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Vehicle Lighting Regulations


Vehicle Lighting Regulations

The conditions described below are provided by Beaconsandlightbars.co.uk, and  are set as a guide and We can not be held responsible for any mistakes or misinterpretations that exist or for any action taken after reading this

Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations

The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989:
Links to www.opsi.gov.uk

1. Commencement, citation and revocation
2. Statement under section 43(3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988
3. Interpretation
4. Exemptions—General
5. —Temporarily imported vehicles and vehicles proceeding to a port for export
6. —Vehicles towing or being towed
7. —Military vehicles
8. —Invalid carriages
9. —Vehicles drawn or propelled by hand
10. Provision as respects the Trade Descriptions Act 1968
Regulations Governing the Fitting of Lamps, Reflectors, Rear Markings and Devices
11. Colour of light shown by lamps and reflectors
12. Movement of lamps and reflectors
13. Lamps to show a steady light
14. Filament lamps
15. General requirements for electrical connections
16. Restrictions on fitting blue warning beacons, special warning lamps and similar devices
17. Obligatory warning beacons
18. Obligatory lamps, reflectors, rear markings and devices
19. Restrictions on the obscuration of certain lamps and reflectors
20. Optional lamps, reflectors, rear markings and devices
21. Projecting trailers and vehicles carrying overhanging or projecting loads or equipment
22. Additional side marker lamps
Regulations Governing the Maintenance and Use of Lamps, Reflectors, Rear Markings and Devices
23. Maintenance of lamps, reflectors, rear markings and devices
24. Requirements about the use of front and rear position lamps, rear registration plate lamps, side marker lamps and end-outline marker lamps
25. Requirements about the use of headlamps and front fog lamps
26. Requirements about the use of warning beacons
27. Restrictions on the use of lamps other than those to which regulation 24 refers
Testing and Inspection of Lighting Equipment and Reflectors
28. Testing and inspection of lighting equipment and reflectors

  1. Obligatory lamps, reflectors, rear markings and devices
  2. Front position lamps
  3. Dim-dip devices and running lamps
  4. Dipped-beam headlamps
  5. Main-beam headlamps
  6. Front fog lamps
  7. Direction indicators
  8. Hazard warning signal devices
  9. Side marker lamps
  10. Rear position lamps
  11. Rear fog lamps
  12. Stop lamps
  13. End-outline marker lamps
  14. Reversing lamps
  15. Rear registration plate lamps
  16. Warning beacons
  17. Side retro reflectors
  18. Rear retro reflectors
  19. Rear markings
  20. Pedal retro reflectors
  21. Front retro reflectors
  22. Diagram showing where unlit parking is not permitted near a junction
  23. Example of marking showing the vertical downwards inclination of the dipped-beam headlamps

Explanatory Note

Please also check with the amendments to the above

We are unable to provide legal advice on the interpretation of any legislation available on opsi.co.uk website

We would recommend that you:

  • contact the department responsible for the piece of legislation you are enquiring about. Refer to the Explanatory Notes to an Act, the front page of a Statutory Instrument, or the Explanatory Memorandum to a Statutory Instrument for information about the responsible department. The Directgov website lists contact details for each government department.
Or Contact:

Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)

The Vehicle Certification Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport and is the national approval authority which decides a set of environmental and safety standards for all new road vehicles, agricultural tractors, off-road vehicles and their individual systems and components.


Enquiry line
0117 952 4235 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 0117 952 4235 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


A quick guide to which colour light you require:

Blue Lights


  • Flashing from an emergency vehicle
  • Flashing or constant from a police vehicle


Green Lights


  • Doctor’s car

White Lights

  • Reversing lights
  • Work lamps
Amber Lights
  • Any vehicle’s indicators
  • Amber pedal reflectors or pedal lights 
  • Reflected from a registration plate
  • Reflected from a road clearance vehicle
  • Reflected from a vehicle carrying dangerous substances
  • Reflected on some old or heavy vehicles
Flashing amber lights on :
  • Road clearance vehicle
  • Bin lorry
  • Breakdown vehicle
  • Vehicle with a 25 mph top speed
  • Vehicle wider than 2.9 metres
  • Roadworks vehicle
  • Escort vehicle
  • Revenue and Customs vehicle
  • Surveying vehicle
  • Clamping or tow truck vehicle
  • Airport vehicles
  • Any other specially authorised vehicle


  • Any flashing warning beacon that rotates must be mounted 1.2 meters above the ground.



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