it. Which means if you are nervously tapping your left foot while driving, you're flashing your headlights. Which in turn makes it so much easier to catch drug trafficers, human trafficers, criminals with an outstanding warrant, and liberals - because the all are nervous when approaching a law enforcement or border controll officer.

Q.E.D.
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  #5  
Old 08 September 2011, 12:10 PM
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Wow, this is so daft, I can't help but love it! I think my '74 Mercury Comet might have had a floor-mounted high-beam switch, but I can't say for sure, 'cause it's been a while.
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  #6  
Old 09 September 2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
That's easy. A floor switch for the high beam/low beam would mean it is activated by stepping on it. Which means if you are nervously tapping your left foot while driving, you're flashing your headlights. Which in turn makes it so much easier to catch drug trafficers, human trafficers, criminals with an outstanding warrant, and liberals - because the all are nervous when approaching a law enforcement or border controll officer.
Hell, those gang initiations shooting them should take care of that pretty quick.
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  #7  
Old 09 September 2011, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
G) Why would they pass said law in the first place?
That reminds me of an old joke:

Did you hear [insert state you want to make fun of here] passed requiring all cars to have floor mounted high-beam switches? There were too many accidents caused by people getting their foot caught in the steering wheel.
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  #8  
Old 10 September 2011, 02:29 AM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
E) Aren't old cars grandfathered in? I mean, you can drive a Model T around without seatbelts, right?
Well, no, actually, if you want to plate it to drive on the road. It depends on whether you register it as a vintage car, or a regular car to drive around, and whether you have made other modifications to it.

But there are lots of better reasons not to retrofit old cars, even if this were a law, which I doubt, which is that first, it's going to be much more subject to malfunction, and second, people who are used to having the dash or wheel-mounted switch are going to take a lot of time getting used to it.

In a car that has a wheel-mounted switch, the brights switch is worked into the regular light switch in a way that is hard to tease out. You can wire it to an on/off toggle switch, cut a hole in the floor, and install a foot pedal, but it will probably leak every time it rains, and the switch will still "click" on the wheel, so a lot of people will hit it habitually, and lose seconds of time, which on a country road, when you are toggling them on and off at night, because there are no lights on the road, but you don't want to shine them into oncoming cars, will be a problem.

And, I don't know how every car is wired, but wiring in the dash indicator light might be tied to the wheel switch, and not the actual bright light, so the indicator light might still come on when you hit the wheel switch, and a lot of people might think the brights are off when they aren't.

Plus, the reason a lot of cars have them wheel-mounted is that there's not enough space in the footwell. This is true of small cars, and some mid-sized manual transmissions.

Then, lots of adapted cars can't have floor mounted switches. My aunt has a mechanical pedal extender in her car so she can operate the gas pedal with her left foot, which means there's no place for a floor mounted switch. If the car came with one, we would have had to move it to a toggle on the dash, or something. Same with cars that have all hand controls.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flightsuit View Post
Wow, this is so daft, I can't help but love it! I think my '74 Mercury Comet might have had a floor-mounted high-beam switch, but I can't say for sure, 'cause it's been a while.
I'm sure it did. I had a '61 Falcon, which was the Ford version of the Comet, and it did. It was the default spot for any car big enough. I'm pretty sure big cars like Ford LTDs still have them on the floor.

I like it on the floor myself, but not enough to think it would be a good idea to move it, when the car isn't built that way in the first place.

I wonder if the UL got started in the first place, because there really were kits a long time ago to move it from the floor to the dash. That happened when the switch broke, though, and it was easier to drill a small hole in the dash and put in a little switch, and clip the wires, then crawl around under the car, and in the footwell, trying to replace the original, bulky switch. There was lots of room under the dash back then, as well. When I used to poke around junkyards, looking for vintage car parts, I saw several cars like this.
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  #9  
Old 10 September 2011, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Well, no, actually, if you want to plate it to drive on the road. It depends on whether you register it as a vintage car, or a regular car to drive around, and whether you have made other modifications to it.
Not all states have the same laws as yours, Rivkah.
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  #10  
Old 10 September 2011, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Well, no, actually, if you want to plate it to drive on the road. It depends on whether you register it as a vintage car, or a regular car to drive around, and whether you have made other modifications to it.
I do not think that is the case, at least not in vintage vehicles I have seen at car shows, all licensed and legal to operate on the road.
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  #11  
Old 10 September 2011, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
Not all states have the same laws as yours, Rivkah.
Of course not. I said "It depends." It depends on a lot of things, and what state you are in would be one of them. I don't know about model-Ts, specifically, since people probably don't take them on the highway much, but I have heard from people with things like Bel-Airs that they cannot let children ride in them unless they have seatbelts that will properly restrain a child, or a child seat, according to their state laws. How you want to use the car is another, at least around here. "You don't have to put seatbelts in a Model-T" is not true as a blanket statement.

My point was, that grandfathering in vintage cars on the model of not putting seatbelts in something like a Model-T isn't a valid argument for not transferring bright switches to the floor. However, there are a lot of other very good arguments against doing so.
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  #12  
Old 10 September 2011, 03:01 AM
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I actually think it is true as a blanket statement. I haven't seen a state law yet that requires retrofitting safety equipment onto a car that didn't have it as standard, with perhaps the exception of lights, but I don't think I've ever seen a car without light as standard equipment.
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  #13  
Old 10 September 2011, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Of course not. I said "It depends." It depends on a lot of things, and what state you are in would be one of them.
Actually, you said
Quote:
It depends on whether you register it as a vintage car, or a regular car to drive around, and whether you have made other modifications to it.
. You listed three things it depends on. What state you are in was not one of those three.
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  #14  
Old 10 September 2011, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
I actually think it is true as a blanket statement. I haven't seen a state law yet that requires retrofitting safety equipment onto a car that didn't have it as standard, with perhaps the exception of lights, but I don't think I've ever seen a car without light as standard equipment.
Here in the US that is often if not usually the case. I learned to drive in a Model T Ford, and I know that in Washington, Oregon, and California, safety belts and turn signals are only required when they were part of the original equipment.

ETA: As an example, California vehicle code 27315, paragraph (f) says:

Quote:
This subdivision, however, does not require installation or maintenance of safety belts if not required by the laws of the United States applicable to the vehicle at the time of its initial sale.
However, it is generally also the case that at vintage car shows you won't get dinged for lack of authenticity if you do install seat belts, so long as they are not obtrusive. That is, lap belts and even an unobtrusive shoulder belt that tuck into the upholstery when not in use are overlooked. A Crow five-point with rotary buckle, not so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya
...cut a hole in the floor, and install a foot pedal, but it will probably leak every time it rains...
I worked on two cars that had the old floor-mounted dimmer switches, and in both of them there was no through-panel penetration. The wires to the switch were inside the car and covered by the carpet. The screws might have gone through the panel, but they are hardly unique in that property. And the nature of such screws is that they tend to plug the holes they go through.

Kind of OT, but my grandmother once bought a new Subaru, and later complained that it had no high beams. Of course, it turned out that it did have high beams, it just didn't have the floor switch she'd come to expect. I showed her where the switch was, and she was fine with it once she knew where it was.

Bob "BoKu" K.

Last edited by BoKu; 10 September 2011 at 03:43 AM.
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